Tuesday, May 18, 2004

GRIFFIN IS NEW ENGLAND PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN LACROSSE AGAIN

MEDFORD Five days after he was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) Player of the Year for second straight season, Tufts University men's lacrosse junior Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY/West Islip) has earned his second straight New England Player of the Year honor today.

Griffin was one of four Jumbos recognized when the All-New England First, Second and Honorable Mention teams were announced. Griffin and junior midfielder Devin Clarke (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) were First Team selections. Sophomore midfielder Mike O'Brien (Concord, MA/Middlesex School) and senior defender Jesse Miller (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth) were named to the Honorable Mention team.

In 16 games this spring, Griffin scored 41 goals with 35 assists for 76 points. His 4.75 points per game average was ranked 14th nationally through May 9. He scored five goals in an early-season win against Western New England. In nine NESCAC games, Griffin scored 22 goals with 16 assists for 38 points. The 76 points overall is a new Tufts record and leaves him with 184 in his career (112g, 72a), second all-time entering his senior season.

Clarke has earned all-star status this spring after scoring 28 goals with 13 assists for 41 points in 16 games. Also a NESCAC First Team pick, his 1.75 goals per game was tied for sixth in NESCAC as of May 17. Clarke scored with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift Tufts to a dramatic 10-9 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University on March 31.

O'Brien produced an outstanding sophomore season, with 24 goals (17 in NESCAC play) and nine assists for 33 points. He was a NESCAC Second Team pick who has scored 37 goals in 33 career games. O'Brien had four goals against Connecticut College in the regular-season finale. The Jumbos were the second-highest scoring team in the conference with 11.83 goals per game, second behind a Middlebury College team that is still playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Miller is the second different defensive player named an all-star this season. His All-New England mention follows NESCAC Second Team pick Dave Richman (Baltimore, MD/Friends of Baltimore). The Tufts defense did superb work in front of junior goalkeeper Luke Chicco (Merrick, NY/Merrick), who was third among the league's goalies with a 61.6 save percentage.

The Jumbos finished 13-3 under Head Coach Mike Daly, earning a #10 national ranking before their season ended suddenly in a 10-9 loss to Wesleyan in the semi-finals of the NESCAC Tournament.

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