Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/31/21 – From Press Release
Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse face-off specialist Zach Cole (Lenape-NJ) has been tabbed to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Warrior and New Balance Preseason All-American Third Team.
The honor comes well-deserved for the SJU standout, as Cole was on track to have a season for the history books last spring before the season was canceled due to COVID-19.
Face-off specialist TD Irelan of Yale was named to the First Team while face-off specialist Kyle Gallagher of Notre Dame (previously Penn) was named to the Second Team; Cole was injured for the season finale against Penn last spring and did not have the opportunity to face Gallagher, who went 21-of-27 (77.8%) against SJU.
Through six games in 2020, Cole ranked second nationally in face-off winning percentage (75.6%, 99-of-131), third nationally in ground balls per game (12.00), and fourth nationally in total ground balls (72). He added three goals – including the game-winner against Drexel – and one assist for four points on the year.
Cole opened the season in dominant fashion, winning a career-high 24 possessions in a career-high 27 opportunities (career-high 88.0%) to go with a career-high 22 ground balls. He was a perfect 7-of-7 and 5-of-5 in the second and fourth quarters, respectively, and won 10 in a row spanning the entire second quarter through the opening 1:58 of the third before adding a fourth-quarter goal in the win.
He followed up going 12-of-20 (60.0%) with a game-high seven ground balls at then-#1 Penn State before recording a 2-0 home week that had his name buzzing in the lacrosse world; in combined (statement) wins over then-#20 Delaware and Providence, Cole went 33-of-44 (75%) with 27 ground balls, going 14-of-22 (63.6%) with 11 ground balls and 1 assist against the Blue Hens and going 19-of-22 (86.4%) with 16 ground balls against Providence.
Cole hit the road and went 14-of-16 (87.5%) with a game-high 10 ground balls and a goal that went viral on Twitter at Monmouth.
The SJU standout closed his 2020 season by going 16-of-23 (70.0%) against Drexel, including 8-of-10 in the second half, to go with a team-high six ground balls. With 5:00 to play and with his Hawks leading by just one score, Cole did what Cole does as he won the ensuing face-off possession and scored the eventual game-winning goal just seven seconds later to give the Crimson and Gray a two-goal cushion, 10-8, with 4:53 remaining in regulation en route to the eventual 10-9 win, the program’s first ever in the Philly 4 Lacrosse Classic.
A complete list of Cole’s 2020 honors are listed below.
2020 Inside Lacrosse Media All-American Second Team Face-Off Specialist
2020 Tewaaraton Award Watch List
2020 USILA Team of the Week (2/12/20)
Northeast Conference Honors
Two-time NEC Player of the Week ((Co-) 2/10/20, 2/24/20)
Saint Joseph’s Honors
Ranks seventh all-time in career ground balls at SJU (174, through 19 games)