Greenwood, Ind. – Transylvania seniors Clark Watts and Cooper Fogle have been named the 2017 Ohio River Men's Lacrosse Conference Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Players, the conference announced on Tuesday.
Fogle (Louisville, Ky. / Ballard HS), a four-year starter as a goalkeeper for the Pioneers, collected his second consecutive Defensive MVP after winning the award in his junior campaign.
Watts (Louisville, Ky. / Ballard HS), an attacker, was named the Co-Offensive MVP along with Washington and Jefferson College's Kyle Heinig. Watts was the Pioneers' leading goal-scorer in their historic 2017 season.
The two senior veterans, both products of Ballard High School, led the Pioneers to a program-record 13 wins, their third consecutive ORLC regular-season and tournament championships, and the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.
Watts posted a team-high 29 goals, while adding eight assists for the Pioneers in his final run. Watts provided an all-around dose of production, adding 59 ground balls, seven caused turnovers, and had nine multi-goal games prior to the NCAA Tournament.
Fogle continued his legacy as one of the best goalkeepers in the nation at the Division III level as he led the ORLC in save percentage (62.6 percent), and allowed just 5.45 goals per game in the regular season, which ranks first nationally among goalies.
Fogle served as the anchor for a team which holds the number-one ranked defense in the country, allowing only 4.94 goals per contest. Fogle's save percentage ranks in the top-five nationally.
"These young men have come here as high school standouts and their development has been remarkable," commented Transylvania men's lacrosse head coach Terry Justice of their selections. "They've done everything we've asked of them and both have stepped up to be leaders on and off the field."
Watts and Fogle's MVP awards highlight a list of 11 Transylvania men's lacrosse players named to the All-ORLC First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mentions.
Along with Watts and Fogle, freshman attacker Trenton Sneed, senior defender Rob Rhea, freshman long-stick midfielder T.J. Toivonen, and sophomore short-stick midfielder Joe Shermock were selected to the All-ORLC First Team.
Named to the All-ORLC Second Team were senior attacker Zach Roby (Hillsborough, N.C. / Cedar Ridge HS), senior defender Matthew Parker (Lexington, Ky. / Tates Creek HS), freshman face-off midfielder Paul Stickel (Louisville, Ky. / Trinity HS), and senior midfielder Zack Riggs (Louisville, Ky. / St. Xavier).
Sophomore attacker Josh Mesmer (Lexington, Ky. / Lexington Catholic) was selected as an All-ORLC Honorable Mention. Sophomore Chris Schaefer (Lexington, Ky. / Tates Creek HS) was the Pioneer representative on the ORLC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Sneed (Milford, Ohio / Milford Sr. HS) led the ORLC in assists and ranked fifth in total points with 48 on the season. The freshman added 32 ground balls in his first season with the Pioneers.
Rhea (Louisville, Ky. / Ballard HS) captained a powerful defensive backline that rose to become the number one scoring defense in the country, while his bothersome defense led to 14 caused turnovers, second-most on the Pioneers, and 35 ground balls.
Toivonen (Sherwood, Ore. / Sherwood HS) began his Transylvania career with a rousing statline, ranking second in the ORLC in caused turnovers with 41, and ranked in the top-10 in conference in ground balls with 63. His ability to rapidly cover terrain aided the Pioneers in posting the number one clearing percentage in the country.
Shermock (Windsor, Co. / Windsor HS) was another key component of the Pioneers' intense defense, providing hustle and quickness as well as serving as the primary outlet man from Fogle in the clearing process. The sophomore stepped in to provide depth for a defense that overcame injuries to lock down ORLC opponents on a weekly basis.
The Pioneers make their NCAA Tournament debut on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. as they visit the Hampden-Sydney College Tigers in the second-round matchup in Farmville, Virginia. They carry a program-record 12-game winning streak into tournament play.
For the full list of All-ORLC award winners, CLICK HERE
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