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April 24, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference has honored five individuals as recipients of the 2012 ACC Men’s Lacrosse annual awards, announced today by the league office. The awards were determined by a vote of the league’s four head coaches.
Virginia’s Steele Stanwick was named the Offensive Player of the Year, and Duke’s CJ Costabile and Maryland’s Jesse Bernhardt were named Co-Defensive Players of the Year. This season marks the first time that awards were given separately to offensive and defensive players. Maryland’s Goran Murray won Freshman of the Year, and Duke’s John Danowski garnered Coach of the Year accolades.
Stanwick, the 2011 ACC Player of the Year, is the fifth player in league history to earn multiple Player of the Year awards, and the fourth to do so in back-to-back years. The Baltimore, Md., native leads the nation in assists per game (3.38), and broke Virginia’s all-time scoring record last week in the semifinals of the ACC Championship. The 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy winner is on the Watch List again for his senior season. In addition, the three-time All-Conference selection was named the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2009.
Earning Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors is Costabile, a senior longstick midfielder who leads the conference in ground balls per game (6.5). The native of New Fairfield, Conn., is a candidate on the Tewaaraton Watch List and was a USILA Third-Team All-American last year. He was voted to the ACC’s All-Tournament for the third time in his career last week, tying him for the second most in Duke history.
Bernhardt, who was named the Co-Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference in caused turnovers per game (2.0) and has averaged 3.55 ground balls this season. The junior longstick midfielder from Longwood, Fla., has helped the seventh-ranked Terrapin defense limit opposing offenses to just 7.5 goals per game. He joins Stanwick and Costabile on the Tewaaraton Watch List.
Murray becomes the seventh Terrapin to earn Freshman of the Year honors and first since Brian Phipps in 2007. A close defenseman from Merion Station, Pa., Murray ranks sixth in the conference in caused turnovers (1.1) and has been a key part of the tough Maryland defense, having played in every game this season. He was the first Terrapin freshman to start the season opener at close defense since 2008.
Danowski earns his third career ACC Coach of the Year award after leading Duke to its fourth league title in the last six years. The Blue Devils have won 10 straight, are now ranked second in the RPI, and have four wins against teams in the top ten this season. This marks the sixth season a Blue Devil coach has won the award.