Men's Lacrosse Holds Annual Team Awards Picnic
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 13, 2003 - The Penn State men's lacrosse team announced its annual end-of-the-season award winners at its team picnic recently.
Senior captain goalkeeper Chris Garrity (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's) earned this year's George Pittinger Award, which is given to the most outstanding senior and the Friends of Penn State Lacrosse Most Valuable Player Award. Garrity started every match in goal as he led the ECAC in save percentage in conference games. He earned ECAC Player of the Week honors twice in the season. The first distinction came after he made 14 saves in the 7-6 upset over Rutgers. Garrity's second honor came after he made 14 saves against Ohio State to help clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament, which was the first in Penn State lacrosse history. Garrity finished his career with 444 career saves, which is fifth on the Penn State career saves list.
Freshman Nate Whitaker (Alexandria, Va./Thomas Jefferson) earned the Friends of Penn State Lacrosse Top Scorer Award. Whitaker is the first freshman to earn the honor as he scored at least one goal in every match this season, including two goals against Towson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He led the team in points (35), goals (25) and shots (78). Whitaker earned ECAC Rookie of the Week honors after he tallied five goals and one assist in the Lions' victory over No. 6 Massachusetts.
The Andrew Lockhart Award, which is given to the team's top defensive player, was awarded to senior captain defenseman Matt Zappia (Canandaigua, N.Y./Canandaigua Academy) for the second consecutive season. Zappia started every match of the season and was fifth on the team in groundballs with 30. He recorded one shot against Virginia and was the leader of the defensive unit.
The Hoover Award is given to the player who finishes with the most ground balls on the team. Junior Rob Bateman (Sparks, Md./Hereford) was recognized for the second consecutive year after leading the team and ECAC in ground balls with 90. He competed in all 14 matches and finished third on the team in assists with eight.
The final award given was the Glenn Nick Thiel Award, which is presented to the most improved player on the team. Junior Matt O'Malley (Hunt Valley, Md./Mt. Hebron) earned this year's honor after playing a major role on the first defensive unit. O'Malley started in 13 matches and finished with 28 ground balls, which ranked sixth on the team.
The team also announced that juniors Brian Mabry (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park), Edmond Perry (Port Washington, N.Y./Port Washington), Rob Bateman, and Matt O'Malley have been named captains for the 2004 season.