Manny Named CAA Player Of The Year
May 4, 2012
Massachusetts junior attacker Will Manny (Massapequa, N.Y.), who leads the league and ranks among the Top-5 in scoring nationally, was selected as the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s seven head coaches as announced on Thursday.
Massachusetts head coach Greg Cannella was named the league’s Coach of the Year, while Drexel senior Dana Wilber (Penn Yan, N.Y.) was the named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and Drexel freshman Ryan Belka (Crofton, Md.) picked up Rookie of the Year accolades.
Manny, a two-time Second Team All-CAA honoree in each of his last two seasons, leads the league in scoring carrying a total of 40 goals into Saturday’s CAA Final. The junior scored as many as seven goals in one game for the Minutemen (at Army, Feb. 10) and helped lead UMass to an undefeated regular season mark of 13-0. Manny has proven not to be just a scorer either, evidenced by his league-best mark of 70 points which includes a team-high 30 assists. Manny and Massachusetts’ offense is averaging better than 12 goals a game and holds the nation’s top scoring margin of 6.3 goals.
Wilber, a First Team honoree in 2010, leads a Drexel defense which gives up just over eight goals a game. The senior scored once this season, picked up 30 groundballs and has forced a team-high 18 turnovers. Earlier this season Wilber held Virginia’s Steele Stanwick, last season’s Tewaaraton Award Winner, without a point in Drexel’s narrow one-goal loss to the Cavaliers. The defensive effort marked only the fourth time in Stanwick’s illustrious career he was kept out of the scoring column, managing just two shots -- neither on goal.
Belka ranks as Drexel’s fifth-leading scorer from the midfield position this season garnering 13 goals and has passed out eight assists. The Crofton, Md., native logged one Rookie of the Week honor this season and is the second Rookie of the Year winner from Drexel since 2009. Current Dragon goalkeeper Mark Manos earned the honor and was also a Second Team All-CAA honoree that season.
Cannella led Massachusetts to its first undefeated record (13-0) since 1969 this season. The Minutemen, now 14-0 heading into Saturday’s CAA Championship final against third-seeded Drexel, are ranked atop the country in both polls marking the program’s highest national ranking ever. Under Cannella’s direction the Minutemen lead the league and rank among the Top-3 nationally in both scoring offense (12.71 goals/game) and scoring defense (6.42 goals/game).
Top-seeded UMass defeated No. 4 seed Towson in the opening round of the CAA Championships Wednesday evening, 10-3, and will host third-seeded Drexel Saturday, at Garber Field, at 7 p.m. The Dragons went on the road and topped second-seeded Penn State, 13-11, at University Park in their CAA Championships opener. Earlier this season UMass beat Drexel, 8-6, in a conference matchup played in Bethpage, N.Y. UMass’ Anthony Biscardi and Steve D’Amario led the Minutemen with two goals apiece, while Drexel’s Aaron Prosser also notched a pair of goals in the game which was tied at 4-4 well into the fourth quarter.
Manny led a league-best four Minutemen on the All-CAA First Team including senior midfielder Biscardi, senior faceoff specialist Anthony Toresco and senior defenseman Tom Celentani. Drexel, led by Wilber’s selection, and the Nittany Lions each had three on the First Team. The Dragons’ senior midfielder Kyle Bergman and senior long-stick Frank Tufano were joined by senior attacker Matthew Mackrides, senior defender Ryan McGarvey and sophomore goalkeeper Austin Kaut from Penn State. Both Delaware and Hofstra rounded out the First Team honorees with one each including Blue Hen attacker senior Grant Kaleikau and Pride junior midfielder Adrian Sorichetti.