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Victor Powell
Victor Powell was named the USILA Defensive Player of the Year.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Powell, Pensabene Named Players of the Year as LR Men’s Lacrosse Put 10 on All-Conference Teams

The South Atlantic Conference announced its men’s lacrosse all-conference awards on Tuesday as Lenoir-Rhyne had 10 total members across the three teams with three being named to the first team, and two being recognized with a player of the year title.

Victor Powell, the senior out of Chesapeake Beach, Md., was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Year after another impressive campaign. As part of the nation’s leading scoring defense, Powell ranked third in the conference with 1.86 caused turnovers per game.

The two-time All-American has started all 14 games for the Bears this season and leads the team with 26 caused turnovers and had 34 ground balls, which is the most amongst LR defenders.

Rob Pensabene, the senior out of Mount Laurel, N.J., was named the SAC Specialist of the Year after his first full season as the primary goalkeeper for the Bears. Pensabene has the nation’s best goals against average with allowing only 6.27 goals per game, while also having the nation’s second-best save percentage at .639.

The three-time SAC Specialist of the Week winner had eight games on the season with double-digit saves. After missing the season opener, the senior went on to have a 12-1 record in-between the pipes.

While Powell and Pensabene were both listed to the first team in addition to their player of the year recognition, Colten McCracken was also named to the first team as the short-stick defensive midfielder.

McCracken, the senior from Middletown, Md., earns first team all-conference status for the second-straight season. The midfielder has nine games this season with multiple ground balls as he totaled 21 during the regular season.

Moving on to the second team, LR had a pair of defenders listed in Nate Ashley and Joey Masson.

Ashley, the senior out of Bradenton, Fla., ranks second on the team with 15 caused turnovers. The defender was also named SAC Defensive Player of the Week on April 15 after a season-high four caused turnover game against Coker.

Masson, the senior out of Ijamsville, Md., finished third on the team during the regular season with nine caused turnovers and sixth on the squad with 20 ground balls. The 2023 third team all-conference member saved one of his best performances for last with a season-high four ground ball game against Catawba on April 17.

Also named to the second team for the Bears was attacker Evan Voss. The Powder Springs, Ga., native leads LR with 40 points as the junior recorded team-highs with 19 goals and 21 assists.

The 2023 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player had seven multi-goal performances in the season which included three-goal games against No. 9 UIndy on Feb. 11 and No. 6 Wingate on March 23. Voss also ranks No. 8 in the SAC with 1.62 assists per game.

On the third team, the Bears swept all three midfielder positions with Caison Dillon, Ryan Duncan and Jonathan Bender being named in each of their first season in Hickory.

Dillon, the graduate student from Kernersville, N.C., is third on the team with 17 goals and fourth on the squad with 14 assists. Throughout the season, Dillon had two four-goal performances against No. 4 Tampa on Feb. 17 and versus No. 10 Newberry on March 30.

Duncan, the graduate student from Lessburg, Va., is second on the squad with a 18-goal season in addition to having the second-most assists on the team with 16. The Lafayette transfer had an instant impact in Hickory by scoring 11 goals in the first four games of the campaign.

Bender, the graduate student from Alexandria, Va., ranks fourth on the team with 27 points thanks to his 12 goals, which ranked sixth on the team, and his 15 assists, which was third most on the squad. The Towson transfer had a monster seven-point performance against No. 4 Tampa as Bender recorded three goals and four assists.

The final all-conference member for the Bears was Matthew Mancini, who was named to the third team for face-off specialist. The sophomore from Middletown, Md., ranks No. 4 in the SAC with 5.50 ground balls per game.

Mancini leads the team with 123 face-off victories throughout the regular season which equated to a .591 percentage. The sophomore’s most shining performance came against No. 6 Wingate on March 23, when Mancini was 19-for-23 in the face-off circle.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team will return to action on Wednesday, April 24 for a SAC semifinal match against No. 6 Wingate. The contest is slated to begin at 5 p.m. from Moretz Stadium. The winner of that match will clinch a spot in the SAC Men’s Lacrosse Championship on Sunday, April 28 at 4 p.m. from Matthews, N.C.

2024 SAC Men’s Lacrosse All-Conference Awards
All-SAC First Team
A – Scott Reed, Newberry
A – Willie Grieco, Wingate
A – Zachary Terry, Limestone

MF – Baker Westmoreland, Newberry
MF – Austin Lamoureux, Limestone
MF – Curtis Bukta, Newberry

D – Victor Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Peyton Farley, Wingate
D – Jack Travassos, Newberry

LP – Joe Karnich, Wingate

Short-Stick Defensive MF – Colten McCracken, Lenoir-Rhyne

Face-off Spec. – Tim Ladner, Limestone

GK – Rob Pensabene, Lenoir-Rhyne

All-SAC Second Team
A – Danny Riley, Wingate
A – Evan Voss, Lenoir-Rhyne
A – Carter Brand, Limestone

MF – Michael McGarry, Limestone
MF – Kyle Spence, Wingate
MF – Jaxon Grant, Wingate

D – Nate Ashley, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – Jaiden Terry, Limestone
D – Joey Masson, Lenoir-Rhyne

LP – Brock Strong, Newberry

Short-Stick Defensive MF – Trent Connolly, Wingate

Face-off Spec. – Aiden Dixon, Anderson

GK – Thomas Sullivan, Wingate

All-SAC Third Team
A – Jason Thomfohrde, Limestone
A – Sean Clark, Wingate
A – Zach Thompson, Newberry

MF – Caison Dillon, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Ryan Duncan, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Jonathan Bender, Lenoir-Rhyne

D – Peyton Jefferson, Anderson
D – Nick Arnold, Wingate
D – Dylan Witt, Limestone

LP – Payton Leonard, Catawba

Short-Stick Defensive MF – Jason Madden, Limestone

Face-off Spec. – Matthew Mancini, Lenoir-Rhyne

GK – Ryan Erler, Newberry

Offensive Player of the Year
Scott Reed, Newberry

Defensive Player of the Year
Victor Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne

Specialist of the Year
Rob Pensabene, Lenoir-Rhyne

Freshman of the Year
Sean Clark, Wingate

Coach of the Year
Brendan Storrier, Limestone

Statistical Champions
Team Man-Up Offense – Newberry, .716
Team Man-Down Defense – Limestone, .750
Team Ground Balls per Game – Limestone, 48.73
Team Scoring Offense – Limestone, 18.73
Team Scoring Defense – Lenoir-Rhyne, 6.21
Team Scoring Margin – Limestone, 9.80
Team Faceoff Win Percentage – Anderson, .640
Faceoff Win Percentage – Tim Ladner, Limestone, .671
Ground Balls per Game – Tim Ladner, Limestone, 10.23
Assists per Game – Willie Grieco, Wingate, 3.80
Shots Percentage – Scott Reed, Newberry, .642
Goals-Against Average – Rob Pensabene, 6.27
Save Percentage – Rob Pensabene, Lenoir-Rhyne, .639
Goals per Game – Scott Reed, Newberry, 4.53
Caused Turnovers per Game – Michael Jensen, Coker, 3.93
Points per Game – Scott Reed, 5.93


{Information provided by Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics}