June 2, 2009
Fairfield, CT - The Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse team announced their team awards for the 2009 season. In addition, head coach Tom Mariano announced that seniors Evan Morgan (Ahsburn, VA), Peter Ridge (Ellicot City, MD) and Nick Brink (Phoenix, AZ) will serve as captains for the 2009-10 season.
This season's Pioneer Offensive Most Valuable Player award was given to senior Dan Casciano (Syracuse, NY) and junior Timmy Katz (Freeport, NY). Casciano was one of the Pioneers top attackers the last two years. This year he started every game, piling up a 26 points, second best on the team. He scored 19 goals and added seven assists. He also had 12 ground balls and five caused turnovers. Katz led the Pioneers in scoring for the second straight year. He finished the season with a team leading 28 points and 21 goals along with 7 assists. Katz earned CAA Player of the Week honors for the week of March 9 after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against Hartford to give the Pioneers their first win of the season.
Senior Shawn McDonough (Carmel, NY) was awarded the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player award. McDonough was the Pioneers top defender throughout his career and helped anchor the unit this year. He finished the regular season with 28 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers, earning second All-CAA honors. McDonough was also named a NEILA Senior Scholar-Athlete and participated in the Turfer Athletic NEILA East-West NEILA Senior All-Star Game last weekend at Tufts University.
This season's Rookie of the Year award went to freshman Dennis Gannon (Huntington, NY). Gannon earned Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team honors after an impressive first year as a Pioneer. In his rookie campaign the attacker netted 10 goals in 14 games. He also had 10 groundballs and 7 caused turnovers. Gannon was a consistent player, spreading his 10 goals out over nine different games.
Junior Mike Murtha (Bay Shore, NY) was the recipient of this year's "Heart Award". The "Heart Award" is given each season to the Pioneer who puts forth maximum effort every day both on and off the field. Senior Zach Smith (Chittenden, VT) was the winner of this season's "Ground Ball" Award. The primary face-off man for the Pioneers the last three seasons, Smith won 54 percent (399-736) of his draws for his career. He led the Pioneers with 75 groundballs for the season, finishing with 208 for his career. Smith was a preseason All-New England pick this spring.
Senior Bobby Rushton (West Islip, NY) was the recipient of the Coaches' Award. Rushton served as a team captain for two years. Rushton was third on the team with 12 goals on the year. He also had three assists to his credit for 15 pts on the season. He had five multi-goal games on the year. This past weekend he participated in the NEILA East-West Senior All-Star Game.
Morgan has been a mainstay on the attack for the Pioneers for three straight seasons. He played in every game this year, starting all but one. He finished the season with 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 total points, good for third most on the team. His consistent play has seen him tally 24, 23, and 24 points in his three seasons. Ridge and Brink have both been key cogs in SHU's defensive midfield and backfield. Both players appeared in every game this season.