SOMERSET, N.J. – Freshman Tim Caton garnered the first major award for the Sacred Heart University men's lacrosse program in the first-ever season of Northeast Conference lacrosse. Caton, a long-stick midfielder from East Rochester, N.Y., was named the NEC Rookie of the Year by the conference's coaches.
Caton was a valuable and versatile midfielder on both ends of the field in his rookie campaign. He caused a team-high 14 turnovers and picked up 43 groundballs, ranking second on the team. As the Pioneers second best in grounders, he helped the team to a league-leading 34.15, which also ranks ninth in the nation. On the offensive side of the ball, Caton scored five goals and dished out two assists for the season. He netted his first career goal and picked up four assists in a 9-8 overtime win over Marist on February 26. His season-high for grounders came in the following game against Dartmouth on March 5, when he snatched up seven loose balls. For his efforts on the season, Caton also earned a spot on the NEC All-Rookie Team.
"Timmy Caton did well matching up the best midfielders in the NEC. He limited their scoring opportunities and on offense he contributed to our team's scoring chances," stated Sacred Heart head coach Tom Mariano. "He made a big difference in league play, which I believe was validated by win winning this award."
In the preseason, senior defender Tim Lewis (Katonah, N.Y.) was named to the Inside Lacrosse All-NEC team. He followed up that recognition by earning a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. Lewis contributed to the team's league leading groundballs per game by scooping up 34, while also causing 11 turnovers.
Joining Caton on the All-Rookie Team are fellow freshmen attackers Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Mike Mawdsley (Innisfil, Ont.). In just nine games, Dodds scored 10 goals, including four multi-goal games. He netted his first career hat trick against Quinnipiac on April 23. Mawdsley was the Pioneers' top scorer, as well as the leading freshman scorer in the NEC, with a team-leading 38 points and 28 goals, to go with 10 assists. He posted four goals, including the OT game-winner, at Marist and tallied a season-high five points, on three goals and two assists at Robert Morris on April 30. For the season, he totaled seven hat tricks, three against NEC opponents.
Robert Morris senior attack Trevor Moore (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) earned the NEC Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season. The NEC awarded post season accolades in 2010, despite the six team's not playing an official league schedule. Between the pipes, Mount St. Mary's senior T.C. DiBartolo (Bowie, Md.) was named Defensive Player of the Year, while the Mountaineers' Tom Gravante was tabbed as the Coach of the Year. Bryan senior attackman Gary Crowley (Scituate, Mass.) earned Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Sacred Heart completed its first season in the NEC, after competing as a Division I independent in 2010, at 4-9 overall and 1-4 in league play. The lone conference win came against Wagner, 18-4, on April 2. In non-conference play, the Pioneers registered wins against Marist, Manhattan (11-6), and Mercer (17-7). SHU also pushed number #19 Denver to four overtimes at Campus Field, before falling 13-12, the second four or more OT game for the Pioneers in the last three seasons.