NEW HAVEN, Conn. - - Heading into the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, the Wilmington University men's lacrosse team had five student-athletes votes All-Conference, as the All-CACC Teams were announced today by the conference office.
The Wildcats placed three members on the First Team while adding two more on the Second Team. Dylan McCleaft (Media, Pa./Penncrest), Jon Howell (Bear, Del./Delaware Military Academy), and Kyle Leary (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) were all named First Team All-CACC members while Chris Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) and Anton Mackey (Sholola, Pa./Delaware Valley) were voted to the Second Team All-CACC.
These five student-athletes helped lead the Wildcats to an 8-6 finish in the regular season, going 3-2 in CACC play to earn the number three seed in this week's CACC Tournament. They play No. 2 Georgian Court in the semifinals on Thursday.
Senior attack Dylan McCleaft led the CACC with 53 goals and 66 points in the regular season, scoring a program's best eight goals and 11 points in a 20-13 victory over Chowan. He's finished with a hat trick in 11 of the 14 games this year, scoring six goals at Felician, and five goals in three different games. He's collected at least a hat trick in the final five games of the regular season. He is also ninth in the league with 45 ground balls in the offensive zone. He was a Second Team All-CACC performer as a junior.
Jon Howell and Kyle Leary led the defensive third for the Wildcats, finishing third in the conference with an 11.70 goals against average on the year. The defensive unit finished tied for second in CACC games with 45 caused turnovers as well.
Senior Kyle Leary is the only Wildcat returning to the First Team, as he was also a First Team honoree a season ago. He is second in the league with 20 caused turnovers, scooping up 29 ground balls as well.
Senior Jon Howell is third on the team and 13th in the CACC with 13 caused turnovers, while also finishing 11th in the league with 44 ground balls. He had a season high four caused turnovers against SUNY Poly.
Senior Chris Smith is a two-time Second Team All-CACC performer, finishing second on the team with 25 goals and 35 points. His 25 goals were ninth most in the CACC while his 35 points are the 11th most in the conference. He had a season's best five goals in the regular season finale at Felician, adding a pair of four-goal games and a pair of three-goal games as well. His six points (four goals and two assists) against Chowan are a season high.
Freshman Anton Mackey led the CACC with 198 face-off wins, going 198-for-337 (58.8 percent) inside the circle. He also led the CACC with 112 ground balls on the year, with most of them coming off the face-off win to give the Wildcats possession of the ball. He's scored two goals to go with two assists on the year as well, adding three caused turnovers.
Georgian Court's netminder Austin Geissel was named the CACC Player of the Year while teammate PJ Saracino was voted as the CACC Rookie of the Year. Chestnut Hill's John Bennett was voted as the CACC Defensive Player of the Year while his coach, Mike Terranova, earned the CACC Coach of the Year in a vote by the league's sports information directors. Georgian Court also earned the Team Sportsmanship Award for 2019.
2019 CACC MEN'S LACROSSE ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
A Dylan McCleaft (Wilmington University)
A Carson Rees (Chestnut Hill College)
A P.J. Saracino (Georgian Court University)
M Marcos Pierce (Dominican College)
M Ryder Verdoni (Georgian Court University)
M Scott Wilden (Chestnut Hill College)
D Connor Crawford (Chestnut Hill College)
D Jon Howell (Wilmington University)
D Kyle Leary (Wilmington University)
GK Austin Geissel (Georgian Court University)
LSM Troy Longley (Georgian Court University)
SSDM Anthony Fodali (Georgian Court University)
SP Stephen Falco (Dominican College)
A Casey Brown (Chestnut Hill College)
A Nicholas D'Alessandro (Dominican College)
A J.R. Howell (Chestnut Hill College)
M John Bennett (Chestnut Hill College)
M Ben Revak (Chestnut Hill College)
M Chris Smith (Wilmington University)
D Garven Hadden IV (Georgian Court University)
D Connor O'Donnell (Chestnut Hill College)
D Kyle Souza (Dominican College)
GK Austin Jones (Chestnut Hill College)
LSM Matthew Anderson (Chestnut Hill College)
SSDM Billy DiMaio (Chestnut Hill College)
SP Anton Mackey (Wilmington University)
2019 CACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Austin Geissel (Georgian Court University)
2019 CACC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: P.J. Saracino (Georgian Court University)
2019 CACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: John Bennett (Chestnut Hill College)
2019 CACC GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR: Austin Geissel (Georgian Court University)
2019 CACC COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Terranova (Chestnut Hill College)
2019 CACC TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Georgian Court University
2019 CACC REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION: Chestnut Hill College