Stone of Middlebury Grabs Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. - Middlebury junior midfielder Mike Stone (Boston, Mass.) has been named the 2008 NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. Stone has helped the Panthers record a 12-2 record this season along with an 11th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament. He becomes the first Middlebury player to earn the conference’s top award since Matt Dunn received the honor in 2002.
A unanimous choice by the conference coaches, Stone received All-NESCAC First Team honors for the second-straight year as he was one of six members from the 2007 First Team included on the 2008 edition. Leading the Panthers in scoring this season, Stone is tied for fifth in the conference in points with 46 on 27 goals and 19 assists in 14 games.
The attack on the 2008 All-NESCAC First Team featured Wesleyan teammates Grayson Connors (Princeton Junction, N.J.) and Russ Follansbee (Deerfield, Mass.) along with Williams freshman David Hawley (New Canaan, Conn.). The Cardinals’ duo of Connors and Follansbee were tops in the league in points this season, as Connors tallied a career-high 43 goals and 52 points to pace all players while the junior Follansbee, a First Team selection last year, closely followed his senior counterpart with 23 goals and a personal-best 27 assists for 50 points.
Hawley had a breakout first season in helping the Ephs win their first NESCAC Men’s Lacrosse title, leading both his team and all freshmen in goals with 39 markers (3rd NESCAC). Hawley also garnered NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors for his performance during the 2008 campaign.
Williams senior Michael Vrla (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) returned with Middlebury’s Stone for a second consecutive appearance at midfield on the All-Conference First Team. Limited to only 10 games this spring due to an early season injury, Vrla is fourth for the Ephs in scoring with 16 goals and nine assists for 25 points, as he scored three times during Sunday’s 9-4 championship victory for Williams. Earning All-NESCAC recognition for the first time in his career was Amherst senior midfielder TJ Jackson (Haverford, Pa.). Jackson is second in the conference in tallies with 40, recording a team-high 47 points while scooping up 53 ground balls over 15 games.
Williams junior Brian Morrissey moved up from last year’s Second Team to this year’s First Team at long stick midfielder. In 15 games this season, Morrissey has three goals, two of which served as game-winners for the Ephs, and two assists for five points along with 37 ground balls. Trinity junior Connor Wells (Haddam, Conn.) claimed a spot on the First Team at specialist for the second time in as many years, as Wells once again led the league in both ground balls with 129 (9.21 per game) and face-off win percentage at .649.
On defense, juniors James Guay (North Scituate, R.I.) of Middlebury and Spike Malangone (Lake Grove, N.Y.) of Wesleyan repeated as All-NESCAC First Team and were joined by Bowdoin senior Brian Orr (Simsbury, Conn.). Guay and Malangone both led their respective teams in ground balls, with Malangone ranking third in the conference with 81 and Guay fourth with 79 heading into this week’s NCAA Tournament action.
Connecticut College sophomore goalkeeper Mark Moran (Greenwich, Conn.) completes the 2008 NESCAC All-Conference First Team. Moran (10-6) was a big part of a Camel defense that led the league and ranked eighth nationally, posting a 6.19 goals against average and a .640 save perecentage, both conference bests. Moran is the first individual from Connecticut College to receive First Team honors since former Camel netminder Topher Grossman was named to the All-NESCAC First Team in 2005.
Williams head coach George McCormack was chosen by his peers as the NESCAC Coach of the Year. In his fifth season in Williamstown, McCormack guided the Ephs from a 1-4 conference start to an 8-1 record in their last nine outings, including winning the program’s first NESCAC crown last weekend. Williams will face Ithaca, McCormack’s alma mater, in the Ephs first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday.
2008 NESCAC Men's Lacrosse All-Conference Team
||Wesleyan||Sr.||Princeton Junction, N.J.|
|A||Russ Follansbee||Wesleyan||Jr.||Deerfield, Mass.|
|A||David Hawley||Williams||Fr.||New Canaan, Conn.|
|M||TJ Jackson||Amherst||Sr.||Haverford, Pa.|
|M||Mike Stone||Middlebury||Jr.||Boston, Mass.|
|M||Michael Vrla||Williams||Sr.||Paradise Valley, Ariz.|
|SP||Connor Wells||Trinity||Jr.||Haddam, Conn.|
|D||James Guay||Middlebury||Jr.||North Scituate, R.I.|
|D||Spike Malangone||Wesleyan||Jr.||Lake Grove, N.Y.|
|D||Brian Orr||Bowdoin||Sr.||Simsbury, Conn.|
|GK||Mark Moran||Connecticut College||So.||Greenwich, Conn.|
|A||DJ Hessler||Tufts||Fr.||Monkton, Md.|
|A||Tom McDonnell||Amherst||So.||Manhasset, N.Y.|
||Middlebury||Sr.||Old Greenwich, Conn.|
|M||Jesse Stevenson||Connecticut College||Jr.||Marshfield, Mass.|
|M||Cullen Winkler||Bowdoin||Jr.||Milton, Mass.|
|LSM||Jordan Yarboro||Tufts||Jr.||Herndon, Va.|
|SP||Max Key||Bowdoin||Sr.||Greenwood Village, Colo.|
|D||Chris Fitzpatrick||Amherst||Jr.||Fort Salogna, N.Y.|
|D||Brian Ford||Connecticut College||Sr.||Hinesburg, Vt.|
|D||Tucker Merrigan||Tufts||Sr.||Greenfield, Mass.|
|GK||Michael Gerbush||Williams||Jr.||Glen Head, N.Y.|
|Player of the Year|
|Rookie of the Year|
|A||David Hawley||Williams||Fr.||New Canaan, Conn.|
|Coach of the Year|