October 21, 2009

Brown Lacrosse Names 2010 Team Captains/Announces 2009 Team Awards

Brown men’s lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany has named seniors Thomas Muldoon (Oakton, VA), Charlie Kenney (Jamaica Plain, MA), Jake Westermann (Setauket, NY) and Reade Seligman (Essex Falls, NJ) team captains for the 2010 season. In addition, the team awards for the Bears’ 2009 NCAA Playoff team were presented at the team’s annual banquet.
"If leadership can be defined by words such as honesty, fearless, and love, then Brown Lacrosse has found the right four men to lead us in 2010,” said Tiffany. “These men have unequalled commitment to every man who wears the Brown Lacrosse uniform. Competition has proven the captains' valor and talent. They will lead a team of leaders, ensuring Brown Lacrosse completes its mission of developing and molding the entire man and clarifying and expanding his vision of the future."
An All-American and First Team All-Ivy and All-New England attackman, Muldoon is among the top scorers in Brown lacrosse history, and pound for pound, is considered one of the toughest lacrosse players in the country. He’s racked-up 113 career points for the Bears, while his 89 career goals are 12th best in the Brown record book. Muldoon, who netted four goals in Brown’s NCAA Playoff game against Johns Hopkins, is one of the most lethal scorers in the Ivy League. In 2009, he netted 36 goals for the Bears, while handing out 11 assists.

Kenney netted two goals and added an assist for the Bears in 2009. He played a key role in Brown’s face-off efforts for the season, earning a starting role down the stretch and capturing 35 face-offs. Kenney won 11 face-offs in Brown’s NCAA Playoff game against Johns Hopkins. He also captured 21 ground balls for the Bears.

Westermann, who played in all 16 games a year ago, is considered the communications director of the Bears’ defense. He picked up three ground balls in Brown’s key Ivy victory over NCAA finalist Cornell. Often called, Mr. Brown, for his love of the university, Westerman is clearly looked upon as a team leader.

Seligman, Brown’s most improved player in 2009, was Brown’s fourth leading scorer with 33 points, netting 12 goals and handing out 21 assists, the most among midfielders. He scored the go-ahead goal against Cornell in the fourth quarter and added two assists against the Big Red. Seligman scored a season high three goals against UMass, and distributed four assists against Bryant.


Team Awards:

Most Valuable Offensive Player
Two Brown players share the Most Valuable Offensive Player award. Points alone can define the winners, as these two were our scoring leaders in 2009 with 58 and 48 points. But their impact to the team goes well beyond their firepower. Each brings an intensity to the field, with every practice and game. Both love to ride, contesting the opposing team’s clear and relishing in the moments of loose balls and transition lacrosse. One of the men, Andrew Feinberg, has exploded onto the Ivy League and National scene in his first two years at Brown. He has made a huge impact on the offensive end of the field, leading the team in 2009 with 42 goals, placing him in the Top 10 for the nation. Andrew had a hat-trick or better in 11 games. Our other MVP, Kyle Hollingsworth, led the 2009 team with 27 assists. And while Kyle has accumulated a great number of goals and assists in his career (111 points), the legend that will follow him is his fearless heroics in late game and big game situations. In his three years as a starter at Brown, he never backed down from a challenge: each year he made big plays and led us offensively against Cornell. He scored the game-winning goal versus Yale with 11 seconds left in the Ivy League Championship year of 2008. And there he was again, this year on Homewood, finding a way to tie the NCAA Playoff game against Johns Hopkins with 8 seconds left in regulation. The 2009 Most Valuable Offensive Players: COE concentrators Andrew Feinberg ‘11 and captain Kyle Hollingsworth ‘09.



Vincent Marinelli Award
The Vincent Marinelli Award is an annual freshman award, distributed to the “pup,” who best exemplifies the competitive spirit and commitment to the quality of life that Vinnie himself demonstrated as a freshman at Brown in 1987. This year’s winner made an array of impressions on the entire program in his first year. Rarely bashful to speak his mind or add some outlandish claim about the Red Sox or Patriots, he demonstrated a comfort and undeniable personality right away. Tough, hard-nosed, and fearless on the field, this former attackman plays like a middle linebacker, which he was in high school. Thus, he became a defensive player as a freshman. And he was doing double the workouts some days, racing back and forth from ROTC sessions at Providence College. Who does all this? By the Spring, he was a heavily relied upon defensive midfielder who gave us a weapon in transition. He has a nose for the ball, and more importantly a will and drive to grind and make the difficult plays. He finished 4th on the team with 35 ground balls and he scored 5 goals as a D-Mid, including 2 in our 9-8 win over UMass, the back-breaker versus Cornell, and another in the NCAA Tournament. The 2009 Vincent Marinelli Award: Rob Schlesinger ‘12.


The Alumni Award
Presented annually to the lacrosse player who through sportsmanship, performance and influence contributed the most to the sport at Brown, our winner this year was a model of consistency. Rarely phased by anything, he led by example on the field. While many offensive players can fall into streaks, he became a dependable threat – always there for us to provide an aggressive dodge from the midfield, great vision, and a nasty low to high rip regardless of having the long stick midfielder covering him. And few will forget his patented sprints from offense to defense, blasting past opponents who thought they had a fast break. No one worked harder in the summers to position himself to be the most fit and physically prepared man in the program. He did this while sacrificing lucrative summer jobs or career-starting internships. The commitment to his game and to Brown Lacrosse is clearly evident as he worked his way up the playing time ladder, culminating with his All-Ivy and Academic All-American honors while compiling 18 goals and 14 assists his senior year. The 2009 Alumni Award winner: history concentrator is Brady Williams ‘09.



The Dom Starsia Coaches Award
The recently named Dom Starsia coaches’ award is given by the coaching staff to the player who best represents the spirit of Brown lacrosse year in and year out. Thinking of the description “spirit of Brown lacrosse” brings to mind several great men of this program, but there is one who best characterizes the true traits of Brown Lacrosse. What are these “True Traits?” -- the joy of fierce competition, the endless pursuit of physical and technical greatness, and a love of life. This year’s winner is the face and smile of Brown Lacrosse. His infectious devotion, commitment and loyalty to Brown University and our Lacrosse program are the greatest. While his outstanding play does come close to matching his over-the-top spirit and enthusiasm (he was our 6th leading goal scorer in 2009 and 3rd for ground balls), it is the energy and vibe he brought to each practice, each game, each lift… always…. that made him our spiritual and emotional leader. He returned to campus each spring physically fit and prepared. Few pumped up his teammates more: he understood that one of his roles as a captain was to put personal goals secondary to the team’s goals. Few on our team played with his intellect and creativity. He was our leader, and he did things the right way, and all with that smile. The 2009Dom Starsia Coaches’ Award recipient: Urban Studies graduate Jack Walsh ‘09.



Most Valuable Defensive Player
The 2009 Defensive MVP is an unknown no longer. The man earned a starting position half way through his freshman year and has never looked back. He is now the most relied upon defenseman in the clearing game, so much so that the clear is named for him in multiple ways: “Flow” a.k.a. “Bro Bible”. With his uncanny knack for running shots out, we were able to steal many possessions from the opposing offenses. No one picked up more ground balls than he did in 2009, with 59 ending up in his stick. On top of this, he was assigned to defend some of best scoring attackmen in the country. Through it all, others have started to notice and the honors poured in this year: 1st Team All – Ivy and New England, in addition to All-American honors. The 2009 Most Valuable defensive Player: Art History aficionado and US History concentrator Peter Fallon ‘11.



Jim Tepper Award
Established in 1991, this award is given in honor of Jimmy Tepper to the most improved player of the program… aka - to the guy who turned it around the most after a sluggish start to his Brown career. While this year’s recipient did in fact have a disappointing 2008 season due to injuries, he did make a major statement in 2009, as he became an established offensive threat at midfield and man-up. It all started upon his return to Brown in the Fall of 2008, when he blew his teammates and coaching staff away, by showing up in tremendous shape. He wanted to make an impact now and he committed himself to making Brown Lacrosse better. 25 pounds were gone, and a new man was born. No longer was he satisfied with needing a lot of room and time to make plays – he was ready to combine a run-you-over mentality with pinpoint feeds while dodging full speed. Whereas he grew smaller physically, he grew leaps and bounds as a player. Brown was the beneficiary of this change, as he scored game changing goals versus UMass, gave us the lead for good late in the 4th quarter against Cornell, and registered 21 assists – the most by a Brown midfielder in years. The 2009 Jimmy Tepper Most Improved Player: history concentrator Reade Seligmann ‘10.



The Richard Q. Whelan Jr. Unsung Hero Award
Re-named in 2005, the award is given in memory to the Brown lacrosse player who best exemplifies Ricky’s unselfish play, dedication to the program and overall commitment to excellence. This year’s winner is a defenseman who definitively matches such qualities. He has lived the story of end-of-the-bench guy to starter, truly earning everything as he moved up the ladder on the defense depth chart. His story is one that inspires others to do the same, and is a testament to our program itself. Commitment to weight loss and increased strength and athleticism paid off for him and for Brown Lacrosse. In his senior year, he became our #1 cover man, guarding such heralded attackmen as Rob Pannell and Ari Sussman. And the dive he made at Harvard to win a ground ball, while cutting up his shin, will never be forgotten. With tremendous vision when it comes to political issues, this man has had a crystal clear focus on his development and our program. The 2009 Ricky Whelan Unsung Hero Award: political science concentrator Ryan Cassil '09.



The Cliff Stevenson Award
Presented annually to the most valuable player of the Brown Lacrosse team in honor of long-time Brown lacrosse and soccer coach Cliff Stevenson, this year’s choice was not an easy one. It was so tough, that the coaching staff decided that we needed two winners. During the 2009 season, there was a great deal of leadership provided by many men, from both starters and reserves. Two specific men were not only great leaders, but their superb play spearheaded the season that found us earn our first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. First, the goalie. Serving as the backbone of the defense and team, he amazed us all by consistently competing at the highest of levels. Outstanding performances against UMass, Yale, Harvard and Cornell led us to victories. The first ever lacrosse winner of the Brown Athletic Department’s Fritz Pollard Award and a 2nd Team All-American in 2008, accolades continued to pour in this year, repeating as first team All-Ivy and All-New England honors, Ivy League Player of the Year, and this time earning 1st Team All-American recognition – our first First Team All-American since David Evans and Greg Cattrano in the mid 90’s. He was also named the USILA Goalie of the Year, earning the C. Markland Kelly Junior award. Next, the attackman. Readily known for his hard charging and shoot first mentality, his teammates know him better as a relentless rider who will follow up a slash with a bone-crunching cross-check. No practice is safe with him there, and just his presence alone ensures everyone else is alert and ready to play. Five times he scored four goals in a game in 2009, including the NCAA Tournament game at John Hopkins. He now has 89 career goals and 116 points overall. Again, he has been named 1st team All-Ivy and New England. But new this year is the recognition as an All-American. 2009 Cliff Stevenson Award Winners: COE concentrator Jordan Burke '09 and Religious Studies concentrator Thomas Muldoon '10.