ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell University men's lacrosse program concluded a fantastic alumni weekend with its annual awards banquet, held Sunday morning at the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus. Friends and family gathered to meet the 2017 Big Red squad while saying goodbye to the Class of 2016.
At the banquet, Matt Kerwick, the Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Lacrosse, announced the award winners for the 2016 season, including Brennan Donville as team MVP, while John Edmonds and Tony Britton were named offensive and defensive MVP, respectively.
A second-team All-Ivy selection in his first season as a full-time starter, Brennan Donville took home the Dr. Ray Van Orman Memorial Award as the team's most valuable player. He ended the year ranked third in the Ivy League in goals-against average (10.22) and was fourth overall in both save percentage (.511) and saves per game (10.38). He was named the Ivy League Player of the Week and the NCAA Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Big Red upset No. 17 Virginia with a career-high 16 saves on March 12. He posted double-digit saves six times on the year and allowed fewer than 10 goals on seven occasions. Donville finished his career with a 10-7 record.
Tony Britton earned the Lawrence Van Buren Woodworth Memorial Award, given annually to the player who most exemplifies competitive spirit and fair play, as the team's outstanding defensive player. Britton was a cornerstone of a Big Red defense that held more than half of its opponents last season (7) to single-digit goals. The unit held its Ivy League foes to nearly 10 fewer shots per game than their season average (36.3 spg), and also helped Cornell to the third best goals-against average in conference (10.2). He picked up 34 ground balls on the season and caused 21 turnovers, good for ninth overall in Cornell history.
The Joe Phillip Memorial Award, which is given annually to the offensive MVP as the person who contributed to the overall team effort, in grateful memory of Phillip, whose humor, inspiration and service to Cornell lacrosse will never be forgotten, was awarded to John Edmonds. A second-team All-Ivy selection, Edmonds was Cornell's most dangerous offensive threat with a team-high 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists. He registered at least one point in 10-of-13 games and posted multiple points in seven contests. A player with great poise and vision, two of his most important points on the season came in the Colgate and Lehigh contests when he assisted on both buzzer-beating game-winners. With his assist vs. Brown on April 23, he became the 41st player in Big Red men's lacrosse history to reach the 100-point plateau in a career.
Edmonds also took home the Al "Junior" Kelz - Mike Herriott Award, given to the team's outstanding senior player. The award was established by the late R.L. Cullen in memory of Junior Kelz and Mike Herriott, who were tragically killed while on a lacrosse scouting trip in 1965.
Clarke Petterson, a talented two-way midfielder that rarely came off the field in 2016, was given the Cornell Lacrosse Club Most Improved Player Award, which in recent years has been given to the rookie player that has had the greatest impact on the team.
Marshall Peters, an anchor of the Big Red defensive unit that picked up 29 ground balls on the season, took home the Charlie Hustle Award, given in memory of Charles W. Cayten to the player who has displayed outstanding hustle on the practice and game fields, a leader in the pursuit of ground balls in relation to playing time.
The C.F. Morse Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, given annually to the player who combines the physical attributes of a Spartan and the scholar achievements of an Athenian, was awarded to USILA Scholar All-American Matt Schattner for the second year in a row.
The LaFrance award, given to the senior who combines mental and physical toughness, along with humor and bravery, despite injury, was awarded to Bradlee Lord and Emmy Poccia
A new award established following the 2013 season, the Practice Player of the Year award was given to Matt Pinto.
Sean Doyle earned the J.E.B. Sportsmanship Award for combining the qualities of lacrosse ability, leadership, fairness, courteous relations and graceful acceptance of results on and off the playing field.
Julie Greco, who has worked with the team for over a decade as Cornell's Deputy Director of Athletic Communications, was named the recipient of the Dave Friedleb Memorial Award, given by the Cornell lacrosse community to the person or persons whose enthusiasm, assistance, interest and compassion for the Cornell lacrosse team are greatly appreciated.
One of the youngest teams in the nation during the 2016 campaign, the Big Red finished with a 6-7 record (1-5 Ivy), with four of its seven losses coming to nationally ranked opponents. Cornell managed two upsets on the season, defeating No. 17 Virginia, and taking down No. 11 Syracuse in overtime for Cornell's first win over the Orange since 2012. Of the 39 players that saw action during the 2016 season, more than one-third (15) were freshmen, including seven that started at least one game. The freshmen class proved to be the second highest scoring rookie class in program history with 82 points coming from seven players. Following the season, Cornell had five players named All-Ivy.