Philadelphia The Penn men’s lacrosse coaching staff has announced the team award winners for 2005. A pair of defensemen led the way with Most Outstanding and Most Valuable Awards this season.
Junior Andrew Blechman was honored with the I.W. Burnham, II Award as the Most Outstanding Player in 2005. A native of Potomac, Md., Blechman was assigned the tough task of shadowing the opposition’s top scoring threat during every game and did so with intensity and style. Blechman played in all 13 games, recorded 21 ground balls and had six caused turnovers in his third season with the Quakers. Adding more defensive power was fellow classmate Joe Shanagan, who was named the E.T. Clark Most Valuable Player. Shanagan, who is from East Rockaway, N.Y., played in all 13 games this past season, where he scored one goal, recorded 23 ground balls and caused six turnovers as one of the top long-stick middies in the Ancient Eight.
The team’s Most Improved Player award went to another defenseman, senior J.T. Pitcher. Pitcher played in all 13 games, during which he became a feared threat for the competition’s offense. Pitcher, who hails from Auburn, N.Y., collected 13 ground balls and had one caused turnover this past season and will graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Engineering Arts and Sciences.
This season’s Coaches Award went to junior tri-captain D.J. Andrzejewski. The midfielder from Parkton, Md. led the Quakers in scoring this season with a team-high 17 goals and a team-high 11 assists for 28 points. He finished his third season with the Red and Blue with 32 goals and 27 assists for 59 career points. He had a season-high three goals against Yale on March 19 and recorded four games with four points apiece this season.
Senior Brian Amen received the team’s Leadership Award after serving as a tri-captain for the 2005 campaign. The Northport, N.Y. native led by example, on the field with six points on four goals and two assists, 22 ground balls and five caused turnovers, and off the field with his determination and exemplary work ethic. The senior will leave Penn with a degree from the College of Arts and Science.
The Class of ’88 Award was given to senior Zandy Reich. The Philadelphia native finished third on the Quakers in scoring with 15 points on nine goals and six assists in his final season at Penn. He was also second in ground balls with 31 and caused three turnovers from his attack position. But it was not his stats alone that warranted this award for Reich. The four-year letterwinner was Penn’s true “inspirational” teammate, leaving it all out on the field every contest, during a season which was a tough one to swallow. Reich, who recorded 34 goals and 27 assists for 61career points, will leave Penn with a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.
A quartet of captains has been selected for the 2006 season. Andrzejewski will serve as a captain for the second-straight season, and will be accompanied by Blechman, Patrick Rogers and Shanagan. The Quakers finished the 2005 campaign with a 2-11 overall record (0-6 in the Ivy League).
Written by Carla Zighelboim