Five Men's Lacrosse Players Named ECAC All-Academic
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 22, 2001 - Five Nittany Lion men's lacrosse players were named to the 2001 all-academic ECAC squad. The all-academic team recognizes student-athletes who have a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average, have sophomore athletic and academic standing and are significant contributors to their team's success. Seniors Edward Holmes (Flourtown, Pa.), Michael Kern (Columbus, Ohio), Matt Vallone (Corning, N.Y.) and Carson Yoder (Lutherville, Md.), and sophomore Matt Zappia (Canandaigua, N.Y.) represented Penn State on the academic all-conference team.
Holmes is a co-captain and a finance major at Penn State. A midfielder on the Lion squad, he played in 13 games while starting in 11. In those games, he tallied eight goals and six assists. Third on the team in ground balls with 33, co-captain Kerns notched 11 goals and three assists from the midfield while playing in every game this season. He earns the honor as a recreation and parks management major.
Majoring in marketing, Vallone was Penn State's top goaltender this season. A starter in every game, he ranks 11th in the nation in save percentage at .610. He also picked up 21 ground balls this season.
Also a senior, Yoder played in nine games on defense for the Nittany Lions. A finance and international business major, he picked up 11 ground balls during the season.
The only underclassmen to be named all-academic for Penn State, Zappia played in 12 games while starting in nine. Also a defender, he is an accounting and international business major.
The Nittany Lion coaching staff also announced its 2001 team awards at its annual team picnic. Headlining the team awards is Vallone. He won the Pittinger Award given to the most valuable player on the squad. He was also named the Friends of Penn State Lacrosse MVP. Awarded to the team's top defender, senior Mike Herscha (Syracuse, N.Y.) won the Andrew Lockhart Award.
Named in honor of long-time head coach Nick Thiel, the Nick Thiel Award goes to the most improved player. A freshman walk-on longstick defender John Goldschmidt was presented with the honor.
Tallying 38 goals and nine assists for 47 points this season, junior Will Driscoll (Fairport, N.Y.) was presented with the Friends of Penn State Lacrosse Top Scorer Award. Driscoll's 38 goals this season is tied for eighth-most in school history.
Freshman Rob Bateman (Parkton, Md.) played in every game this season on defense while making one start. He collected a team-high 52 ground balls and won the team's Ground Ball Award.
Rounding out the list of honorees is Holmes. He won the Friends of Penn State Lacrosse Grade Point Average Award given to the player with the highest GPA for the Fall and Spring Semesters.
Also announced at the annual team picnic were the team captains for the following season. Driscoll, Tim Emmick (Corning, N.Y.) and Sean Droogan (Glen Head, N.Y.) were voted by their teammates 2002 team captains.