Sands became the eighth Bison to be voted to an All-America team, capturing a spot on the third team, while O'Brien earned honorable mention laurels.
In the Bucknell men's lacrosse team's 50-year history, 24 Bison have combined to capture 30 All-America awards. The recognition of Sands and O'Brien marks the sixth time multiple Bison were honored as All-Americans in the same season. Under head coach Frank Fedorjaka's watch, 10 Bison have combined to earn 12 All-America awards, with two receiving honorable mention accolades in 2011 and 2009.
Sands joined David Dickson (2013, Third), Billy Eisenreich (2012, Third), Chris Cara (2005, Third), Peter von Hoffman (1979, Third), Lou Kissling (1970, Third), Ed Farver (1969, First) and Jim McKee (1969, Second) as Bison who were tabbed to the All-America First, Second or Third Team by USILA. Five members of that group have been inducted into the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame.
Sands, also a 2018 Inside Lacrosse Third Team All-American, put together one of the finest offensive seasons in Bucknell's 50-year history. The senior attacker posted 75 points on 20 goals and a school-record 55 assists. One of only four Bison to eclipse the 70-point threshold in a single campaign, he recorded at least one point in all 15 games, notching at least five in six. He topped out at 10 points (3g-7a) against Boston University on March 17, which was one shy of Bucknell's single-game record.
Over the course of the 2018 season, Sands 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. His career total of 243 points, which came on 102 goals and a school-record 141 assists, stands second in school history.
Sands was previously recognized on the 2018 and 2017 All-Patriot League First and Academic Teams, the 2018 All-ECAC Second Team and the 2016 All-Patriot League Second and Tournament Teams. A two-time member of the Tewaaraton Award Watch List, he made the cut to 25 from 50 this season.
With 75 points on 20 goals and a school-record 55 assists, Will Sands had one of the finest seasons in our 50-year history.— Bucknell Men's Lax (@Bucknell_MLAX) May 24, 2018
Now, he can call himself an All-American. 🐐 #EnterSandsman #rayBucknell pic.twitter.com/Ec0T69ew8r
In 2018, O'Brien recorded 42 goals on a school-record 145 shots. The senior midfielder became the fifth Bison to eclipse the 40-goal threshold in a single campaign and led the Patriot League in both goals per game (2.80) and goals per league contest (2.75). He netted multiple goals in all but two tilts, topping out at six against Mount St. Mary's. He also notched five against Navy and No. 19 Lehigh and four at No. 3 Yale, including the golden goal with 1:02 remaining in overtime.
O'Brien was previously honored on the 2018 and 2017 All-Patriot League First Teams and the 2018 All-ECAC Second Team. Seventy of his 87 career goals came during those two seasons. He finished a single point shy of reaching the century mark and graduated ranked third in school history with 314 career shots.
Sands and O'Brien were key to Bucknell's tremendous success in 2018. The Bison, who posted an 11-5 (7-1 Patriot League) record and shared the Patriot League regular-season title with Loyola and Navy, reached the double digits in victories for the sixth time in Fedorjaka's tenure as head coach. They also went an impressive 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents, most notably knocking off No. 3 Yale (9-8 OT) and No. 6 Loyola (12-11) on the road. They rose as high as 10th in both the USILA Coaches' Poll and the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Media Listing, their highest national ranking since the 2013 campaign.