Providence, R.I. -- Brown men's lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany named senior defensemen Clay Del Prince (Hamburg, NY) and Sam Ford (Reistertown, MD) team captains for the 2013 season and presented the Bears' 2012 team awards and the program's annual team and alumni banquet.
"The love of teammates and team provides the fundamental seed for leadership," said Tiffany. "With such a love for a group and its members, the resulting relationships and camaraderie that emerge are truly special. The complete, unflinching devotion to the program, and to each other, is found inside the men who will lead Brown Lacrosse in 2013. These men have already defined themselves as outstanding competitors on the defensive end of the field. But the true reasons Clay and Sam were elected as captains by their teammates are their unwavering team-first principles and absolute commitment to the greatness of Brown Lacrosse."
A second team All-Ivy selection, Ford enjoyed an outstanding junior season and led the Brown team with 63 ground balls, including an incredible 14 ground balls against Providence. His 21 caused turnovers ranks third on the Brown squad. Ford scored two goals, including one against Dartmouth when he took the opening face-off, weaved his way down the field, and scored in the opening 17 seconds.
Del Prince, an aggressive close defenseman and two-year starter for the Bears, was an honorable mention All-Ivy selection for the Bears. He was among the nation's leaders in caused turnovers with 1.86 per game, 14th best in the nation. Del Prince had five caused turnovers against Princeton, and four against Hartford, Duke and Providence. He also played a key role in Brown's man-down defense which was ranked 5th nationally.
Most Valuable Offensive Player
Truly an ambidextrous lacrosse player, this man exploded onto the Ivy League and national scene in his sophomore year at Brown. He has made a huge impact on the offensive end of the field, playing on the left side of the attack unit in 2012 that was able to improve the production of goals scored by 20 over the previous year. He led the Brown team in goals (31) and was second in points (39). During one stretch of the 2012 season, he accumulated 6 consecutive hat-tricks. Earning Ivy League Player of the Week Honors in late April, he later finished the year with Second Team All-Ivy honors. He performed well under pressure, making big plays for Brown time and time again, highlighted by his game-winning goal with 4 seconds left versus Cornell. He serves as a role model to the other men with his commitment to being not only a great two-handed offensive player, but also as an aggressive rider. The 2012 winner of the Most Valuable Offensive Player is Public Policy concentrator Sam Hurster '14.
Vincent Marinelli Award
The Vincent Marinelli Award is the annual freshman award, given to the "pup," who best exemplifies the competitive spirit and commitment to the quality of life that Vinnie Marinelli demonstrated as a freshman at Brown in 1987, and throughout his childhood and high school years at Elmont. This year's winner is also a New Yorker, but it might as well be a different country in comparison to Long Island. As a high school attackman under Kirk Ventiquattro up in Carthage, New York, he was asked to play the quarterback position from behind the goal and feed his teammates. The change from high school to college also meant a change in responsibility, as he found himself in front of the cage playing the role of finisher for Brown University in 2012. The rest of the league soon found out about him, as he found the back of the net often, decorating with him with Ivy League Rookie of the Week Honors four times. Only five other freshmen have been honored as much in the history of the league. He completed his freshman year with 23 goals, tied with Thomas Muldoon '10 for 3rd best all-time by a Brown Lacrosse freshman. This year's winner of the Vincent Marinelli Award is Nick Piroli '15.
The Charlie Kenney '10 Alumni Award
This award this year takes on an incredibly powerful meaning as we mourn the loss of one of our own: Charlie Kenney '10. We will never forget him, and we will continue to honor him. Presented annually to the lacrosse player who through sportsmanship, performance and influence contributed the most to the sport at Brown, our winner characterizes both the undeniable positive spirit of Charlie, as well as his joy of fierce competition and life itself. This year's winner is the poster child of seeking challenges and overcoming adversity. The man knows not the word fear. A former middle linebacker and All-State wrestler from Watertown, New York, he has taken the traits required to be successful on the gridiron and mat and channeled them into his faceoff game at Brown University. Would a torn meniscus slow him down? What about a second tear, of the meniscus on the other knee? He played through the pain, never backing down from the challenges of some of the best faceoff men in the nation. He simply loves to compete. Despite the injuries, he raised his winning percentage at the faceoff X by 16% in 2012. The Alumni Award recipient goes to Political Science concentrator Tommy Capone '14.
The Dom Starsia '74 Coaches Award
The Dom Starsia '74 Coaches' Award is given by the coaching staff to the player who best represents the spirit of Brown lacrosse year in and year out. How do we choose just one when most of the men in the program are willing to do anything for Brown lacrosse and the staff with their "all in" attitude? This year's winner was selected for many reasons, but the ultimate justification was and is his consistency. The phrase "brings his lunch pale to work everyday" can accurately portray his diligent and workmanlike persona off and on the field. He represents what all of us coaches, and the professors, are looking for in their students: a sponge-like mind and endless effort. The proof is clearly evident both with his academics, as he carries a 3.9 GPA in a pre-med program of classes, and on the lacrosse field where he has served as a two-year starter. Matching up against the opposition's best dodging attackman, he was not only able to neutralize many of them but also caused 27 turnovers, ranking him as one of the best in the nation, which is especially significant considering he accrued only two penalties throughout 2012. This year's Dom Starsia Coaches' Award winner and Human Biology concentrator is captain Clay Del Prince '13.
Most Valuable Defensive Player
It has been said that the best offense is a good defense. Well, these two know a little bit about both. Yes, the 2012 Most Valuable Defensive Player award has been divided amongst two men, both of whom made substantial impacts at each end of the field, while also proving that good things can come in both small and large packages. The first man was focused at the long-stick midfield position most of the season. Roger is as tenacious a defenseman as there is in the country. His will and his heart match his speed and strength, combining to create an outstanding shut down defenseman. Matching up against some of the best midfielders in the nation, Roger limited several All-Americans and All-League players to 0 or 1 point in numerous games in 2012. He also kick-started the offense, earning 6 points and picking up 43 ground balls. Despite the loss in the semifinals of the Ivy Tournament, Rogers was recognized for his tremendous play against Princeton with a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Roger's sidekick Sam was similarly outstanding for Brown in 2012. Sam served as the director of the team defensive slide schemes and was pivotal in the clearing game. He was also no stranger to the offensive half of the field, taking 13 shots in 2012 and hitting the net twice. Sam led the team in ground balls with 65, highlighted by a record 14 GBs against Providence. His goal in the opening seconds of the Dartmouth game proved to be a tremendous spark in a must-win game. For all of his accomplishments on the field, Sam named to the All-Ivy 2nd Team. The 2012 co-winners of the Defensive MVP award are American Studies concentrator Roger Ferguson '13, and Philosophy concentrator and captain Sam Ford '13.
Jim Tepper Award
Established in 1991, this award is given in honor of Jimmy Tepper, a Brown lacrosse player who was killed while working on a construction site during the winter break of his Brown University freshman year. The award is for the most improved player in the program: the guy who turned it around the most after not playing much to start his Brown career. Without a returning goalie with any significant playing experience, the inevitable questions arose about the health of the defensive end of the field. The winner of this year's award erased this huge question mark for the Brown lacrosse program early in the 2012 season. This man stepped into the most pressure-packed of jobs in sports and proved to be a steady, reliable goalie for Brown. By the end of the 2012 season, it was clear to all of us that we had a very good stopper as the last wall of defense. The Ivy League coaches took notice and he was named 2nd Team All Ivy. While he directed the clearing game, Brown successfully cleared the ball 87.2%. The Jimmy Tepper Most Improved Player award winner is Economics concentrator Will Round '14.
The Richard Q. Whelan Jr. '04 Unsung Hero Award
Re-named in 2005, the award is given in memory to the Brown lacrosse player who best exemplifies Ricky Whelan's '04 unselfish play, dedication to the program and overall commitment to excellence. Often time this award goes to a man from the defensive end of the field, where the newspaper writers rarely adorn much praise. There is no exception in 2012. This year's winner comes from the Defensive Midfield position, which has been appropriately defined as "the character position" by Michael Cummins and Brian Asher. Playing in the same spirit and toughness as these two men, our 2012 winner brought a physical, aggressive style to the Brown defense. This style not only earned him the team title for penalty minutes accrued, but it positively helped define the defense's attitude. He fully embraced his role, understanding the symbiosis between a team's defensive midfield success and the team's success. Only a junior now, he has two more years to continue to strengthen the team. The 2012 Ricky Whelan Unsung Hero Award goes to American Studies concentrator Dan Mellynchuk '14.
The Cliff Stevenson Award
This award is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Brown Lacrosse team in honor of long-time Brown lacrosse and soccer coach Cliff Stevenson, who continues to live well with his wife, Muriel, in Florida. 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 2012 season, there was a great deal of leadership provided by many men, from both starters and reserves. Two specific men were not only great players, but their superb leadership spearheaded the season that allowed us to rediscover and redefine Brown State. First, the attackman. Announcing him as the leading scorer of the team, with 22 goals and 20 assists, only begins to scratch the surface for explaining the impact this man made in our program. As the field general of the offensive unit, rarely did the ball not start or finish in his stick. Steady and consistent, he was looked upon by his teammates to both direct and lead them with both scoring and riding. He scored two goals in each of the final six games of the season except for the Providence game, where he had five points and reached the 100 point mark for his career. Next, the midfielder. Serving as the backbone of the team, he has never backed down from a challenge, whether it be a physical or verbal one. To have him as a captain and leader is to know the heart and soul of Brown State is alive and strong. Playing both offense and defense, he was invaluable at both ends of the field. In crunch time, he had to be on the field because a man with his incredible willpower is tough to deny. His game-winning goal with 11 seconds left in Philadelphia vs. Penn, with the wash from the blades of the overhead helicopter deafening Franklin Field, exemplified his Brown lacrosse career and portended his future as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp. The 2012 Cliff Stevenson Award winners for 2012 are Public Policy concentrator Parker Brown '12, and the academically sophisticated double concentrator in both Economics and History Rob Schlesinger '12.