JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After helping the Jacksonville University men's lacrosse team emerge as one of the top ground ball teams in the nation, freshman defender Dixon Smith has been selected as the Napa Newcomer of the Month for February.
The Dallas, Texas native appeared in all five contests that the team played in their first month of competition, grabbing 10 ground balls and causing nine turnovers. His aggressive play steadied the team's efforts in home wins over Navy and Detroit Mercy, with both opponents being held to under 10 goals.
Smith's efforts were noticed by the Southern Conference, who presented him with a weekly award on February 27. Following the win over Detroit Mercy and a near-upset of No. 4 Ohio State at home, Smith was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Week, as JU swept the awards for the final week of the month. The rookie held the Buckeyes' All-American attackman Tre Leclaire scoreless through 59 minutes, picked up four ground balls, and caused four turnovers against OSU, causing another turnover in the win over the Titans.
Currently holding a 2-4 record, Jacksonville ranks fifth in the country in face-off winning percentage (.669) and ground balls per-game (34.17). Smith leads the SoCon and sits seventh nationally, causing 2.33 turnovers per-game.