Providence, Rhode Island - Brown head men's lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany recently announced the squad's 2011 team awards, and named senior midfielder Rob Schlesinger (Medfield, MA) and senior attackman Parker Brown (San Francisco, CA) team captains of the 2012 Brown lacrosse team.
"To lead men into competition is an endeavor complete with both tremendous responsibility and intense satisfaction when done successfully," said Tiffany. "Rob and Parker have been identified by their teammates as leaders amongst leaders, and these two men have already risen to the challenge with exceptional fortitude and devotion to the greatness of this program in their first few months as captains. These two are men who lead from the front, whether with our running, lifting or lacrosse operations. The rest of us are extremely fortunate to have Rob and Parker lead us head-on against the obstacles and challenges we will face this year."
Schlesinger, an All-Ivy and All-New England selection, finished as Brown's top scoring midfielder, and fourth leading scorer overall, with 18 points. He scored 12 goals and handed out six assists for the Bears. He turned in a standout performance in Brown's win over #12 Penn, scoring a career high four goals, while distributing two assists. An Economics and Modern American History concentrator, Schlesinger scored two goals against both Cornell and St. Joseph's.
Parker Brown lead the Bears in scoring with 40 points, netting 22 goals and handing out 18 assists. He was named the Ivy League's Player of the Week after scoring a career high four goals in Brown's win over Dartmouth, including an unassisted game-winning goal in overtime. He also scored four goals in games against Penn and Quinnipiac.
Most Valuable Offensive Player
The Most Valuable Offensive Player for 2011 achieved success not just in 2011: it started as soon as he arrived in Providence. From Day 1 of his Brown University career, this man pursued greatness. He grabbed the ball bucket to go shoot when everyone else was meeting roommates and hall mates. And he never stopped grabbing the ball bucket. This insatiable man earned a starting attack position his freshman year and helped Brown win an Ivy Title, including scoring two goals in the 6-5 victory over Princeton. He did not rest. The next year, he made a huge impact on the offensive end of the field, finishing as one of the top five scorers in the nation with 42 goals. His surgical accuracy with his shooting consistently surprised opposing goalies, and lit up the scoreboard for Brown. Junior year resulted in more success for both him and the team, as he lead the program with 36 goals scored during the shared Ivy League Title year of 2010. As a senior, he was asked to do more by becoming more of a dodging threat and initiating the offense. He answered the bell, despite a 4 game set back due to injury. He leaves the program as the 4th leading goal scorer in the history of Brown Lacrosse, having surpassed Bob Scalise and Tom Draper in the last week of the season with 124 career goals. The 2011 winner of the Most Valuable Offensive Player is a Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship graduate Andrew Feinberg '12
Vincent Marinelli Award
The Vincent Marinelli Award is the annual freshman award, given to the "pup" whom best exemplifies the competitive spirit and commitment to the quality of life that Vinnie demonstrated as a freshman at Brown in 1987 and throughout his childhood and high school years at Elmont. This year's winner grew up not far from Elmont. He did not plan on playing the position he ended up at when he arrived on the Brown University campus last year. As an attackman in high school, he was recruited by many elite programs but ended up choosing to do a post-graduate year up in New England. The change in schools also meant a change in positions, as he found himself playing midfield. The next move would mean another shift. At Brown, he became a trusted defensive midfielder, utilizing a stubborn cross-check with an advanced comprehension of our slide packages. The word consistency defines this man, whether describing his intense approach to training sessions and runs, or with his tenacious focus on the practice and game fields. This year's winner of the Vincent Marinelli Award goes to a man who is excited about another change in his playing position, as he will play more of an offensive role for us in 2012, Stephen Chmil '14.
The Alumni Award
Presented annually to the lacrosse player who through sportsmanship, performance and influence contributed the most to the sport at Brown, our winner characterizes both the undeniable positive spirit of Brown State, as well as the joy of fierce competition and life itself. This year's winner is the poster child of versatility. In 2011, he was a starting member of both the Man Up and the Man Down units, creating a bit of a scheduling issue for the practice plans. For four years, this man started on the Man Down unit, providing instruction and continuity to the back line along with a crafty clearing ability. He started on attack for several games this past year, and scored 2 goals in the 13-12 victory of Penn. But the greatest attribute that Jeff brought to our program was the absolute joy and love of competing with his teammates. He never brought a bad mood or sour face to a day of Brown Lacrosse. The 2011 Alumni Award recipient goes to recent U.S. History and Economics graduate Jeff Foote '12.
The Dom Starsia Coaches Award
The Dom Starsia coaches' award is given by the coaching staff to the player who best represents the spirit of Brown lacrosse year in and year out. Thinking of the description "spirit of Brown Lacrosse" brings to mind many great men of this program, and it was a challenge to select just one. The chosen man jumped ahead of the others due to an incredibly fierce passion for competing while never, ever complaining or having a concern for his own health. Literally, every practice and game-day ground ball was pursued like it was the last one on the planet. After chipping his two front teeth due to a cross-check to the helmet in April of 2010 vs. Penn, he did not say a word to the staff until after the game. He made his way back on the field and was unphased by the retaliatory wind-ups or body checks. There have been few athletes who have given all of themselves for the greater good like this man has. The 2011 Dom Starsia Coaches' Award winner and American History concentrator is recent graduate Nick Martell '12.
Most Valuable Defensive Player
The defense will never be the same without his presence, but he has left a legacy and traits that the younger men who played with him are certainly emulating. The rest of the defense has improved their sticks skills, uses more creative hockey maneuvers to gather ground balls and anticipates running out opponent's shots. This defenseman became a starter for the Brown Lacrosse program his freshman year and he has defined our defense ever since. Right away he was asked to handle a heavy load, and he responded. He served as the catalyst for the clearing game, directed traffic on defense and initiated transition offense. In 2011, he increased his offensive output by scoring 3 goals and adding an assist. The rest of the nation noticed his play as well, as this man has earned All New England, All Ivy and All American honors over his four years at Brown, as well as being named defenseman of the U-19 World Games in 2008. The three-time winner of the Defensive MVP award is once again U.S. and Art History concentrator and recent graduate Peter Fallon '12.
Jim Tepper Award
Established in 1991, this award is given in honor of Jimmy Tepper, a Brown lacrosse player who was killed while working construction during the winter break of his freshman year. The award is for the most improved player in the program: aka – to the guy who turned it around the most after not doing much of anything to start his Brown career. This year, we have two recipients: both did in fact not do much at all early in their careers. The first man was plagued by injuries much of his time at Brown, limiting his playing time and opportunity to improve. But he finally became healthy his senior season and he made the most of it, earning a starting role on the midfield. His deceptive dodging style, combined with his keen vision, meant he was often looked upon to initiate the Brown offense. He stepped up big in several key victories, scoring three points in the win over Penn and hitting the net twice in his final game of his career at Dartmouth. The other award winner transferred to Brown University after a year of playing club lacrosse. He took about 20% of our face-offs that year, without great success. But each year thereafter, he meticulously and relentlessly honed his skills. The results: he won over 50% of his faceoffs in 2011, giving Brown more than 100 possessions. This year's Jimmy Tepper Most Improved Players were both Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship concentrators in 2011: Teddy Daiber '12 and Seth Ratner '12.
The Richard Q. Whelan Jr. Unsung Hero Award
Re-named in 2005, the award is given in memory to the Brown lacrosse player who best exemplifies Ricky's unselfish play, dedication to the program and overall commitment to excellence. This year's winner precisely matches Ricky's dedication and commitment to being an outstanding lacrosse player. Never has he hesitated in a drill, a workout or a training session. His willingness to take instruction and change his approach to the game has allowed him to become one of the top cover defensemen in New England. He will again be asked to defend some of the best attackmen in the nation in 2012. Though he did take one shot last year as a sophomore, he leaves the glory runs and accolades to be adorned onto others while "Lars Junior" keeps his lunch pale close by. The 2011 Ricky Whelan Unsung Hero Award goes to Pre-Med and Human Biology concentrator Clay Del Prince '13.
The Cliff Stevenson Award
Presented annually to the most valuable player of the Brown Lacrosse team in honor of long-time Brown lacrosse and soccer coach Cliff Stevenson, the 2011 winner had a great deal of competition for this award. Several of his teammates had played more in their careers, and earned more accolades. But this man was the biggest difference maker for the Brown Lacrosse program in 2011. At one point he led the nation in save percentage, and was in the Top 5 for much of the season. No man watched more film nor spent more time talking with his Brown coaches about how to improve his game. This absolute commitment to always being a better goalie propelled him to earn All-Ivy and All-New England honors. In his two years as the starting goalie for Brown, Matt was 3-1 in overtime games, including many huge saves. As the starting goalie in 2010, he helped Brown share an Ivy Title and he stood on his head in the Ivy Tournament keeping the game within reach. Brown has a big hole to fill in with his graduation. The winner of the 2011 Cliff Stevenson Award is Modern American History concentrator Matt Chriss '12.