CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Frank Fedorjaka was honored as the Patriot League's William Lawson Coach of the Year, and six Bison captured All-Patriot League accolades, the league office announced Monday morning.
Will Sands and Sean O'Brien were voted to the All-Patriot League First Team for the second year in a row while Benny Borgognone, Matt Gilray, Reed Malas and Connor O'Hara earned spots on the Second Team for leading the Bison to a share of the Patriot League regular-season title with a 7-1 league record.
Fedorjaka was recognized as the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the third time in his career after guiding Bucknell to its ninth regular-season crown and first since 2011. The Bison reached the double digits in victories for the sixth time in his tenure as head coach and, at 11-3 overall, enter the postseason with the most wins of any Patriot League team. Bucknell's number of victories also represents a six-win improvement from 2017, when the team went 5-8 (3-5 Patriot League) and had its streak of consecutive Patriot League Tournament appearances snapped at 10 seasons. In 2018, the Bison have also gone an impressive 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents, which included road upsets of then No. 3 Yale (9-8 OT) and then No. 6 Loyola (12-11).
Fedorjaka was previously named the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2011. In 2009, the Bison won the Patriot League regular-season crown with a 6-0 record; the 2011 squad captured both the regular-season and tournament titles, advancing to Bucknell's second NCAA Tournament in program history.
Sands has put together one of the finest offensive seasons in Bucknell's 50-year history. He'll enter the postseason with 73 points on 20 goals and a school-record 53 assists. One of only four Bison to eclipse the 70-point threshold in a single campaign, he ranks second nationally in assists and fifth in points. The senior attacker has registered at least one point in all 14 of Bucknell's games, notching at least five in six. He topped out at 10 points (3g-7a) against Boston University, which was one shy of the Bison single-game record.
Over the course of the 2018 campaign, Sands has reached a number of career milestones. He became the third Bison to eclipse the 200-point plateau, the fifth to register at least 100 assists and the sixth to net his 100th career goal. He'll enter the postseason with 241 career points on 102 goals and a school-record 139 assists, a total fifth among active Division I players. If he registers at least nine points in postseason competition, he will break Bucknell's school record of 249, which was set by Chris Cara on 111 goals and 138 assists.
Sands was previously recognized on the 2017 All-Patriot League First Team and the 2016 All-Patriot League Second and Tournament Teams. A two-time member of the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, he was honored as a 2018 Midseason Third Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse.
O'Brien joined Sands on the All-Patriot League First Team for the second season in a row. One of Sands's primary targets, he became the fifth Bison to reach the 40-goal plateau in a single campaign, joining Justin Zackey (63 in 1993, 44 in 1994), Jon Romm (45 in 1990) and Jim Ball (44 in 1979). O'Brien's goal total currently stands fourth in the Division I ranks and first among Patriot League players. The senior midfielder has netted at least one goal in all 14 of Bucknell's games, topping out at six against Mount St. Mary's. He also notched five against Navy and Lehigh and four at Yale, including the golden goal with 1:02 remaining in the extra frame.
Seniors Borgognone and Gilray have been key members of a Bison defense that has held 10 of its 14 opponents under 10 goals, including all but one in its current six-game winning streak. Borgognone, a first-time All-Patriot League honoree, is tied for first among Bison in caused turnovers (18) and ranks third in ground balls (29). The gritty defender collected at least two ground balls in seven games, topping out at seven against Lafayette. Fourteen of his ground balls came in Bucknell's past three games.
Gilray, who has been voted to the All-Patriot League Second Team each of the past three seasons, has consistently shut down opposing teams' top scoring threats. Most notably, he held three-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Pat Spencer to three points (1g-2a) in the Bison's upset of Loyola. Gilray will enter the postseason with 13 caused turnovers and 27 ground balls; with 148 career ground balls, he stands eighth in school history.
Malas parlayed his breakout junior year into his first All-Patriot League nod. Through the regular season, the midfielder has set new career highs in goals (21), assists (12) and points (33). His number of assists stands second among Bison while his point total is good for fourth. Malas has registered at least one point in 12 of Bucknell's 14 games, topping out at seven (5g-2a) against Lafayette. He was also instrumental in Bucknell's victories over Loyola and then No. 15/20 Army West Point; he recorded five points (3g-2a) against the Greyhounds and followed up that effort with four (3g-1a) against the Black Knights.
Like O'Brien, O'Hara has been one of Sands's primary targets. For the second season in a row, the senior attacker eclipsed the 30-goal plateau; he currently boasts a career-high 36, bolstered by six four-goal outings. Among Patriot League players, O'Hara stands behind only O'Brien in goals; he is also tied for 10th nationally. Three of O'Hara's four-goal efforts came against nationally ranked opponents: then No. 18/20 Colgate, Loyola and Yale. He added a pair of assists against the Bulldogs to set a new career-high total.
Bucknell's six All-Patriot League honorees represents its highest total since 2013. That season, six Bison were honored as All-Patriot League selections while one took home Rookie of the Year laurels.
The Bison begin the Patriot League Tournament tomorrow by hosting Boston University in a quarterfinal game at 7:30 p.m.
2018 Men's Lacrosse All-Patriot League and Major Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Pat Spencer, Loyola Maryland, Jr., A
Defensive Player of the Year: Foster Huggins, Loyola Maryland, Sr., D
Faceoff Specialist of the Year: Joe Varello, Navy, Sr., FO
Goalkeeper of the Year: Jacob Stover, Loyola Maryland, Jr., GK
Rookie of the Year: Chris Gray, Boston University, Fr., A
The William Lawson Coach of the Year: Frank Fedorjaka, Bucknell
Chris Gray, Boston U., Fr., A
Will Sands, Bucknell, Sr., A
Andrew Pettit, Lehigh, Jr., A
Pat Spencer, Loyola Maryland, Jr., A
David Symmes, Army West Point, Sr., M
Sean O'Brien, Bucknell, Sr., M
Jay Drapeau, Loyola Maryland, Sr., M
Greyson Torain, Navy, Jr., M
Johnny Surdick, Army West Point, Jr., D
Craig Chick, Lehigh, Jr., D
Foster Huggins, Loyola Maryland, Sr., D
Mike Strack, Navy, Sr., D
Joe Varello, Navy, Sr., FO
Conor Gaffney, Lehigh, So., FO
Jon LaMonica, Army West Point, Sr., LSM
Brian Begley, Loyola Maryland, Sr., SSDM
Jacob Stover, Loyola Maryland, Jr., GK
Jack Wilson, Boston U., Sr., A
Connor O'Hara, Bucknell, Sr., A
Mike Hawkins, Colgate, Fr., A
Lucas Spence, Lehigh, Jr., A
Reed Malas, Bucknell, Jr., M
Sam Cleveland, Colgate, So., M
Griffin Brown, Colgate, So., M
Jon Duffy, Loyola Maryland, Jr., M
Ryan Wade, Navy, Jr., M
Matt Gilray, Bucknell, Sr., D
Benny Borgognone, Bucknell, Sr., D
Matt Farrell, Holy Cross, Jr., D
Eddie Bouhall, Lehigh, Jr., D
Ryan Kern, Navy, So., GK
Teddy Leggett, Lehigh, Fr., LSM
D.J. Plumer, Navy, Sr., SSDM
*Due to a tie, there are two faceoff specialists on the first team and no faceoff specialist on the second team
^Due to a tie, there are five midfielders on the second team