Saturday, February 26, 2005
THREE PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS ON TUFTS LACROSSE ROSTER
MEDFORD – When Face-Off Yearbook and Inside Lacrosse online released their preseason All-America selections for Men's Division III lacrosse, the first player listed at is Tufts senior Bryan Griffin (West Islip, NY/West Islip) at First Team Attack. He is the two-time defending Player of the Year in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and in New England.
Another Tufts senior stalwart, Devin Clarke (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood), is selected to the Second Team midfield. He was an Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-NESCAC last spring.
The third Tufts preseason All-American is less obvious on the list. He is junior Ave Cook (Williamstown, MA/Holderness), a sturdy defender who transferred to Tufts for this semester from Bates College. Also an Honorable Mention All-American and First Team All-NESCAC a year ago, he is listed on the preseason Third Team as a Bates player.
Cook is certainly a welcomes addition to Head Coach Mike Daly's team as the Jumbos look to contend for a conference championship this spring. Behind the leadership of these players, along with a strong supporting cast, Tufts is ranked ninth in the Inside Lacrosse preseason poll. The Jumbos finished at #10 in the nation last year after a 13-3 season.
Griffin is the best player in New England coming back for his senior season seven points shy of the Tufts scoring record. With 184 points (112 goals), he is approaching Dan Kollar's 191 total from 1998 to 2001. All eyes, and all defenses, will be on Griffin as he looks to at least duplicate last year's remarkable 76-point season (41 goals, 35 assists).
Clarke emerged as one of NESCAC's best players last spring when he scored 28 goals with 13 assists for 41 points. He was the top vote-getter among midfielders for the All-NESCAC team last spring.
Cook's transfer came at a good time for a Tufts team that lost three senior defenders from last year's squad. His physical presence around the goal will help a group of new starters on defense. Tufts was sixth in the league last season allowing 8.15 goals per game.
The Jumbos open their season at home on March 12 against neighboring rival MIT.
Face-Off Yearbook/Inside Lacrosse Division III All-America Preseason Teams