LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 2/16/12
From Press Release
Twenty Men’s Division I lacrosse players – four from Long Island – have been selected as candidates for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, it was announced by the committee.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 2012 candidate class includes five student-athletes with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Two candidates were United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association first-team All-Americans in 2011, 12 candidates are on teams ranked in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse preseason top 20, and five participated in last year’s semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship, which will be held May 26 and 28 in Boston.
The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I men’s coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
For more information on all the candidates, visit www.seniorCLASSaward.com.
Name Position School
Matt Bell Midfielder Villanova
CJ Costabile Long-Stick Midfielder Duke
Joe Cummings Attacker Maryland
Bobby Dattilo Midfielder Hobart
Kip Dooley Midfielder Dartmouth
Aidan Genik Attacker Hartford
Andrew Gvozden Goalie Hofstra
Matt Kawamoto Defender Ohio State
Matthew Mackrides Attacker Penn State
Gregory Mahony Midfielder Yale
Kiel Matisz Midfielder Robert Morris
Tom Morr (Chaminade) Goalie Siena
Bryan Neufeld Attacker Siena
Rob Pannell (Smithtown West) Attacker Cornell
Kevin Randall Defenseman Notre Dame
Patrick Rogers Midfielder Denver
Steele Stanwick Attacker Virginia
Justin Turri (West Islip) Midfielder Duke
Chad Wiedmaier Defenseman Princeton
Jake Ziegler Defenseman Jacksonville
Gvozden maintains a 3.47 GPA in Entrepreneurship (Business) with a minor in Information Technology. He’s a three-year member of both the Hofstra Dean’s List and Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll, as well as a three-year recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award. After graduation, Gvozden aspires to a career on Wall Street.
A four-year starter, Gvozden enters his senior season as a team captain. He’s a team leader in community-relations activities and has been cited for excellence at The Program leadership exercise. Gvozden shared goalie duties in 2010 and came back to start all 16 games in 2011. He has played in 39 games during his career.
Gvozden has served as a team leader in volunteer efforts for Holiday Magic for underprivileged children (2008-11), Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ Walk for the Homeless (2008-11) and the Firefighter Stephen Siller World Trade Center Tunnel-to-Towers Charity Run (2010-11). He also a Hofstra University academic tutor and has served as a youth lacrosse camp counselor at the Blue and Gold Camp, Sunshine State Camps and Marquette Lacrosse Camp.
As a junior, Gvozden received USILA All-American honorable-mention and All-CAA second-team honors after leading the NCAA in goals against average (6). He also ranked fifth in the country in save percentage (.602) en route to posting a 13-3 record. He has a career .754 GAA and a .566 save percentage with a 26-9 record.
Morr maintains a 3.41 GPA in History with a Business minor. He has been a MAAC All-Academic Team selection each of the past three years.
Morr has been a team captain each of the past two seasons. He has had to overcome two major health obstacles to be as successful as he has been on the field. During his freshman year of high school, Morr was diagnosed with a very rare disease called viral encephalitis. Morr could not walk, talk or move for more than a month. Gradually, the disease went away, but Morr had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. Prior to his junior season, Morr blew out his right knee during a summer-league match in Cape Cod in July. Doctors said he wouldn’t be ready to go in game action until late February, but Morr beat the odds and was cleared for the first team practice in early January. He proved his durability and played in every game in 2011 en route to a huge season. “Tom Morr is a wonderful example of what it means to be a leader,” Siena coach John Svec said. “In 2011 he overcame a knee injury to get back on the field and start each game even though he was not 100 percent. To a man, all his teammates look to him to provide direction and leadership. His passion and love for the game and his teammates can be seen on the practice field, in the locker room and in the film room, as well as on game day.”
Morr is highly active in the community and is an active participant in Siena Athletics’ “Saints in the Community” program. Morr has visited and cooked several meals at the Ronald McDonald House and along with his teammates participated in Center for Disability Services telethon in each of his four years at Siena. He and his teammates have made a donation to the event each year while also answering phone calls and taking pledges. Last year, the event raised $1.96 million. Morr has also been active in working at youth leagues and lacrosse camps both in and around Siena and at home.
Morr was named first-team All-MAAC following a junior season in which he led the conference with an 8.72 goals against average while ranking fifth nationally in save percentage (.594) and eighth in the nation in saves per game (11.61). In Morr’s four years with the program, including his redshirt season, the Saints have posted a 47-26 (.644) overall record including a pair of MAAC Championships and NCAA Tournament Appearances during his freshman and junior seasons. Last season he led the Saints to a program record 13 victories and a No. 20 national ranking in both the USILA Coaches’ Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for the first time ever.
Pannell is the true embodiment of an Ivy League student-athlete who works hard to achieve success both on and off the field. He will graduate from Cornell with a bachelor of arts degree in Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in Finance and maintains a 3.2 GPA while consistently taking some of the hardest classes in his major. While he is still interviewing for positions, this past summer Pannell got real-world experience with a prestigious internship with Citigroup in New York City.
When you look at the Cornell University men’s lacrosse team, there is little doubt that Pannell is the leader, not only on the field, but in the locker room and in the community. On the field, Pannell found success early in his career and has started for Cornell, a perennial top-10 team, since his arrival on East Hill. Over the past three years, he has had accolades heaped upon him, as he has been considered one of the top players in the nation since the start of his career. He is consistently one of the first players on the field for practice, and one of the last players to leave the field at the end of training. He has worked tirelessly and comes back each and every year bigger, faster and stronger. Off the field, Pannell’s presence is felt in the locker room, as he walks a fine-line between being approachable to underclassmen and respected by his classmates. At the same time, he is open and honest with the coaching staff, providing an essential conduit between the coaches and the players, without breaking trust on either side. Pannell mentors the younger players on the team and instills in them a sense of history and pride in the Cornell men’s lacrosse program. He is the embodiment of the Cornell lacrosse motto – “well done is better than well said.” For Pannell, that means showing the way to his teammates – always doing the right thing and working hard. The coaching staff has relied on Pannell to lead the team both on and off the field. After serving as team captain last season, coach DeLuca made Pannell the team’s lone captain this year, marking just the third time since 1966 that the Big Red has had a single captain of the men’s lacrosse team. The reason for this was simple — no other individual on the team came close to matching Pannell’s leadership, work ethic and character.
In the community, Pannell’s efforts are unparalleled and it is here that his leadership qualities shine through. He is involved in various community service projects, typically taking up the leadership mantel, and he often recruits his teammates and inspires them to give their time as well. The projects he is involved with include — Save the Day, The 21 Run, Big Red Readers, Owego Flood Relief, Red Key Honor Society and Sphinx Head Honor Society. For the past three years, Pannell has taken the lead in a program called “Save the Day,” serving as coordinator this year. The program is a joint effort between the Cornell men’s lacrosse team and the Dream Factory of Central, N.Y., to raise money to grant the wishes of chronically and critically ill children. In large part due to Pannell’s efforts, what began in 2004 as a simple fundraising campaign in which members of the Big Red solicited contributions from the community for every save made by a Cornell goalie, has evolved into a year-round service project which includes running a blood drive for the American Red Cross, as well as the Save the Day 3 vs. 3 Youth Lacrosse Tournament. During his three years, the Save the Day program has raised over $3,550 and has granted several wishes. The Save the Day blood drive has also been a great success over the past two years, exceeding all expectations and collecting enough blood to help save the lives of nearly 150 critically or chronically ill members in our community. Pannell has been instrumental in organizing the past two campaigns and has volunteered his time at the collection site. Pannell is a member of the Sphinx Head Honor Society, a group that recognizes members of the Cornell senior class who have given their time and passion to the university during their undergraduate years. It is the university’s oldest secret senior honor society, and its goal is to quietly uplift the Cornell community through volunteerism. Membership is diverse, representing all segments of the student population, and all members serve as leaders in their respective Cornell communities. The group does a number of volunteer projects throughout the year.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft, Pannell enters the 2012 season as the national leader in career assists (140) and holds the longest point-scoring streak in the nation, having registered a point in every game of his collegiate career (52). One of the recent greats in a lacrosse program full of legendary players, Pannell is the reigning USILA’s Lt. Raymond Enners Award winner as the Division I national player of the year and he is a two-time winner of the USILA’s Jack Turnbull Award as the Division I national attackman of the year. He is just the 11th repeat winner in the 65-year history of the Turnbull Award. A 2011 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist and a nominee for a 2011 ESPY in the category of Best Male Collegiate Athlete, Pannell is a three-time All-American and he has twice been unanimously voted the Ivy League Player of the Year, after being selected the conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2009. He is also a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection and was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Ivy League tournament. In just three seasons, he has already scored more than 200 career points and has helped the Big Red earn three Ivy League titles and three trips to the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the national championship game in 2009. He finished the 2011 season ranked in the top 10 in the nation in three major offensive categories, finishing in first place overall in points per game (5.24), second overall in assists per game (2.76) and ninth overall in goals per game (2.50).
Turri graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2011 and is currently enrolled in the Master of Management Studies program in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He earned All-ACC Academic Team selections in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2008-11.
An excellent leader on and off the field, Turri was voted by his teammates to be a captain for the second straight season. He is a vocal leader and sets a great example for younger players and all of his teammates.
Turri is an active member along with his teammates at the Ronald McDonald House. They make dinner for the families once a month during the fall. He also helped organize players for various community service projects in the Durham community.
Turri earned All-America second-team honors in 2011 and returns as one of Duke’s top midfielders. He has started all but five games during the course of his career and is just 10 points shy of reaching the 100-point benchmark. He currently owns 51 goals and 39 assists for 90 points and has been one of Duke’s top scoring midfielders in each of his three seasons on the field.