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Penn State Lacrosse: Program-Record 9 Nittany Lions Earn All-America Honors from USILA

by on May 23, 2019 5:12 PM

Penn State men’s lacrosse was featured prominently in the United States’ Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association’s All-American teams, which were unveiled on Thursday morning.

Star attackman Grant Ament and defender Chris Sabia earned first team All-American honors from the USILA. They were two of a program-record nine Nittany Lions to be named as All-Americans.

Ament has pulled the strings for Penn State’s deadly offense throughout the 2019 season, which is the best in the nation by a wide margin. The Tewaaraton Award finalist’s 91 assists set a new NCAA single-season record, and he has at least one game left to add onto that total. He’s also chipped in 27 goals this season and won this year’s Lt. Col. J.I. (Jack) Turnbull Award as the nation’s best attackman.

Meanwhile, Sabia has been Penn State’s rock on defense all season. The Nittany Lions’ leader won the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year award after captaining the team to its first-ever conference championship. He’s won 37 ground balls this season and forced 18 turnovers while providing a steady veteran presence on Penn State’s back line.

In addition to Ament and Sabia, Mac O’Keefe, Nick Spillane, and Jack Kelly were named second team All-Americans by the USILA. O’Keefe is the nation’s leading goal scorer with 75 tallies this season — nine of which came in Penn State’s second-round NCAA tournament victory over Loyola Maryland. The sharpshooter showed he has a flair for the dramatic after scoring the Big Ten-winning goal in overtime against Johns Hopkins.

Spillane has scored 26 goals and 22 assists from midfield this season, serving as a nice source of secondary scoring whenever the stars like O’Keefe and Ament are covered. He’s also claimed 23 ground balls this year, which showcases the balance seen in his skill set.

Kelly, a sophomore from Scarborough, Ontario, became a 40-goal scorer this season after featuring in a reserve role throughout the 2018 season. The opportunistic shooter has scored on 52.6 percent of his shots on goal, and he’s second on the team in goals behind O’Keefe.

Faceoff specialist Gerard Arceri was named to the USILA’s third All-America team after winning 63.2 percent of his draws this season. Arceri dominated the faceoff X in Penn State’s first two NCAA tournament games by winning 47 of 63 draws against UMBC and Loyola Maryland.

Long-stick midfielder Tommy Wright, junior defender Nick Cardile, and starting goalkeeper Colby Kneese were all named honorable mentions to round out this year’s All-American Nittany Lions.

Mikey Mandarino is a staff writer for Onward State.
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