The Patriot League Wednesday announced its 2005 men’s lacrosse All League teams and major award winners, and the League’s top four teams that will compete at this weekend’s championship Navy, Army, Bucknell and Lehigh were rewarded for their regular season success by earning every individual award. Twelve of the 22 All League players are being honored for the first time.
Navy led the way with nine All League selections, including five on the first team; Army grabbed five honors, four on the first team; Bucknell also had five players chosen, but only two to the first team; and Lehigh picked up three second team accolades. Cheap Jerseys from china Army and BU each took home two major awards, with Navy garnering the final honor.
The Patriot League’s individual standouts are among the nation’s best, as three teams Navy, Army and Bucknell are currently among the nation’s top 14, and 12 players rank in the top 19 in the NCAA in at least one statistical category. In addition, a trio of players Navy’s Mitch Hendler, Army’s John Walker and Bucknell’s Chris Cara were recently named among the 16 finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon a collegiate men’s lacrosse student athlete.
Cara, a senior attack, has been named the Offensive Player of the Year in the Patriot League for the second consecutive season, and it’s easy to see why. All he did was shatter the League’s all time career scoring record. He currently sits at 245 career points, seven more than the former record holder, Army’s Tim Pearson, who graduated in 2002. Cara set the record with a three goal, three assist performance in a loss to Penn State. He is also just seven assists behind Pearson, the all time assists leader in the PL. This season, Cara’s 62 points thus far are one back of the ninth highest single season total in League history, and his 34 assists already rank in a tie for seventh.
The second Bison to garner a major award is legendary head coach Sid Jamieson, honored by his peers as the Coach of the Year. Jamieson has announced his retirement at the end of this season, his 38th on the sideline in Lewisburg, Pa. The only men’s lacrosse head coach Bucknell has ever known, Jamieson has 242 career victories, five League championships and one NCAA Tournament appearance. He has led the Bison to an 8 4 record and No. 14 national ranking going into the Patriot League Tournament. This is his third Coach of the Year award (1996 2001).
For the first time ever, the Patriot League handed out a Goalkeeper of the Year award, and it comes as no surprise that Navy junior Matt Russell is the winner. Russell was the 2004 National Goalkeeper of the Year after leading Navy to the national championship game, and headlined a list of 11 Patriot Leaguers who were named All American. He was as stingy as ever in the cage in 2005, even while playing part of the season injured. His 6.31 goals against average is a League and NCAA best at the present time, and he also boasts a .554 save percentage. Russell has scooped up 24 groundballs this season, and has led the Midshipmen to a 9 3 record, a No. 5 national ranking, and the right to host the Patriot League Championship as the top seed.
The Army Black Knights picked up the final two major awards. Junior Matt Luyster was named Defensive Player of the Year, and forward Matt Scheel earned the Rookie of the Year award. Luyster played all 13 games, picked up 29 groundballs and caused 10 turnovers for a defense that allowed only four opponents to score 10 or more goals.
Scheel was chosen as the League’s Rookie of the Week on one occasion this year, and produced 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in the regular season, including two game winning scores.
Army’s dynamic offensive duo, Walker, a junior, and senior Jim Wagner, joined Bucknell’s Cara on the first team at the attack position. The tandem combined for 100 of the Black Knights’ 203 points this season.
Junior Mike Obringer was selected to the first team midfield for the Black Knights after scoring 12 points in 12 games this year. The remaining three midfielders on the first team came from Navy: senior Graham Gill, sophomore Billy Looney and senior Chris Pieczonka, a faceoff specialist who turned in a .600 save percentage on the season (96 won/64 lost).
Hendler, one of the three Tewaaraton finalists along with Walker and Cara, made the first team defense for the Mids. As a unit, Navy’s defense is tops in the nation, allowing just 6.25 goals per contest. Army’s Luyster joined him on the first team, along with Bucknell junior Michael Abou Jaoude, a California native.
The Midshipmen, Black Knights and Bison controlled much of the second team as well. For Navy, Jon Birsner and his 24 assists made it as an attack, Steve Looney and Clipper Lennon as midfielders, with Lennon as a specialist, and senior Mike Felber on defense.
Army placed senior Nick Doerr on the second team defense. Doerr was a key component in an Army team that reeled off nine straight wins over the months of March and April.
Bucknell had three second team selections. Senior attack Pat Christensen was recognized for his offense (29 points), senior Ryan Goodman as a specialist in the midfield and junior Matt Baran behind Russell at the goalkeeping position. http://www.equipforball.top/ Baran posted an 8 4 record in the cage to go along with an 8.00 GAA and a .593 save percentage.
The three Lehigh representatives were also named to the second team. Senior Andrew Lucas as an attack, sophomore Alec Hooff as a midfielder and junior Jeffrey King as a defender. Lucas had a pair of six goal games this season, in wins over Marist on Feb. 26 and Penn on Mar. 16.
The Patriot League Tournament gets underway Friday, Apr. 29 at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. No. 1 Navy and No. 4 Lehigh meet in the first semifinal, with No. 2 Army taking on No. 2 Bucknell in the second semi. on CSTV, with the winner receiving the Patriot League’s automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament.
The Patriot League, an NCAA Division I athletics conference founded on the principle of admitting athletes who are academically representative of their class, is in its second decade of academic and athletic excellence. A successful Division I AA football conference since 1986 and an all sport conference since 1990, membership includes American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy, while three additional institutions hold associate membership. Patriot League member institutions are among the oldest and most prestigious in the nation, graduating alumni who are well prepared for life with the ability to make meaningful contributions to their community and society in general. In the most recent NCAA Graduation Rate Report of student athletes, the Patriot League ranked FIRST among NCAA Division I conferences.