THURSDAY, MAY 05, 2011
Mann, Ziegler and Stockton highlight men’s lacrosse MAAC award winners
Sophomore midfielder Cameron Mann and junior defender Jake Ziegler earned all first-team honors and senior middie Bobby Stockton was named to the all-conference second-team, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced at its annual awards banquet on Thursday night in Buffalo, N.Y.

Ziegler, Barry Hillyer, Jack Morrison and Brendan Niklason were also named to the MAAC’s All-Academic team. The awards came one day before the fourth-seeded Dolphins (5-9, 3-3 MAAC) take on top-seeded Siena (11-4, 5-1) in the MAAC Tournament semifinal round on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Canisius College.

“Winning as a team is our ultimate goal, but it’s great to see our players rewarded for their success on the field and in the classroom,” JU coach Matt Kerwick said. “To have two players make the first team in our program’s first year in the league is good sign that the future is bright for our lacrosse program.”

Mann is in the midst of a career-best season, posting 17 goals and 19 assists for a point total of 36 that was highlighted by a four-goal, three-assist effort against Siena on April 9. With at least one more game left to play, Mann already has exceeded his 35-point freshman season.

Ziegler was one of three defensemen to be named to the first team, joining Canisius’ Dan Coates and Siena’s Duncan Seale, who was also named the league’s “Defensive Player of the Year.” Ziegler has been a leader on and off the field. The Webster, N.Y. native is one of just three JU players to start every game this season, causing 16 turnovers and collecting 42 ground balls.

Ziegler has also been a go-to player off the field, being named as co-captain before the season and helping the Dolphins cope with off-field adversity when fellow co-captain and defender Corey Lovrich was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.

Stockton was named to the all-MAAC second-team after a breakout season as a senior. Stockton is tied with TJ Kenary for the team lead in goals with 19. Despite starting just five of JU’s 14 games, Stockton has been an integral part of the offense, compiling 21 points on a Dolphins-best 84 shots.

Four JU players also took home academic awards, earning the honors by virtue of posting a grade point average of 3.20 or higher on a 4.0 scale while completing at least two semesters at their current institution.

Hillyer, a sophomore, recorded a 3.83 GPA as an economics major. Fellow sophomore Morrison also made the team as a marketing major and Ziegler parlayed a communications major into a spot on the squad. Niklason led the academic group thanks to a pristine 4.0 GPA as he pursues his biology degree.

The Dolphins will now get to set to take on a Saints team that features a plethora of award winners. Siena’s Bryan Neufeld was named “Offensive Player of the Year,” Seale won “Defensive Player of the Year” and goalie Tom Morr was the first-team selection at his position.

- By Brian Bohl