May 21, 2009
BOSTON - The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association today released the 2009 Division-I All-America list, and former Greyhounds Shane Koppens and P.T. Ricci were named Honorable Mention selections to the team, which were chosen by the coaches.
It is the second straight season that Koppens has earned the All-American Honorable Mention designation and the first for Ricci, the 2009 ECAC Defensive Player of the Year. The duo become the 71st and 72nd players in the program's proud history to earn the accolade. They both graduated in May from the College.
"Both of these young men have had terrific careers at Loyola and I'm pleased to see them recognized" said Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "We are excited for P.T. to have an upcoming U.S. Team tryout and for Shane to play one last time for us when we travel to Europe soon to face some elite international competition."
Thirteen players were named to the first and third teams, while 11 made the second team. Unlike other lists, however, there was no `long-pole midfielder' designation in any of the teams, which Ricci plays. He was named to the `midfielder' category instead. Koppens was named as an attackman.
Koppens (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) registered his third straight 40-point season in 2009 despite missing the first two games of the season. He led the team with 41 points on 22 goals and a team-high 19 assists, spearheading a Loyola offense which averaged 10.37 goals-per-game.
On five different occasions he scored a hat-trick, including a career-high nine-point effort on three goals and six assists in the win over Bryant to become the first Loyola player since Gavin Prout in 2000 to score nine points in a game.
He finishes his career fourth on the all-time Loyola assists list with 80 and eighth on the Loyola career points list with 151. He was named to the All-ECAC first team over the last two seasons and was tabbed as the 2008 league Offensive Player of the Year.
Heading into the season, Ricci (Wayne, Pa./Conestoga) was named a First-Team All-American by Inside Lacrosse. Throughout the season he season he went far and beyond to warrant the publicity. He earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and a spot on his second straight league first team list.
The long-stick midfielder led the nation with 51 caused turnovers and was second in groundballs per game (6.36) among players not face-off specialists. Behind Ricci's team-high 91 groundballs, the Greyhounds ranked fourth nationally with an average of 38.29 groundballs per game.
A versatile player, Ricci also contributed on the offensive end, scoring two goals and seven assists to crack the top-ten in scoring among long-pole middies.He now holds two spots in the top ten list on Loyola's all-time single-season groundball list, as his 91 from this season stand fifth and his 84 from 2008 seventh. His career numbers include 232 groundballs, 115 caused turnovers and 17 points.
Just recently, Ricci earned an upcoming tryout for the U.S. National Team for the upcoming World Games, meaning he will have to skip Loyola's upcoming trip to Europe, which they depart for next Friday. Koppens, meanwhile, will travel with the team, giving him one last time to don the Green and Grey as the Greyhounds compete against an arduous slate of international competition.
Fittingly, the duo will also represent the South team in the annual USILA North-South Game held in Boston's Harvard Stadium today. The sandwich of a triple-header, the Division-I/II game starts at 4 p.m. It follows the Division-III game at 2 p.m., with a professional matchup between the Boston Cannons and Denver Outlaws closing the day at 7:30.
The Division I Special Awards will be announced later in the day, preceding the North-South game.