Date: Thursday, May 16, 2002


MEDFORD After leading the upstart Tufts University men's lacrosse team in scoring for the 2002 season, freshman Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY/West Islip) has been named the region's and the conference's Rookie of the Year. New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse and NESCAC honors were announced this week.

Griffin was eighth in the NESCAC scoring race as of May 5 with his 30 goals and 14 assists for 44 points. He's sixth in goals (first among freshmen) with a total that is the most for a freshman at Tufts in a long time. At Colby on April 13, he scored three unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 Tufts win.

Rookie of the Year Bryan Griffin."We recruited Bryan out of West Islip HS on Long Island where he is the second leading scorer in a storied school history," Head Coach Mike Daly said. "We knew he would be a good, solid player here and would have been surprised by his success if you asked me a year ago.  Having him on campus and seeing the work ethic he has and the drive to be the best, now I am not surprised by his accomplishments.  He is a team player, he makes his teammates better, and he is a great young man.

"During the season, Bryan typically would be at the gym three hours before practice, watching film, working on his shooting, or playing wall ball," Daly continued. "He is a worker and he expects to win.  As a freshman, he understands that winning in this league comes with a price and he is not afraid of working to pay the price.  Our most successful players have always been the ones who work at and are self-motivated to be the best they can.  Bryan is certainly one of those young men."

Two Jumbos joined Griffin on the All-New England Honorable Mention list. Senior attack Jon Zissi (Winchester, MA/Avon Old Farms) scored 29 goals, including 19 in nine NESCAC games. He scored 92 goals in three seasons at Tufts. Senior goalkeeper Kirk Lutwyler (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) is fourth in NESCAC with an 8.74 goals against average. He was a four-year starter for the Jumbos. No players from a Tufts team that finished 5-4 in NESCAC were named to the conference's first or second teams.

Tufts finished 8-6 and was ranked sixth in the final New England Division III poll. The Jumbos beat NESCAC finalist Colby and #13 in the nation Bowdoin during the season.