Denver Outlaws defenseman Lee Zink (Maryland) became the second player in Major League Lacrosse history to earn back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards, the league announced Wednesday.

Zink earned all 16 possible first-place votes from the league's coaches and general managers, making him the only player to win an end-of-the-year award unanimously this season.

Brodie Merrill of the Hamilton Nationals and Michael Evans (South River, Johns Hopkins) of the Chesapeake Bayhawks trailed with five second-place votes each and four and two third-place votes, respectively.

"There are not enough superlatives to describe Zink," Outlaws coach Jim Stagnitta said. "He's discreet, unassuming, not flashy, but when you look at the numbers his matchups put up against him, you know he's able to neutralize the best players in the world. He's a consummate professional who juggles work, graduate school and lacrosse, and I've never been around a defender who does what he does."

Zink started in all 14 games for the 14-0 Outlaws, who became the first MLL team to go undefeated in the regular season. He recorded 21 ground balls, including a season-high four on two occasions.

Temple hires McDonogh's Fernandez

Molly Fernandez (McDonogh), a 2013 graduate of Penn State, has joined the Temple women as an assistant coach.

A four-year letter-winner with the Eagles, Fernandez led the team to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship for the first time in school history in her senior year and was named first team All-Metro by The Baltimore Sun. Fernandez played club lacrosse for Skywalkers.


Former Salisbury player Owen to coach Wittenburg men

Division III Wittenberg has announced the hiring of Jay Owen (Salisbury) as coach.

Owen played for the Sea Gulls from 1994 to 1997, earning All-Capital Athletic Conference honors the final two seasons, and returned to work an assistant coach for much of the past 15 years. A player on teams that won two national championships and three conference titles, Owen served as an assistant coach for Salisbury teams that won nine CAC championships and five NCAA Division III national titles between 1999 and 2007.

Ex-Bayhawk Keysor hired at Mitchell

Division III Mitchell College in New London, Conn., has named former Baltimore Bayhawk John Keysor coach of the men's and women's lacrosse programs, as announced Wednesday.

Keysor, who played midfield for the Bayhawks in 2006 after being drafted that year, has spent time as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Dartmouth.

Division II school in Tenn. to add men's, women's programs

Division II Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., will add men's and women's lacrosse for the 2014-15 academic year, the school announced. The programs will compete in the South Atlantic Conference.

In the coming weeks, the search will begin for a director of lacrosse, a position that is scheduled to be filled by Jan. 1. By July 2014, another coach will be hired to fill the other head coaching vacancy.

Nationally, lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports at all levels of the NCAA. According to the NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report, the total number of men participating has jumped from 167,055 in 1982 to 257,690 in 2012. The women's side has experienced an even larger influx, from 64,390 to 195,657 over the same span. There are currently a total of 49 men's and 69 women's teams competing in Division II.

Quick hits

The Bayhawks assigned midfielder Kevin Cooper (Archbishop Spalding, Maryland) to the active roster ahead of Saturday afternoon's semifinal against the Nationals. ... Denver women's coach Liza Kelly (Garrison Forest) announced that four Baltimore-area players have been added to the roster for the 2014 season: Sybil Pallace (McDonogh), Molly Danko (Bryn Mawr), Ellie Knott (Bryn Mawr) and Tagne Vandewall (Glenelg).  ... Division II Gannon in Erie, Pa., said Micky Bowen (Mount Hebron) and Ashley Mozingo (Fallston) will join the team next season.

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