Five Golden Bears earn first team accolades
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 27, 2018) – Sophomore midfielder Nick Gamba (East Islip, N.Y.) was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Offensive Player of the Year, and 11 other members of the Western New England University men's lacrosse team were recognized when the CCC announced its major award winners and All-Conference selections on Friday morning.
Gamba was also named to the All-CCC first team, along with senior goalkeeper Steven Kerr (Hopkinton, Mass.), senior midfielder Nicholas Beauchamp (Wilbraham, Mass.), junior attackman Jared Ward (Littleton, Mass.) and freshman defenseman Mitch Weiss (Westfield, Mass.).
Representing Western New England on the All-CCC second team are senior midfielders Justin Holl (Mount Laurel, N.J.) and Marc Fiocco (Somers, N.Y.), senior defenseman Connor Gilgen (Ridgewood, N.J.), junior faceoff specialist Hunter Cocks (Walden, N.Y.), sophomore long-stick midfielder Oskar Djusberg (Abington, Mass.) and freshman defenseman Kevin Faustich (Seymour, Conn.).
Rounding out Western New England's 12 All-CCC honorees is senior attackman Mikey Wood (Southborough, Mass.), who landed on the third team.
Gamba earns CCC Offensive Player of the Year honors following a breakout sophomore campaign in which he helped fuel Western New England's balanced attack. The St. Anthony's High School product produced a career-high 49 points (30 goals, 19 assists), good for second on the team. He recorded at least one point in all 17 regular season games, with 14 multi-point efforts. Gamba tallied five points (four goals, one assist) in the Golden Bears' 19-10 win over Nazareth at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on March 11th and scored a career-high six goals in a 12-8 triumph at Roger Williams on April 14th. He was named the CCC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career two days later.
Beauchamp was also a key offensive contributor for the Golden Bears en route to his second straight All-CCC selection. The Wilbraham, Mass. native compiled a team-high 51 points, good for ninth in the CCC, with 30 goals and 21 assists. His top performances include a seven-point showing (four goals, three assists) at Amherst College on March 6th, and a five-goal effort against Nazareth. Beauchamp registered multiple points in all but two games during the regular season.
Ward also helped carry the Golden Bears offensively with a team-high 33 goals (8th in CCC) and 14 assists for 47 points. He totaled six points (three goals, three assists) in a 14-13, double overtime loss to Bates on March 14th and added five points (four goals, one assist) in Western New England's 15-8 victory over Curry on March 27th. Ward also posted seven other four-point performances and was held without a point just twice this season. This marks his third straight All-CCC first team selection.
Also earning All-CCC honors for the third straight season is Kerr, who posted a 10.12 goals against average and a 54.2 save percentage with 175 total stops, good for third in the CCC. Kerr made 10+ saves in nine of his 16 starts, including 20 in the Golden Bears' season-opening, 13-10 win at Keene State on February 27th.
Weiss receives All-CCC first team accolades after making strong contributions during his first season with the program. The Westfield, Mass. native started all 17 games and led the team with 22 caused turnovers (8th in CCC) while collecting 48 ground balls, good for second on the team.
Cocks claims All-CCC second team recognition after winning a CCC-high 213 faceoffs this spring. The junior, who was also a second team honoree last season, won 65% (213-of-328) of his faceoff opportunities and scooped up 130 ground balls (2nd in CCC) while also contributing offensively with nine points (six goals, three assists).
Holl, who is now a three-time All-CCC performer, started 15 of 17 games for the Golden Bears and contributed a career-high 13 points (seven goals, six assists) with 25 ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Fiocco receives his second straight All-CCC honor after totaling seven points (three goals, four assists), 22 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.
Western New England's final repeat All-CCC selection is Djusberg, who started all 17 games this spring and was among the team leaders in both ground balls (46, 3rd) and caused turnovers (17, T-2nd).
Collecting All-CCC accolades for the first time are Gilgen, Faustich, and Wood.
After appearing in 25 games over the first three years of his career, Gilgen took on a starting role this season and produced career-highs in ground balls (15) and caused turnovers (six).
Faustich was a key contributor for the Golden Bears in his first collegiate season, as he started seven of 17 contests and tallied 30 ground balls with 17 caused turnovers.
Finally, Wood rounds out Western New England's 12 All-CCC honorees with his selection to the third team. The senior attackman recorded 23 points (18 goals, five assists), good for sixth on the team, and scored the game-winning goal with six seconds remaining against Nichols on April 10th to cap the Golden Bears' improbable comeback.
Western New England (11-6) earned the top seed and a first round bye in the CCC Tournament after posting a perfect 8-0 record in league play. The Golden Bears will host the winner of the Salve Regina/University of New England game in a semifinal round contest next Tuesday, May 1st.