HADLEY, Mass. – Senior captain Evan Wolf captured the conference's top prize and was named the NESCAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and six Amherst College men's lacrosse team student-athletes secured All-NESCAC honors for their efforts on the field, as announced by the league office Thursday.
In total, 27 student-athletes were named to the All-Conference teams, with 14 players earning First Team accolades, and 13 student-athletes claiming Second Team nods. The Mammoths had the most First Team selections of all NESCAC institutions with four honorees, while their six total selections ranked second in the NESCAC.
In addition to his Player of the Year selection, Wolf lands on the All-NESCAC First Team alongside Matt Solberg '20, Tamer Sullivan '21 and Jimmy McAfee '20, while Colin Minicus '20 and Rod Castro '20 earned Second Team distinction.
Voted on by coaches across the conference, Wolf is the first student-athlete to capture back-to-back NESCAC Player of the Year nods since DJ Hessler of Tufts did so in 2010 and 2011, becomes the first-ever Amherst player to earn two Player of the Year Selections and remains the third Mammoth in the history of the program to earn the honor (Quinn Moroney '16 in 2015 & Derek Cherney '07 in 2007).
An instrumental component to the third ranked scoring offense in the country (19.00), Wolf clinches his second straight First Team selection and third All-NESCAC nod overall after starting all 16 games for Amherst en route to leading the league in goals (62) and points (94) while ranking sixth in the conference in assists (32). In addition to 27 ground ball pickups and seven caused turnovers, the attackman's 5.88 points per game average is tied for sixth in all of Division III, while his 3.88 goals per game average ranks 12th in the nation.
A midfielder, Solberg garners First Team honors for the second consecutive season after posting a stat line of nine ground balls, three caused turnovers, 35 goals and 19 assists for 54 total points. An all-around player, the East Grand Rapids, Mich. native's six man-up goals rank tied for second in the league and have been instrumental to Amherst ranking second in the nation in man-up offense (0.566), while his 54 points rank third on the Mammoths and tied for 13th in the NESCAC.
Making his first appearance on the All-NESCAC teams, Sullivan picks up First Team accolades as one of the leaders of a staunch Mammoths defense that owns a 10.13 goals against average and ranks 11th in Division III in scoring margin (8.88). Making 15 starts on the spring, Sullivan has corralled up 31 ground balls on the season and ranks third on the team and tied for ninth in the NESCAC in caused turnovers with 19.
Earning back-to-back All-League selections, McAfee is once again the First Team's short stick midfielder after another strong all-around season. Starting all 15 games he has appeared in, the Perrineville, N.J. ranks third on the team in ground balls with 41 and has caused nine turnovers in addition to potting eight goals and dishing out seven helpers for 15 points.
The 2017 NESCAC Rookie of Year, Minicus secures the second All-Conference accolade of his career as a member of the Second Team after picking up First Team honors last season. Earning a name as one of the NESCAC's most consistent playmakers, Minicus ranks 12th in the Division III in assists per game (2.86) to headline an Amherst team who leads the nation in assists per game (12.63). Leading the team and ranking fourth in the conference in assists with 40, Minicus has also tallied 30 goals to rank second on the Mammoths in points with 70 (T-5th NESCAC). A native of Darien, Conn., Minicus has also logged 26 ground balls, 10 caused turnovers and a 45.5 shot percentage on the year.
Earning his first All-NESCAC honor as a formidable power for Amherst on defense, Castro lands on the Second Team after a breakout junior campaign. The driving force behind a Mammoths team that ranks 10th in the country in caused turnovers per game (13.38), Castro has forced a team-leading 31 turnovers to rank second in the NESCAC and 55th in the country in caused turnovers per game (2.21). Seeing action in 14 games this spring, the Bryn Mawr, Pa. native has also posted 36 ground balls pickups and has dished out an assist as an anchor on the backline.
The Amherst men's lacrosse team, ranked number five in the nation in the latest USILA Coaches poll, returns to action this weekend when they battle third-seeded Williams on Saturday, May 4 in the NESCAC Semifinals as the conference's No. 4 seed. Opening faceoff is set for 3 p.m. on the campus of top-seeded Tufts.