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Thursday, May 27, 2010


The USILA has recognized defender Eytan Saperstein as an All-American for the second straight season

MEDFORD -- For the first time in the team's history, the Tufts University men's lacrosse team has two players among the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's (USILA) three All-America teams. Junior attacker D.J. Hessler (Monkton, MD) is on the Second Team and senior defenseman Eytan Saperstein (Hewlett, NY) is on the Third Team. Junior midfielder Matt Witko (Chappaqua, NY) is an honorable mention selection, giving the Jumbos three All-Americans for 2010.

Tufts is playing in the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship Game at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday (May 30). They have won three NCAA Tournament games so far and have a 19-1 record overall.

Hessler, the New England and NESCAC Player of the Year, is a USILA Second Team All-American for the second straight season. He is currently the leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament with 14 points on six goals and eight assists. He leads Tufts and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in overall scoring with 86 points (36 goals, 50 assists). The 50 assists are a Tufts single-season record, and Hessler is also the Jumbo program's career leader with 120 assists. He set the NESCAC Championship record with six assists against Williams in the quarterfinals on May 2. While entering the NCAA final two points shy of his own single-season points record at Tufts (89 on 42g, 27a in '09), Hessler's 221 career points (101g, 120a) are second all-time at Tufts, behind Bryan Griffin's (2002-05) 235 points (134g, 101a). With Hessler as the leading point scorer, Tufts is the top scoring team in the conference with 259 goals, an average of 12.95 per game. He scored the go-ahead goal in Tufts' NESCAC Championship win over Middlebury on May 9. Hessler is tied for team-lead with five man-up goals.

Saperstein, a tri-captain, was a USILA Honorable Mention All-American as a junior in 2009. An All-NESCAC and All-New England First Teamer in 2010, his 81 ground balls (4.05 per game) are the most among non-face-off men in the NESCAC. He had 10 ground balls in a win over Trinity on April 10 and scored his only goal of the season during a tight 14-13 overtime victory against Bowdoin on April 30. The NESCAC Player of the Week on May 10 after Tufts won conference title, Saperstein is a calm, smooth defender who is good with the ball. He was All-NESCAC First Team and All-New England Second Team in 2009.

Witko is an All-American for the first time. He was an All-NESCAC and All-New England First Team pick this spring. Currently fourth in NESCAC with 38 goals, he is tied for eighth in the conference's overall scoring race with 45 points (38g, 7a). He scored the game-winning goal with 5:58 remaining in a 10-9 win over Williams on March 27. In three games this spring he scored four goals. Witko was All-New England Second Team as a sophomore in 2009.

2010 USILA Division III All-America Teams