FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. - The 2019 men's lacrosse season has come to a close with the Lions posting the most wins since joining the NCAA. A final record of 4-12, the Lions qualified for the Conference Carolinas Tournament for the first time in program history. EC plans to take this momentum into next year starting this summer as the coaching staff hits the recruiting trail to find future Lions. The players are all heading off campus for the summer, some of which are taking home new accolades from their performance during the 2019 season.
A new face to the team as well as the sport, Rafael Hernandez took the Most Improved Player Award for the 2019 season. Hernandez saw action in nine games this season and played a key role in keeping the energy level high for those on the field and on the sidelines.
A 12-goal season would help land Travis Brave Heart as the Captains-Coaches Award.All the way from South Dakota, Brave Heart claimed his first career hat trick for the Lions against Barton College.
The Freshman of the Year Award was earned by Allan Velasquez. A product of Meadow Creek High School, Velasquez showed skill on both sides of the ball with 43-points to go along with 15-caused turnovers.
Brian Everette and Benjamin Bryant would share honors as Defensive Player of the Year. Everette started 14 of 16 games in the 2019 campaign and earned credit for seven caused turnovers and 12 ground balls. Bryant started in 13 of 15 games this season and earned 12 caused turnovers and 20 ground balls.
As a key player in all 16 games this season, Alex Stull was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the Lions in 2019. With 41 goals and eight assists to his name, Stull became a force on the offensive half. His nose for the goal would be the deciding tally in the Lions overtime win over Lees-McRae.
There was a split decision for the Most Outstanding Player for 2019 and the two players played very different games. Listed as a midfielder, Lance Olson could be seen on all sides of the field making his mark. With 18-goals and 11-assists in the 2019 season, Olson showed his ability to find his teammates almost as often as finding the net himself. Also earning Most Outstanding Player, Ethan Brundage anchored the defense from between the pipes. Brundage spent a total of 12 hours in the net this season for the Lions and earned a 42% save percentage.