Cunningham Named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, Seven Named All-BIG EAST
May 2, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The BIG EAST Conference announced its major award winners and all-conference teams at the first annual men's lacrosse awards banquet prior to the start of the BIG EAST Championship.
Villanova's Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year while seniors Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.), Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) junior Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) and Cunningham were selected to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Senior Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) and sophomores Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) and John LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year after being named the 2012 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year prior to the start of the season. The attackman was chosen as a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team and leads Villanova with 20 goals, 21 assists and 41 points on the year. He currently ranks second in the BIG EAST averaging 2.93 points per game and has recorded three game-winners this season. At Villanova, Cunningham ranks 5th all-time with 148 points and 4th all-time with 80 assists in his career. Upon conclusion of his collegiate career, the senior will join the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse.
Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) earns unanimous First Team All-BIG EAST honors after being named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team in 2011. For the season, the senior defenseman has collected 28 ground balls and caused 17 turnovers in addition to posting one assist on the year. For his career, the three-year starter has collected 84 ground balls and 43 caused turnovers.
Bell (Severna Park, Md.) earns First Team All-BIG EAST honors after being named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team in 2011. The senior co-captain has posted 14 goals, nine assists and 23 points this season despite missing two games to injury. A staple on the Villanova midfield, Bell has collected 46 goals and 34 assists during his four-year career and was named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate in 2012.
Rice (Baltimore, Md.) makes his second appearance on the All-BIG EAST First Team after earning First Team honors in 2011. The junior attackman leads the team with 29 goals and ranks first in the BIG EAST averaging 2.07 goals per game. For his career, Rice has posted 89 goals and four assists and currently ranks 3rd all-time at Villanova averaging 1.98 goals per game.
Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) earns his first conference honors this season after being selected as a 2012 Second Team All-BIG EAST selection. The sophomore face-off specialist has won 130-of-215 (.605) attempts from the X this season and has collected a team-high 62 ground balls. Croonquist currently ranks 9th in the NCAA with a .605 win percentage and is 3rd all-time at Villanova with a .603 career win percentage.
LoCascio (Fairfield, N.J.) makes his first appearance on the All-BIG EAST Second Team after a stellar sophomore campaign with the Wildcats. For the season, the long-stick midfielder has grabbed 60 ground balls and 24 caused turnovers while posting one goal and two assists.
Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) earns his first appearance on the All-BIG EAST Second Team after another solid year as a mainstay on the Villanova offense. The senior co-captain has posted 15 goals and seven assists on the year after recovering from knee surgery during the fall season. He currently ranks fourth on the team with 15 goals and for his career has posted 42 goals and 19 assists as a midfielder.
Rutgers Will Mangan was selected as the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year while Notre Dame's Kevin Randall, John Kemp and Head Coach Kevin Corrigan were selected as the Defensive, Goalkeeper and Coach of the Year, respectively. Voting was conducted among the league's seven head coaches who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
The All-BIG EAST First Team is made up of four players from Notre Dame, three from Villanova, two from St. John's, two from Syracuse and one from Rutgers. Joining Cunningham and Creighton as unanimous selections on the first team are Syracuse's Brian Megill and Notre Dame's Kevin Randall and Sean Rogers.
2012 BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Awards
BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year
BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year
BIG EAST Coach of the Year