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For the second year in a row, Kyle Tucker, a senior defenseman for the Salisbury men's lacrosse team, earned Division III's outstanding defensive player honors. Five other teammates received All-American accolades.
For the second year in a row, Kyle Tucker, a senior defenseman for the Salisbury men's lacrosse team, earned Division III's outstanding defensive player honors. Five other teammates received All-American accolades. (Salisbury Athletics)

The Salisbury men’s lacrosse team got some good news before Sunday’s NCAA Division III tournament final against Wesleyan in Foxborough, Mass., when Kyle Tucker was named the top defensive player in Division III for the second year in a row.

The senior defenseman received the William C. Stiles Memorial Award given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player and is the first player to earn that distinction in back-to-back seasons since former Sea Gulls defenseman Eric Martin (2003-04). Tucker, the Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year, leads Salisbury in both ground balls (95) and caused turnovers (47) and has been a big reason why the defense has allowed only 7.1 goals per game, which ranks 23rd in the country.

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‘Rat attack’ for Salisbury men’s lacrosse taking aim at the national championship

The sophomore trio of Pierre Armstrong, Josh Melton and Griffin Moroney is filling the void on the Salisbury men’s lacrosse team created by the graduation of last year’s starting attack. And they have embraced their unusual nickname.

Senior defenseman and Sea Gulls teammate Will Nowesnick joined Tucker in being named a first-team All-American for the second straight year. Nowesnick has picked up 50 ground balls and forced 32 turnovers.

Salisbury placed two more players on the second team in junior midfielder Corey Gwin and senior short-stick defensive midfielder Troy Miller.

Earning honorable mentions were seven Stevenson players in junior attackman JT Thelen and sophomore attackman Ethan Christensen, senior midfielders Harrison Faecher and Kyle Karsian, senior defenseman Austin Howard, sophomore faceoff specialist Justin Burnette (Owings Mills) and sophomore goalkeeper Sam Ross; a pair of Sea Gulls in senior midfielder Garrett Reynolds (Archbishop Curley) and senior long-stick midfielder Cory Berry; and Frostburg State senior midfielder Adam Gross (South River).

The other major award winners were: RIT senior midfielder Kyle Killen (Iroquios National Award for outstanding player, and Lt. Col. J.I. [Jack] Turnbull Award for outstanding attackman); RIT junior midfielder Shawn Nally (Fran McCall Award for outstanding midfielder); RIT senior long-stick midfielder Eli Salama (Long Pole Midfielder); Ohio Wesleyan senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Hamblett (Short-Stick); RIT senior faceoff specialist Nathan Farrell (Faceoff Specialist); and Roanoke junior goalkeeper Ian Davies (Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award for outstanding goalie).

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