Aug. 25, 2006
Boston, Mass. -
Several former University of Virginia men's lacrosse players have received postseason honors for their play in the professional league this season.
Matt Ward, a standout on UVa's national championship squad this past season, was named the league's Rookie of the Year. The fourth pick by the Baltimore Bayhawks, he was the team's second-leading scorer with 33 points. He was also second on the team with 23 goals. In his debut against New Jersey on June 11 Ward scored two goals, including a two-pointer. His most impressive performance came against the Boston Cannons on July 8, when he scored six goals and added three assists. His offensive explosion earned him the Offensive Player of the Week award, as he became the only rookie this season to win the award.
John Christmas, a key member of three Final Four squads at UVa and currently a member of the Boston Cannons, was nameed the league's Most Improved Player. As a rookie last season, he was relegated to a role player and scored just five goals and three assists. This season Christmas moved into a starring role and broke out with 21 goals and 17 assists to finish second on the team. Against the Long Island Lizards in the season's second game he notched a hat trick and added an assist to start a streak where the tallied at least four points in four games in a row.
Conor Gill, in his fifth season with the Cannons, was named to the All-MLL team for the second time in the last three seasons. Named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1999 NCAA tournament after guiding the Cavaliers to the national championship, Gill led MLL in scoring with 62 points on 24 goals, five two-pointers, and a league leading 33 assists. He led the league in assists for the fourth straight season and is the all-time league leader with 163.
Gill was also named the Cannons' Offensive Player of the Year and the team's Most Valuable Player this season. Defenseman Ryan Curtis, the 2000 NCAA Defenseman of the Year, was named the Cannons' Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time in his six-year career. Matt Poskay led the Cannons with 25 goals and was named team's Rookie of the Year after scoring 41 goals this spring for the Cavaliers. Faceoff specialist David Jenkins received the team's 11th Man award.