Men's Lacrosse Announces 2007 Team Awards
May 14, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova men's lacrosse team has recently released the 2007 team award winners, as well as announced the captains for the 2008 season. Six different players were honored for their performances and dedication this past season, with senior Chris Colliniates leading the way by collecting two awards.
Colliniates, who completed his senior campaign with 127 ground balls, was rewarded with the 2007 Ground Ball Award. With his impressive total from this season, Colliniates improved his career total to 342, which propelled him to first on Villanova's career ground ball list. In addition, he was also named as one of the teams Most Valuable Players for his overall performance as a senior. In his final season as a Wildcat, Colliniates won 193 of 311 face-offs, while adding three goals and two assists. He was also selected as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association Second Team.
Sharing the honor of Most Valuable Player with Colliniates is classmate Eric Heidenberger. The senior captain, who finished this season as Villanova's leading scorer, registered 25 goals and dished out six assists, while also managing to scoop up 22 ground balls in his final year on the Main Line. In addition to the team award, Heidenberger was named as a top 10 finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and rewarded with a spot on the All-CAA First Team.
Senior captain Connor Dwyer completed his career with 29 ground balls and helped anchor a defense that ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense in 2005. For his continuous outstanding efforts, Dwyer has been chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Jim Jones Memorial Award. This particular award was established in 1967 and is presented to the player who best exemplifies loyalty, courage, and dedication not only in athletic competition, but in everyday life. The tribute is named after Jim Jones ('64) who played lacrosse and gave his life for his country in Vietnam.
Senior Chris Mercer was also honored by his team and has received the notable B. Joseph Tofani Award. This award was initiated in 2003 and is presented to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average. Despite suffering a sidelining injury early in the season, Mercer remained dedicated to the lacrosse program and university throughout his four years as a Wildcat.
Eric Webber, who had an explosive end of the season, has been named the 2007 Most Improved Player. Webber had registered just four goals heading into Villanova's final three games of the season when the senior erupted on the offensive end to notch 11 more during the last three contests. He recorded a team-high and personal-best of five goals in the Wildcats' victory over conference-foe Robert Morris.
Freshman Bryan McCartney garnered the Villanova Rookie of the Year Award for his break-out performance on the defensive end. In his first season as a Wildcat, McCartney collected 23 ground balls, which ranked him third on the team. As a reward for his impressive rookie campaign, he was also selected to the 2007 CAA All-Rookie Team.
Villanova will look to improve on this season's 7-7 record, aiming to get back into post-season conference competition. The 2008 team will be led by recently named captains Chris MacDonald, Ryan Holloway, Matt Panneton, and Eddie DiDonato.
2007 VILLANOVA TEAM AWARDS:
Ground Ball Award - Chris Colliniates
Jim Jones Memorial Award - Connor Dwyer
B. Joseph Tofani Award - Chris Mercer
Most Improved Player - Eric Webber
Rookie of the Year - Bryan McCartney