Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/9/17
Michael Sowers (Upper Dublin) continues to make an immediate impact on Princeton men’s lacrosse, and he continues to get recognized for it.
Sowers, who had two goals and two assists in Princeton’s 18-7 win over then-No. 3 Johns Hopkins, was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second straight week.
Through four games, Sowers leads Princeton in assists (11) and points (20) and is second on the team with nine goals. He has more points after four games than any freshman in program history, and in fact should he not get a point for the next two games would still have more points after six games than any Princeton freshman ever.
Zach Currier had a remarkable game against Hopkins, with three assists, 10 ground balls and 15 face-off wins in 19 attempts. Currier was 7 for 7 on face-offs during Princeton’s 10-0 run between the second and third quarters to take complete control of the game.
No other Princeton player has reached double figures in ground balls for the year. Currier has 31, along with eight goals and eight assists.
Lehigh’s Gaffney (Lenape) wins another honor
After winning 16-of-20 faceoffs at Colgate, freshman Conor Gaffney (Lenape-NJ) has earned his fourth and fifth Patriot League weekly awards of the season, garnering both Faceoff Specialist and Rookie of the Week, as announced on Tuesday. Gaffney previously won both awards following a season-opening win over NJIT then garnered Rookie of the Week following a win at Jacksonville.
Gaffney won all nine faceoffs in the second half Sunday to finish 16-of-20 with 12 groundballs. He helped the Mountain Hawks control possession as Lehigh allowed just five goals against Colgate, its fewest allowed vs. Colgate since Apr. 5, 2008 and fewest in a win vs. Colgate since a 5-4 win in 1969. Lehigh allowed just 26 shots and 14 shots on goal for the game.
Gaffney also had 12 groundballs to up his season total to 54, which currently leads the nation. Gaffney has double-digit groundballs in three of the five games so far this season. Gaffney has won 75-of-111 faceoffs on the year; his 67.6 percentage is fifth in the nation.
Junior Danny Norris was also recognized among the honorable mentions following career highs in groundballs (5) and caused turnovers (3) in Saturday’s win.
Villanova’s Curran gets BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week
Villanova graduate student Jack Curran has been named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
Last week the Wildcats went 1-1 and Curran had a team high nine points over the two games. During the Wildcats comeback win over the Drexel Dragons, he had two goals and three assists. Saturday, he had a team high four goals against Delaware.
Following Saturday’s game, Curran moved into seventh all-time in career points with 134. During his time wearing the blue and white has scored 76 goals and dished out 58 assists. His 58 assists tie him eighth all time.
Penn State gains two honors
The Big Ten announced its weekly award winners on Tuesday afternoon, with Penn State men’s lacrosse sophomore midfielder Nick Spillane earning the league’s Offensive Player of the Week award, while freshman faceoff man Gerard Arceri logged his second career nod for Specialist of the Week.
Penn State has had at least one Big Ten weekly award winner in each of the five weeks during the 2017 season.
Spillane earned his first Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor following a career day, scoring five goals to lead Penn State past then-No. 8 Penn. He added a pair of groundballs in the victory as well.
Spillane currently ranks third on Penn State’s team and fourth in the Big Ten in goals scored with 13 in 2017. He added seven assists for 20 points, good for fourth on the team. Spillane has been on a hot streak as of late, scoring seven goals in his last two games, one more than his first four games of the season combined.
DelVal’s Rafferty (Avon Grove) wins honor
For the first time this season and the fourth time in his brief collegiate career, Delaware Valley University sophomore PJ Rafferty (Avon Grove) has been selected as the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom Men’s Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week. This honor is for the period ending March 5.
Rafferty, the 2016 MAC Freedom Rookie of the year and first-team honoree, set two single-game records and finished the week with five goals and six assists for 11 points as the Aggies went 1-1. He opened the week with new school marks for assists (five) and points (eight) in a 9-7 week over Shenandoah University. Rafferty then followed with two goals and one helper in a 9-8 setback against Arcadia University.