CJ Nichols found a college lacrosse home at Liberty University, where he plays for the Flames’ men’s club team that ranks among the best in the nation.
This week, the former Westminster High School standout was recognized by his peers. Nichols earned Offensive Player of the Year honors from the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference, a club league associated with the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
Nichols, a senior midfielder, has 41 goals and 26 assists this spring, and led Liberty to a 15-0 record before the Flames fell in the SELC Division 1 semifinals April 27 against South Carolina.
Liberty is ranked third in the MCLA’s most recent poll, and the Flames will be part of the MCLA D1 National Championships next week in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nichols had a game-winning goal in Liberty’s regular-season victory over South Carolina on March 30, and netted eighth goals in a win over Davenport a few weeks prior. He has 19 ground balls as well this spring.
Nichols earned Times first-team all-county status in 2013, his senior year, and helped Westminster go 19-0 and win a Class 4A-3A state title.
He started at Florida Tech as a freshman in 2014, earning Most Outstanding Player honors that year, then transferred to UMBC but didn’t see any action. Nichols has endured two ACL injuries and surgeries along the way.
Liberty is headed to the MCLA playoffs, and the sixth-seeded Flames take on Michigan State on Monday, May 6. Liberty received an at-large bid to the Division 1 tournament.
This Greyhound hits the books
Loyola senior defender Kristen Yanchoris (Century) earned Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second time in as many seasons.
Yanchoris is a four-time all-Patriot League pick (she’s a three-time first-teamer), and last season received Defensive Player of the Year honors from the league. She had 20 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers for the Greyhounds, who took a 13-4 record into the Patriot League tournament this week.
Loyola faces Navy in the championship game Saturday, May 4, at noon.
High marks for Panthers’ Little
Senior attacker Allie Little (Manchester Valley) helped High Point’s women’s lacrosse team capture its third straight Big South Conference tournament title last weekend. The former all-county standout is tied for second on the team with 50 points, and has 26 goals and 24 assists.
She has 16 ground balls and three caused turnovers for the Panthers (15-4), and scored two goals in the Big South final against Winthrop.
Little earned second-team Big South honors, and recently received Offensive Player of the Week honors after collecting three goals and four assists in a win over Liberty on April 17.
She has 50 career goals and 85 points in 52 games (50 starts) at High Point, which is headed to the NCAA tournament next week.
Fresh look for UNC’s Warehime
North Carolina freshman attacker Tayler Warehime (Manchester Valley) landed on Inside Lacrosse’s Rookie of the Year watch list, and that was before she helped the Tar Heels win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament for a fourth straight season.
Warehime had three goals in the ACC final against Boston College, which was 19-0 before the Heels won 15-13 on April 28. Warehime, the reigning Times Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year, has 33 goals and four assists in 18 games (12 starts) this spring. She’s fourth on the team with 37 points.
Pair of former Carroll stars get Big props
Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team landed eight players on the All-Big Ten Conference first team, and two hail from Carrol — Terps defenders Lizzie Colson (Manchester Valley) and Shelby Mercer (Century).
Colson, a junior, leads Maryland (17-0) with 28 ground balls and is second in caused turnovers (12) and draw controls (87). Mercer, meanwhile, led the Terps with seven caused turnovers in the six-game conference slate and was second with nine groundballs. The senior has at least two ground balls in three of the Big Ten games, and two caused turnovers in two different games.
Eye of the Tiger for Chenoweth
Towson junior defender Sami Chenoweth (Manchester Valley) earned all-Colonial Athletic Association first team for the first time in her women’s lacrosse career.
Chenoweth led the nation and the CAA in caused turnovers through the end of the regular season. The junior averaged 3.94 per game and recorded a career-best eight caused turnovers at Penn State in the season opener. She was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week for April 29 and is sixth in the conference in ground balls per game (2.31). Chenoweth broke the CAA and Towson single season record for caused turnovers in the regular-season matchup at Hofstra. She also won 10 draws this year.
Towson faced Hofstra in the CAA semifinals Friday night.
Hulsman moving on up
Sophomore goalie John Hulsman (Westminster) came to Marquette as a transfer from Division II Bellarmine, where he earned first-team all-conference honors and crafted a 58.39 save percentage in his freshman campaign. He posted 113 saves in 14 games (11 starts) and helped the Golden Eagles win six games this spring.
Hulsman finished with 15 saves, a season high, in a 12-8 win over St. John’s on April 6.
Giving the Hornets their sting
Lynchburg College’s softball team fell short of winning an Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament championship when the Hornets lost to top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan in an elimination game April 28 in Salem, Va. But the Hornets (32-12) got help this spring from a pair of former Carroll County stars.
Junior pitcher Alex Cisar (South Carroll) is 15-4 with one save and a 1.86 ERA — she tossed a no-hitter April 26 against Guilford, the first game of the ODAC tourney, with three strikeouts over six innings (Lynchburg won 9-0).
Cisar, who earned third-team all-ODAC honors this week, ranks third in the conference in ERA.
Meanwhile, freshman Olivia Herman (Westminster) is batting .283 with three doubles, one home run, and nine RBIs in 33 games for the Hornets. Her first collegiate homer came March 20 in a win over Ferrum.
Maseth mighty for West Chester
West Chester junior infielder Emily Maseth (Westminster) is a big reason why the Rams won their sixth consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East softball regular-season championship this spring. West Chester (34-19) went into the PSAC tournament Friday trying to capture its second postseason crown in three seasons.
The Rams fell short, however, and were eliminated 8-7 by Gannon on Friday, May 3.