Three Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Players Earn First Team All-Big Ten Honors

The Big Ten unveiled its postseason men’s lacrosse awards, and top-ranked Penn State men’s lacrosse was unsurprisingly all over them.

Star attackmen Grant Ament and Mac O’Keefe earned first team all-conference honors alongside defender Chris Sabia after their stellar 2019 seasons.

Ament was unanimously named the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year after breaking the Nittany Lions’ program record with 88 points (17 goals, 71 assists) this year. He’s the first player to ever be named the conference’s offensive player of the year unanimously after being the driving force behind Penn State’s lethal attack.

Sabia was named the conference’s defensive player of the year after leading Penn State with 16 forced turnovers. He also scooped up 27 ground balls and earned first team honors after being named second team All-Big Ten in both 2017 and 2018. The defensive anchor served as Penn State’s captain this year and wore the late Connor Darcey’s jersey No. 16.

Meanwhile, O’Keefe was named a first team All-Big Ten attackman for the second consecutive season. The sharpshooter has scored 51 goals this year, which is good enough to tie the Penn State record he set in 2017, but he’s also added a playmaking element to his game. O’Keefe set a new career high with 14 assists during the regular season for a total of 65 points.

In addition to the three first team All-Big Ten honorees, head coach Jeff Tambroni was named the Big Ten’s coach of the year. He led the Nittany Lions to a 12-1 record as they stayed on top of the national rankings for most of this season. This is Tambroni’s first Big Ten coach of the year honor, and it comes after he led Penn State to a perfect 5-0 record in conference play for the first time.

Faceoff specialist Gerard Arceri and goalkeeper Colby Kneese were named to the Big Ten’s second team, and Nick Spillane was Penn State’s sportsmanship award recipient. Arceri has won 62.4 percent of his faceoffs this year, Kneese has backstopped Penn State with the conference’s best goals-against average (9.75), and Spillane scored 22 goals and chipped in 15 assists in 2019.

Penn State will get the Big Ten tournament started with a matchup against host Rutgers at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 2.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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