CAA MEN’S LACROSSE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jay Card, Hofstra

So., A, Caledon, Ontario/The Hill Academy

Card leads the league with a goals per game average of 2.36 in 14 contests.  The Caledon, Ontario, native was a Second Team All-League player and also garnered the league’s top rookie honor in 2008.  In 2009, Card is considered one of the nation’s most clutch players having scored a league-best seven game-winning goals.

 

CAA MEN’S LACROSSE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brian Karalunas, Villanova

So., LSM, Dewitt, N.Y./Jamesville-Dewitt

Karalunas, the first Villanova player to earn a major conference honor since 2004, is part of a Wildcat defense which ranks among the nation’s Top-5 in scoring allowing just 6.85 goals a game.  The Dewitt, N.Y., native, who leads Villanova in groundballs (63) and caused turnovers (21), leads a Wildcat defense which is tops in the conference in goals-against average (6.85) and penalty-killing percentage (.808, 10-of-52).

 

CAA MEN’S LACROSSE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Mark Manos, Drexel

Fr., GK, West Chester, Pa./Salesianum (Del.)

Manos had an impressive rookie campaign replacing 2008 CAA Player of the Year Bruce Bickford in goal for the Dragons.  Manos, a West Chester, Pa., native, ranks third in the league with a goals-against average of 8.36 and has a league-best save percentage of .595.  At one point during the 2009 season, Manos made 10-or-more saves in seven-straight contests.

 

CONFERENCE NOTES

CAA BOASTS TWO IN THE 2009 NCAA MEN’S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIPS:  For the first time since 2007, and the fourth time since 2003, the Colonial Athletic Association has multiple teams playing in the 2009 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships.  No. 19 Villanova, which became the first-ever four-seed to win the CAA Championship, will face No. 5 and top-seeded Virginia at 2:30 p.m., May 10, in Charlottesville, Va.  No. 10 Hofstra, which finished the conference regular season with an umblemished mark of 6-0, will face No. 7 and fifth-seeded Cornell at 5 p.m., May 9 in Ithaca, N.Y.  Both first-round contests are slated to air live on ESPNU.  Should Villanova advance it will face the winner of the No. 11 Brown at No. 8 Johns Hopkins contest, May 17, at noon in Annapolis, Md.  Should Hofstra advance it will face the winner of the No. 15 Massachusetts at No. 4 Princeton contest, May 16, at noon in Hempstead, N.Y.

HOFSTRA’S CARD A TEWAARATON TROPHY FINALIST:  Hofstra sophomore attackman Jay Card was named one of 21 nominees for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy as college lacrosse’s Player of the Year, the Tewaaraton Foundation announced recently.  Card, a native of Caledon, Ontario, Canada, leads the 10th-ranked Pride in scoring with a career-high 33 goals and nine assists for 42 points. Card, who has seven game-winning goals this season, ranks first in the CAA in goals (2.36) and points (3.00) per game. The Ninth Annual Tewaaraton Trophy Award Ceremony will be held at The University Club of Washington D.C., Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m.

TEAM NOTES

DELAWARE (5-10, 2-4 CAA):  Delaware’s season came to a tough end April 25 at Vidas Field as the Blue Hens dropped a 10-8 decision to Drexel with a CAA Championships berth at stake.  The Dragons scored three goals in a span of 1:17 midway through the fourth quarter to take command and held off Delaware down the stretch to advance to the CAA semifinal round.  The Blue Hens lost their second-straight game and failed to make the CAA Championships for the first time since the 2003 season -- snapping a school-record five-straight league Championship appearances.  Each of Delaware’s four league losses this season came by two goals or less and of its 10 setbacks, seven came by a margin of three goals or less.  Curtis Dickson, who ended the season as the team’s leading scorer with 33 goals and 12 assists for 45 points, is one of only 13 players in school history to reach the 100-goal plateau in his career.  The Blue Hens placed three on the All-CAA First Team including Dickson, midfielder Martin Cahill and defenseman Pat Dowling.  Midfielder Kevin Kaminski and faceoff specialist Tommy Lee earned Second Team All-league honors.

DREXEL (7-8, 3-3 CAA): Drexel’s season came to an end with a 10-2 loss to Towson in the 2009 CAA Men’s Lacrosse semifinals, May 29.  The Dragons, who had lost to Towson earlier in the season by a score of 7-4, were outshot 14-3 in the semifinal game’s first quarter and did not score until midway through the fourth quarter.  Drexel placed two on the All-Conference First Team including attackman Colin Ambler and defenseman Matt McCormick.  The Dragons’ rookie goalkeeper, Mark Manos, was the league’s Rookie of the Year and earned Second Team all-league honors.

No. 10 HOFSTRA (11-3, 6-0 CAA): Hofstra ended its run at a second-straight CAA Men’s Lacrosse title when it fell 9-7 to visiting Villanova in the Championships semifinal round, leaving it to wait for a possible at-large bid into the 2009 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships.  The Pride earned its second-straight berth in the NCAA Championships with that at-large bid and will face fifth-seeded Cornell, May 9, at 5 p.m. in Ithaca, N.Y.  Hofstra will be meeting Cornell for the seventh time in school history but the first time since the 2004 season opener when then-12th-ranked Cornell edged the Pride, 14-12, at Shuart Stadium.  Cornell leads the all-time series against Hofstra, 5-1. The Big Red also posted victories over Hofstra in 1972 (5-3), 1990 (15-14), 1991 (9-4) and 1992 (9-7).  Hofstra’s win in the six encounters came on March 8, 2003, when the Pride upended the then-No. 14 Cornell, 13-5, in Hempstead, N.Y.  Cornell is making its 22nd NCAA Championships appearance and has won three National Championships in 1971, 1976 and 1977.  While the Pride and the Big Red have not met in NCAA Championships play, Hofstra did play at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field in the 1996 NCAA Championships first round, losing to Harvard, 15-12.  Attackman Jay Card was the 2009 CAA Player of the Year, while Pride head coach Seth Tierney earned league Co-Coach of the Year honors.  Michael Colleluori is writing a weekly blog for Inside Lacrosse while Dan Stein does the same for NCAA.com.

ROBERT MORRIS (9-7, 2-4 CAA): 
The Colonials finished the 2009 season with their best conference and overall record in program history.  Robert Morris topped Sacred Heart 13-12 in its final game of the season, April 25.  The Colonials earned their first conference wins this season against Drexel and Sacred Heart, winning both by just one goal.  The Colonials finished the season with a 9-7 overall record, marking the first-ever winning record for the Robert Morris program.  In RMU’s win over Sacred Heart, goalkeeper Sal Barcia tallied 23 saves which ties an RMU single-game record.  Dan Kerch earned Second Team All-Conference honors at midfield, following the season .

SACRED HEART (4-10, 1-5 CAA): The Pioneers dropped their 2009 season finale, falling to Robert Morris, 13-12, April 25, in Moon Township, Pa. Timmy Katz, Joe Cardi, Evan Morgan and Jon Flood all scored two goals for Sacred Heart in the losing effort. Katz finished the season with a team-leading 21 goals and 28 points, ranking sixth in the league with a goals-per-game mark of 1.50.  Dan Casciano also had 19 goals and 26 points on the year.  Sacred Heart ended the season with an overall mark of 4-10, to go with its league record of 1-5.  Defenseman Shawn McDonough logged Second Team All-Conference honors following the 2009 season.

TOWSON (7-10, 4-2 CAA):  The Tigers earned a 10-2 win in the 2009 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships semifinals over Drexel, but stumbled in the Championship final against Villanova, falling 10-9.  The Tigers got an impressive showing in goal from Rob Wheeler during the semifinals.  The junior made a game-high 17 saves and did not allow a Drexel goal until midway through the fourth quarter.  His 17 stops marked the highest single-game save total at Towson since the 2004 season.  The Tigers fell behind by as many as five goals twice in the championship game against Villanova, but pulled within one with less than a minute to play.  Villanova’s defense held in the waning minute, handing Towson its 10th loss of the year to end its season.  Towson placed two on the All-CAA First Team including midfielder Will Harrington and faceoff specialist Mitchell Rosensweig.  The Tigers’ attackman Bill McCutcheon and defenseman Marc Ingerman garnered Second Team All-Conference honors.

No. 19 VILLANOVA (11-5, 3-3 CAA): Villanova became the first-ever four-seed to the win the CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship when it knocked off Towson, 10-9, at Johnny Unitas Stadium in the league’s Championship final May 2.  The Wildcats, who earned their first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships, upset top-seeded Hofstra, 9-7, in Hempstead, N.Y., April 29, to earn its berth in the league’s Championship final.  Villanova will now face top-seeded Virginia in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships, May 10, at 2:30 p.m., in Charlottesville, Va.  The Cavaliers lead the all-time series with Villanova, 1-0, after a 21-6 win in 1993.  Villanova’s long stick midfielder Brian Karalunas was named the league’s 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, while Wildcat head coach Mike Corrado earned CAA Co-Coach of the Year honors.  Wildcat goalkeeper Andrew DiLoreto picked up postseason tournament honors by logging the Most Outstanding Player award following the 2009 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships.