Thursday, May 12, 2005

Five Jumbos named to All-Conference First and Second Teams

MEDFORD For the third straight year, a member of the Tufts University Men's Lacrosse team has earned recognition as the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) Player of the Year. This year it is senior midfielder Devin Clarke (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood), who shares the honors with Amherst College sophomore Derek Cherney.

Clarke was at his best in the big games for Coach Mike Daly's Jumbos. He scored the overtime goal that gave Tufts a 12-11 victory at Connecticut College on April 30, one of his four goals in the game. He twice scored five goals in a game, including at Wesleyan on April 27. The 6'1", 195-pound middie led Tufts with 28 goals this spring, including 19 in NESCAC games. The team's leader in shots with 115, he tallied four man-up and two game-winning goals. Clarke also earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team for the second straight season. His success this season came while being shadowed by each opponent's long stick.

Senior Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY/West Islip), the conference's Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons, missed three games and played sparingly in another due to a knee injury this year. He was as productive as ever when he was on the field, leading NESCAC with 4.64 points per game. He scored 22 goals with 29 assists for 51 points, earning an All-NESCAC First Team selection. He had four goals and five assists in a victory over Bates. Griffin will graduate later this month as the team's all-time scoring leader with 134 goals and 101 assists for 235 points.

Jumbos on the All-NESCAC Second Team were junior long-stick middie Brett Holm (Longmeadow, MA/Longmeadow), junior face-off specialist Rory Doucette (Merrick, NY/Calhoun) and junior defenseman Ave Cook (Williamstown, MA/Holderness).

Holm combines tenacity on defense with unmatched offensive productivity for a long-stick (seven goals, two assists). He scored three goals in a Jumbo victory over Colby. Doucette was one of the conference's top face-off men, winning 60.2 percent (154/256). Cook, despite missing four games and being slowed in others by a hamstring injury, was recognized as one of NESCAC's top defenders. An example of his play was preventing Co-Player of the Year and NESCAC goals leader Derek Cherney from scoring in a 9-2 Jumbo victory over Amherst.

Tufts, which advanced to #3 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll with a 5-0 start, finished 9-5 overall. Coach Mike Daly's team leads the conference with a 7.29 goals against average.