New England College sophomore Matt Richard (Weare, N.H.) has been selected as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men's Lacrosse Player of the Year, while Pilgrim teammate Connor Fries (Barnstable, Mass.) was tabbed both Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Castleton senior Zach Devoid (St. Alban's, Vt.) was voted the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, Lyndon head coach Kevin Pezanowski* was chosen as the Coach of the Year and nine men's lacrosse student-athletes were named to the Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2016 All-Conference announcement.
NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches.
Richard, only in his second season, continues to be an offensive threat in the Pilgrim lineup. In conference play, he led the NAC with 56 points off of 22 goals and a league-best 34 assists. The sophomore tallied at least five points in every conference game, including two games in which he recorded double-digit points (10 and 12). Richard also posted at least three helpers in every NAC matchup. He added 11 ground balls and three caused turnovers in conference play and was selected NAC Player of the Week twice this season. According to the most recent Division III rankings, he is ranked eighth in assists per game (2.88) and ninth in points per game (5.25).
Fries has been a great addition and a dominant midfielder for the Pilgrims this season. The rookie led the league in caused turnovers after collecting 25 in NAC play to go along with 46 ground balls. The long-stick midfielder and his teammates allowed all conference opponents to only score a league-low 29 goals against them. Impressively, the freshman recorded at least one caused turnover in seven out of eight NAC games, including four games in which he caused four or more turnovers. Fries claimed NAC Defensive Player of the Week three times this season and one NAC Rookie of the Week selection. Overall, he has started all 17 games for the Pilgrims and leads the NAC with 100 ground balls and 56 caused turnovers. In all of Division III, the rookie ranks fourth in caused turnovers per game (3.29) which has helped his team earn a 46th ranking in caused turnovers per game (10.41).
Pezanowski was honored with his second-consecutive NAC Coach of the Year honor. He led his 2016 squad to the fourth seed in the NAC tournament, moving up from the fifth seed a season ago. In conference play, the Hornets ranked in the top-four in four different categories, including caused turnovers (2nd; 100), assists (3rd; 54), goals (4th; 94), and ground balls (4th; 293). Lyndon ranks 44th and 50th in the nation in caused turnovers per game (10.57) and in ground balls per game (35.36).
Joining Fries (long-stick midfielder) and Richard (attack) on the first team were Castleton junior midfielder Louis Alhage (New Milford, Conn.), sophomore faceoff specialist Joshua Gosselin (Barre, Vt.), freshman defender Malik Hines (South Burlington, Vt.), senior goalkeeper Peter Latulippe (Tyngsboro, Mass.), and freshman midfielder Jason Sedell (Pine Brook, N.J.), New England College senior defender James Carlson (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), junior attackman Sean Largay (Norwalk, Conn.), and senior attackman Skyler Saunders (Cambridge, N.Y.), Husson senior defender Derek Johnson (South Berwick, Maine), and Maine Maritime freshman midfielder Brendan Broderick (Massena, N.Y.).
Second team selections include Castleton freshman long-stick midfielder Peyton Faasse (Jefferson, N.J.), Husson senior attackman Brandon Corbo (Merrimack, N.H.) and senior midfielder Brett Martin (Topsham, Maine), Johnson State junior defender Phillip Perkins (Brattleboro, Vt.) and junior goalkeeper Jay Palmisano (Barre, Vt.), Lyndon freshman attackman Spencer Aubin (Sharon, Mass.), freshman defender Marshall Blackman (North Attleboro, Mass.), freshman midfielder Shea Jones (Hull, Mass.), and sophomore attackman Kevin McCarthy (West Sayville, N.Y.), New England College freshman goalkeeper William Platt (San Francisco, Calif.) and freshman faceoff specialist Austin Frankel (Peabody, Mass.), and Thomas sophomore midfielder Colby Blondin (Colchester, Vt.) and senior defender Sheldon Jones (Lewiston, Maine).
New to the conference this season is the selection of a Sportsmanship Team which is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the men's lacrosse culture and game environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette. The following nine individuals have been selected to the NAC Men's Lacrosse Sportsmanship Team, Castleton senior Graeme Pike (Wallingford, Conn.), UMaine-Farmington senior Connor Joy (Windham, Maine), Green Mountain senior Nate Laymon (Ilion, N.Y.), Husson freshman Matt Martin (Litchfield, Maine), Johnson State freshman Isaiah Leraeu (Danbury, Conn.), Lyndon sophomore Tim Scanlon (Richmond, Vt.), Maine Maritime senior Michael Dedian (Scarborough, Maine), New England College's Saunders, and Thomas senior Gershom Renee (Hartford, Conn.).
2016 NAC Men's Lacrosse All-Conference Teams
A - Sean Largay, Junior, New England College
A - Matt Richard, Sophomore, New England College
A - Skyler Saunders, Senior, New England College
M - Louis Alhage, Junior, Castleton
M - Brendan Broderick, Freshman, Maine Maritime
M - Jason Sedell, Freshman, Castleton
LSM - Connor Fries, Freshman, New England College
D - James Carlson, Senior, New England College
D - Malik Hines, Freshman, Castleton
D - Derek Johnson, Senior, Husson
GK - Peter Latulippe, Senior, Castleton
FO - Joshua Gosselin, Sophomore, Castleton
A - Spencer Aubin, Freshman, Lyndon*
A - Brandon Corbo, Senior, Husson
A - Kevin McCarthy, Sophomore, Lyndon
M - Colby Blondin, Sophomore, Thomas
M - Shea Jones, Freshman, Lyndon*
M - Brett Martin, Senior, Husson
LSM - Peyton Faasse, Freshman, Castleton
D - Marshall Blackman, Freshman, Lyndon*
D - Sheldon Jones, Senior, Thomas
D - Phillip Perkins, Junior, Johnson State
GK - Jay Palmisano, Junior, Johnson State
GK - William Platt, Freshman, New England College
FO - Austin Frankel, Freshman, New England College
Player of the Year
Matt Richard, Sophomore, New England College
Defensive Player of the Year & Rookie of the Year
Connor Fries, Freshman, New England College
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year
Zach Devoid, Senior, Castleton
Coach of the Year
Kevin Pezanowski, Second Season, Lyndon*
Michael Dedian, Senior, Maine Maritime
Connor Joy, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Nate Laymon, Senior, Green Mountain
Isaiah Leraeu, Freshman, Johnson State
Matt Martin, Freshman, Husson
Graeme Pike, Senior, Castleton
Gershom Renee, Senior, Thomas
Skyler Saunders, Senior, New England College
Tim Scanlon, Sophomore, Lyndon
*Award vacated by Lyndon State and the NCAA Committee on Infractions.