May 7, 2008

Santa Fe Leads Little East All-Conference Selections

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -The Little East Conference office announced its annual men's lacrosse all-conference and end of the season awards this afternoon after a vote by the conference's seven head coaches. Keene State College junior attack Tony Santa Fe (Derry, N.H.)was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while teammate senior goalie Matt Johnson (Derry, N.H.)was selected the Defensive Player of the Year. Eastern Connecticut freshman attack Brendan Hoppey (Shoreham, N.Y.)earned Rookie of the Year, while Western Connecticut State University boss Jason Ouelletwas tabbed Coach of the Year.

Santa Fe became the fifth consecutive Keene State College student-athlete to earn at least a share of the conference's top offensive award. The Derry, N.H. product ranks among the national leaders in points per game (10th, 4.67), assists per game (21st, 2.00), and goals per game (27th, 2.67). Santa Fe scored at least a point in 11 of his 12 contests this season, including registering at least four points in 11 games. He netted a season-high eight points against Wheaton (Mass.) on April 5, netting two markers and handing out a season-best six helpers.

Johnson became the first student-athlete in the conference's history to win the top defensive award three times in his career. He backstopped the Owls to the stingiest penalty-killing unit in the conference, fending off 89.1 percent of man-down opportunities. The native of Derry, N.H. reached double digits in saves in eight of his 12 games, including a season-high 20 at Western Connecticut on April 12. The 2007 All-American sported a 7.58 goals against average and a .629 save percentage during his swan song season.

Hoppey became the fourth Eastern Connecticut student-athlete to capture the top rookie award and first since junior goalie Kyle Savage was honored in 2006. The Shoreham, N.Y. product made an immediate impact in the Warriors starting line-up, leading the team in assists (22). A starter in 15 of 16 contests, Hoppey handed out at least two helpers in six games, including a season-high four at the Colonials on April 2. He finished his rookie season as Eastern Connecticut's fourth leading scorer with 36 points and fifth in markers (14). Hoppey netted his first collegiate goal at Lasell College on March 8.

Ouellet led Western Connecticut State University to the program's first Little East Conference Championship Tournament this past weekend, defeating Plymouth State University in the finals to advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Colonials are red hot entering the national tournament riding a five-game win streak to raise their overall record to 13-6. In addition to the program's first conference tournament championship, Ouellet led his charges to the most single-season victories in Western Connecticut's history. A tremendous motivator, he mentored four all-conference selections this season, including three on the first team.

Eastern Connecticut State University, Keene State College, and Western Connecticut each placed four student-athletes on the 12-person Little East All-Conference first-team. The Warriors added four second team selections to pace the all-conference balloting, while the Owls and Colonials earned three and one second team vote, respectively. Plymouth State University and UMass Dartmouth rounded out the all-conference second team with two selections.

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference has since grown to its present eight-school membership, sponsoring championship play in 19 intercollegiate athletics: baseball; men's and women's basketball; men's and women's cross country; field hockey; men's and women's lacrosse; men's and women's soccer; softball; women's swimming; men's and women's tennis; men's and women's indoor track; men's and women's outdoor track and women's volleyball.

 

2008 Little East Men's Lacrosse Awards

First Team      
Name Position Class Institution
Adam Lanehart Attack Sophomore Western Connecticut
Tony Santa Fe Attack Junior Keene State College
Matthew Savage Attack Junior Eastern Connecticut
Pete Hamilton Midfield Senior Eastern Connecticut
Ryan Hazelton Midfield Senior Keene State College
Dennis Skarda Midfield Senior Western Connecticut
Easton Kezer LS Mid Junior Keene State College
Steve Lane Defense Junior Eastern Connecticut
Gary Schultz Defense Senior Western Connecticut
Mike Silvestrini Defense Senior Eastern Connecticut
Matt Johnson Goalie Senior Keene State College
       
Second Team      
A.J. Barbieri Attack Sophomore Western Connecticut
Brian Giroux Attack Sophomore Plymouth State University
Brendan Hoppey Attack Freshman Eastern Connecticut
Adam Krinsky Attack Senior Plymouth State University
Josh Arsenault Midfield Freshman UMass Dartmouth
Michael Fontaine Midfield Senior Keene State College
D.J. Simmons Midfield Junior Eastern Connecticut
Jon Snedeker LS Mid Senior Eastern Connecticut
Tarek Donnelly Defense Junior UMass Dartmouth
Kevin McCarthy Defense Junior Keene State College
Mike Wood Defense Senior Keene State College
Kyle Savage Goalie Junior Eastern Connecticut