May 24, 2012
BALTIMORE, Md. - Senior Matt Bell (Severna Park, Md.) has been selected to the 2012 USILA Scholar All-America team, as announced by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association on Thursday.
In 1989 the USILA Scholar All-America Program was established to recognize student-athletes from USILA member institutions who have distinguished themselves academically, athletically and as citizens of their communities. The USILA Selection Committee selects an overall team representing Division I, II and III. The Scholar All-Americas are recognized at the annual Lacrosse All-America Banquet.
Bell finished a stellar four-year career with the Wildcats, serving as a team captain during his senior season. The midfielder earned 2012 First Team All-BIG EAST laurels after finishing his career with 46 goals, 34 assists and 80 points. In 2012, Bell appeared in 13 games while making 12 starts after missing two contests to injury and recorded 14 goals, nine assists, 23 points and averaged 1.77 points per game. In 2011, Bell was named a Second Team All-BIG EAST selection.
Bell was also named a candidate for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Upon graduating as a Finance major in the Villanova School of Business, one of the best in the nation, Bell earned Dean's List and BIG EAST Academic All-Star recognition. Outside the classroom, the midfielder served as an awards proctor for the Villanova Special Olympics Fall Festival, the largest student-run Special Olympics Festival in the U.S. He was also a four-year volunteer at the Villanova Day of Service, serving as a clean-up specialist in the nation-wide "Day of Service" event with the Augustinian Church and Villanova University. Additionally, Bell annually participated as a volunteer for the The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Buddy Walk, a program developed by the National Down Syndrome Society to raise money for the national advocacy and public awareness initiatives of individuals with Down syndrome. He also coached several youth lacrosse leagues in his hometown of Severna Park, Md.
During his four years with the team, Bell led the Wildcats to their first two NCAA postseason appearances in program history during the 2009 and 2011 seasons and helped Villanova reach their highest ranking at No. 7 in the USILA Coaches poll in 2011. He is part of the winningest class in Villanova Lacrosse history who posted a collective record of 40-20 (.666). The Class of 2012 was a part of the 2009 CAA Tournament Championship and was the first-ever Villanova men's lacrosse team to gain an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2011, carving out a unique legacy in program history.
Villanova finished the 2012 season with an 8-7 overall record, going 4-2 in the BIG EAST. The Wildcats earned the No. 2 seed in the inaugural BIG EAST Championship but fell to third-seeded and eventual BIG EAST Champions Syracuse, 15-6, in the semi-final contest on May 3rd.