Cirillo, Berkman earn ECAC major awards; seven Gulls named to All-ECAC South teams

Cirillo, Berkman earn ECAC major awards; seven Gulls named to All-ECAC South teams

DANBURY, Conn. – Following the program's 11th NCAA Division III national championship, the accolades continue to roll in for Salisbury University men's lacrosse, as the Eastern College Athletic Conference named senior Thomas Cirillo its ECAC South Offensive Player of the Year and Head Coach Jim Berkman its Coach of the Year, the organization announced. The Gulls also had seven named to the All-ECAC South All-Star first and second teams.

Cirillo earned the honor, along with an All-ECAC South first-team All-Star selection, after he posted 86 points on 54 goals and 32 assists during the 2016 campaign. His points and goals ranked second on the team, while the assists were third. Cirillo also added nine man-up scores and 25 ground balls on the year. He was named the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association National Midfielder of the Year and the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year for his season, while also earning a first-team All-American selection and an All-CAC first-team selection.

Berkman led the Sea Gulls to an overall 23-1 record, including an 8-0 clip in Capital Athletic Conference play on the way to the national title. The team also made its 22nd-straight appearance in the CAC championship game and its 28th-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament. By capturing his 11th national championship with the team, Berkman is now the record holder for NCAA lacrosse championships by a head coach across all divisions.

Cirillo was joined by three other Sea Gulls on the All-ECAC South first team in junior Nathan Blondino, sophomore Kyle Tucker, and junior Andrew Ternahan.

Blondino led the Sea Gulls on the year with 101 points, becoming the team's first 100-point scorer since the 2012 season. He totaled 54 goals, tying Cirillo for second on the team, and 47 assists, which was also second on the team. Blondino ranked 11th in the country with 11 man-up goals, while boasting a .394 shooting percentage. He also added 56 ground balls on the year. Blondino was also named an All-CAC first-team member and a USILA second-team All-American.

Tucker and Ternahan were both key leaders to Salisbury's No. 7-ranked scoring defense, which allowed only 6.48 goals per game. Tucker finished the year first on the team with 48 caused turnovers, while Ternahan was just behind with 47. Ternahan was also key to Salisbury's faceoff success, as he led the team with 103 ground balls on the year; Tucker added 66 ground balls which was third on the team. Both players were named USILA All-Americans, with Tucker being named to the second team and Ternahan earning a spot on the third team.

Salisbury also had junior Carson Kalama, senior James Burton, and sophomore Will Nowesnick named to the All-ECAC South second team.

Kalama led the team for the second-straight season in goals, netting 64, while adding 21 assists for 85 points; his points ranked third on the team. He was efficient in his scoring, leading the nation with a .585 shooting percentage. Kalama added 60 ground balls on the year, good for fifth on the team. He was also named an honorable mention USILA All-American on the year.

Burton was the Gulls' top distributor for the season, leading the team with 51 assists. He added 33 goals and totaled 84 points, which were both fourth on the team. Fourteen of his goals game in the NCAA tournament to help lead the Sea Gulls to the national championship. He was named a USILA second-team All-American, as well, on the year.

Nowesnick was another key piece to the Salisbury defense, as he finished third on the team with 42 caused turnovers, while also picking up 53 ground balls. He joined Tucker as a second-team All-American, as the duo made up the formidable pair of lock-down defenders for the team.

To view the full ECAC release, click here.

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