PHILADELPHIA – The Ivy League has announced its All-Ivy teams for the 2016 men’s lacrosse season, and it was a banner day for the University of Pennsylvania team as a pair of Quakers historically shared the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award.
Overall, Penn had five players voted to All-Ivy recognition by the Ancient Eight coaches. This marks the third time in four years that Penn has had at least five players receive All-Ivy recognition; the Red and Blue had six players honored in 2013 and five in 2014.
Goalkeeper Reed Junkin and attackman Simon Mathias will share the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award. This marks the first time that the Rookie of the Year award has been split since the Ivy League starting awarding it in 1981, and Junkin and Mathias are the just the second and third Penn players to be named Rookie of the Year along with Peter Janney, who earned the distinction as an attackman in 1997. Junkin also was named second-team All-Ivy, while Mathias received honorable mention recognition.
Penn entered the 2016 season with one of the most highly regarded freshman classes in the country. That said, arguably the top-performing freshman this season was someone who was not on anyone’s radar -- Junkin ended up earning Ivy League Rookie of the Week four times, and on March 28 he became the first player to sweep the Player/Rookie weekly awards in the same week since 2005. Junkin enters the Ivy League Tournament ranked 14th nationally in saves per game (11.43) and 22nd in save percentage (.532).
Mathias finished the regular season with 38 points, which was second in the Penn lineup. His 27 goals led the Quakers, while his 11 assists were behind only senior Nick Doktor. Mathias is the only Penn player to record at least a point in every game this season, and he enters the Ivy League Tournament on a nine-game multi-point streak that includes a six-point game at Princeton, a five-point game at UMBC, four-point games against Harvard and Dartmouth, and three goals at Yale. On April 21, Inside Lacrosse listed its top 25 freshman performers through mid-season, and Mathias came in at No. 21.
Penn’s first-team All-Ivy pick was sophomore Connor Keating at long-stick middie. The leading long-pole scorer in the nation with 17 points (13g, 4a), Keating had at least a point in 11 of Penn’s 14 games including four multi-point outings and two three-point performances. He also had 48 ground balls, second on the team, and nine caused turnovers which tied him for second on the team.
Senior Nick Doktor was named second-team All-Ivy on attack for the second-straight year. In a year where the Ivy League boasts some of the top attackmen in the nation, Doktor received his honor after leading the Quakers in scoring through the regular season with 48 points (14g, 34a). His 34 assists are sixth on Penn’s single-season list, and he needs just two to move into fourth place. Doktor -- who recorded a point in all but one game this year and had 12 multi-point outings -- enters the Ivy League Tournament fourth on Penn’s all-time assists list (93) and seventh on the all-time points list (163).
Junior defenseman Kevin Gayhardt joined Junkin and Doktor as a second-team All-Ivy selection. He finished with a team-leading 10 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls, and also recorded three points as a long pole including a pair of goals at Dartmouth on April 23.
Penn finished the regular season 8-6 overall, 4-2 in Ivy League play and placed third in the Ivy League standings. The Quakers will meet No. 2 seed Yale in an Ivy League Tournament semifinal on Friday at 5 p.m. in Providence, R.I. If Penn wins that game, the Red and Blue face the winner of Friday’s Brown-Harvard game on Sunday at noon in Providence. Friday’s game will be televised live on ESPN3, while Sunday’s Ivy Tournament final will air live on ESPNU.