Handing out individual awards can be a delicate affair as there is usually some gray area for interpretation and analysis. But it would seem that few would be able to question the individual honors announced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association on Friday morning.
For the second time in his career, Rob Pannell of Cornell was named the winner of the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award, which is given to the Outstanding Player of the Year. The fifth-year senior attackman has 95 points -- which is 10 shy of the school’s single-season record -- and 337 career points -- which is six short of former Duke attackman Matt Danowski’s NCAA mark.
Sophomore Lyle Thompson of Albany, who was the recipient of the Lt. Col. J.L. (Jack) Turnbull Award as the Outstanding Attackman, may have been Pannell’s biggest challenger for the Player of the Year honor. But Pannell and the Big Red will meet seventh-seeded Duke in Saturday’s NCAA tournament semifinal, while Thompson and the Great Danes were bounced in the first round by fourth-seeded Denver.
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Senior Tucker Durkin of Johns Hopkins won the William C. Schmeisser Award as the Outstanding Defensive Player for the second straight year, and junior Austin Kaut of Penn State was named the winner of the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award for Outstanding Goalie.
The only quibble may have been for the Lt. J.G. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award for Outstanding Midfielder, which went to junior Tom Schreiber of Princeton. Schreiber has 60 points on 28 goals and 32 assists, compared to senior JoJo Marasco’s 58 points on 20 goals and 38 assists, but Marasco and top-seeded Syracuse are still in the tournament, scheduled to face Denver this Saturday.