May 8, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Loyola University Maryland men's lacrosse senior Joe Fletcher was named one of five finalists for the 2014 Tewaaraton Award as the nation's top lacrosse player, and in doing so, he became the second close defender in the awards history to be in the final five.
Fletcher joins the Princeton University's Tom Schreiber, the University at Albany's Lyle and Miles Thompson, and Duke University's Jordan Wolf as those in contention for the award that will be presented on May 29, 2014, at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of the American Indian in the Nation's Capital.
He is the second close defender to be named a finalist in the 14-year history of the award, joining the University of Virginia's Ken Clausen who was so honored in 2010. Fletcher is also the second Loyola player to be named a finalist, joining Mike Sawyer who was one of five in 2012.
Fletcher is a member of the 30-man United States Men's Lacrosse National Team from which the roster for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships will be chosen. He was the only collegiate player on that list, and he was the lone current collegian in the 52-man training pool.
This season, he has been named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year, the Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year, to the All-Patriot League First Team, the Patriot League All-Tournament Team and as a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award.
Fletcher leads all close defensemen nationally in ground balls (76) and ground balls per game (4.25) while causing 28 turnovers. During the year, he was a five-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the week, and through 16 games, the players who he has had primary marking responsibilities for have combined for 16 goals.
A standout in the classroom, as well, he entered his senior season with a 3.812 grade point average and will graduate this month with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree. Last month, Fletcher received Loyola's John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department's top male senior student-athelte.
He is also a member of Loyola's Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who meet regularly and serve as liaisons to the University's president, administration and board of trustees. Fletcher served as the co-president of Loyola's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well, in 2013-2014.
Over the course of his career, Fletcher has collected 187 ground balls and caused 73 turnovers. He is a two-time USILA All-American (first team in 2013, honorable mention in 2012), the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year and three-time all-conference honoree.
Fletcher and the Greyhounds will open play in the NCAA Championships on Saturday, May 10, when they face two other Tewaaraton finalists, Lyle and Miles Thompson of Albany. The game will start at 12 p.m. at Ridley Athletic Complex and will air live on ESPNU. Tickets can be purchased at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.