Berkman, Cirillo earn major awards as 11 get All-CAC honors

Berkman, Cirillo earn major awards as 11 get All-CAC honors

YORK, Pa. – Salisbury University men's lacrosse Head Coach Jim Berkman earned Capital Athletic Conference's Coach of the Year and senior Thomas Cirillo was named the CAC Player of the Year to lead a conference-high 11 players from Salisbury who garnered All-CAC recognition.

Earning the Coach of the Year nod for the first time since 2012, Berkman's 18-0 record this season has brought about his 10th CAC Coach of the Year award. A National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee, Berkman has also been named the National Coach of the Year on three occasions (1991, 2008, and 2012).

Cirillo gets his first CAC Player of the Year honor, in addition to his second-straight year on the All-CAC First Team as the reigning First Team All-American has posted 75 points thus far to tie for the conference lead. Cirillo's point tally comes off of 49 goals and 26 assists, while shooting at .350 percent over his 140 shots taken. Cirilo is the 14th member of the program to be named the conference's top player, with Salisbury garnering the honor on 19 different occasions.

Joining Cirillo on the first team are seniors James Burton and Preston Dabbs, juniors Nathan Blondino and Andrew Ternahan and sophomores Kyle Tucker and Will Nowesnick.

Getting onto the second team are senior Davis Anderson and juniors Carson Kalama, Aaron Leeds, and Duncan Campbell.

Burton, after being named to the second team last season, is the CAC's leading assist player with 42. Burton has also added 19 goals to go for 61 points. Burton's 42 assists are the most for any Gull since the 2012 season, leading the Salisbury offense that ranks first in the nation in assists per game.

Dabbs' first-team selection marks the fourth-straight season he has been the top short-stick defensive midfielder in the CAC. Dabbs is also the reigning national short-stick specialist of the year as he has played physical, lockdown defense all four years for Salisbury. On the year, Dabbs has 15 groundballs and 19 turnovers.

Blondino is tied with Cirillo for the team and conference lead in points with 75 as he has tallied 42 goals and 33 assists. A threat to score from near the crease or from the outside with either hand, Blondino is shooting at a .404 percent clip. Blondino's nine man-up goals this season leads the CAC. The honor is Blondino's first All-CAC bid.

Ternahan makes his first appearance on the All-CAC team as the conference's top long-stick midfielder. Ternahan contributes in every aspect of the game for Salisbury, ranking first on the team in caused turnovers (38) and second in groundballs (77). In addition to his defense, Ternahan has scored four goals and added five assists for nine points.

In his first year at the starting close defense, Tucker has made a name from himself as a quick lockdown defender to pick up the first-team honor. Tucker has gotten 48 groundballs and caused 37 turnovers, to go along with just four turnovers. In two matchups against the CAC's fifth-leading scorer, Spencer Love from Frostburg State University, Tucker combined to hold him to no goals and just one assist.

Coming into the season with the most career starts of the starting close defense, even as just a sophomore, Nowesnick proved his worth. A rangy defender, Nowesnick helps anchor the nation's eighth-ranked scoring defense as he has grabbed 41 groundballs and caused 34 turnovers. Also a reliable option in the clearing game, the Lake Forest, Illinois native has turned the ball over just twice all year.

On the second team, Anderson's recognition shows the potency of the Gulls' defensive midfield, getting the top long-stick midfielder, top short-stick defensive midfielder, and second-team short-stick defensive midfielder. Anderson plays a big role as a wing on the faceoff unit and has controlled 49 groundballs this season, while causing 15 turnovers.

Kalama is the CAC's third-leading goal scorer (47 goals) as the Gulls' go-to option on the crease. Adding 13 assists on the year, Kalama has 63 points (fourth in the CAC). Kalama's .573 shooting percentage is good for fourth in the nation. Last season Kalama was a member of the first team.

Another first-year starter at the close defense, Leeds is another standout down low, scooping up 45 groundballs and causing 27 caused turnovers. For the week of April 3 Leeds was named the CAC's Defensive Player of the Week as he got 12 groundballs and seven caused turnovers in two games. The second-team honor is the first All-CAC award in Leeds' career.

A junior transfer, Campbell made his impact felt immediately to make it onto the second team. Campbell leads the team in groundballs with 83 as he has gone 198-for-320 (.619 percent) at the faceoff X. Campbell has also added a goal and an assist to gain the all-conference honor.

Salisbury returns to action on Saturday, April 30 when it will host second-seeded York College of Pennsylvania in the CAC championship game at 3:30 p.m., looking to win the program's 20th CAC championship.

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