Eight earn NEILA All-New England honors

Eight earn NEILA All-New England honors

AMHERST, Mass. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team had several selections on the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's All-New England Teams that were released to the public on Tuesday.

PDF: 2018 NEILA All-New England Teams – Division II

Junior Patrick Sweeney, junior Anthony Busconi and senior Drew Bourdeau earned First Team All-New England distinction while senior Ryan Hesseltine, junior Xavier Quinn, junior Nick Richard, senior Derrick LaBranche and junior Chris Tully were selected to the Second Team.

Ranked 17th in NCAA Division II by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, Saint Anselm posted an 11-5 overall record this season. The 11 wins in 2018 are the most in one year against Division II opponents and the Hawks also secured their first-ever win against the nation's top-ranked team, defeating Le Moyne in the NE10 Semifinals.

The Hawks also posted the nation's 15th-best scoring offense (12.63) and scoring offense (8.38), ranking 18th overall in points per game (19.31). The squad set the program record in goals scored (202) and tallied 309 points (202-107=309) as a team, the second-most in a single season.

Sweeney picked up First Team honors from the NEILA for the second-straight season in 2018. He set career-high marks in goals (36) and assists (13) for the Hawks, crossing the 100-career point threshold against Saint Rose in a NE10 First Round tilt. A Second Team All-NE10 pick, Sweeney recorded at least one point in each game on the season and matched his career-high with seven points against Saint Rose to open postseason play.

Heading into the 2019 season, he is riding a point-scoring streak that dates back to the 2017 campaign. Across his previous 21 games, he has produced at least one point of offense with totals of 43 goals and 15 assists for 58 points (43-15=58). Across a 44-game career on the Hilltop, Sweeney has scored 81 goals and posted 25 assists for 106 total points (81-25=106)

Across 16 games this season, Busconi has potted 38 goals and added 13 assists to lead the team with 51 total points (62-33=95). A valuable offensive weapon for the Hawks, Busconi has yielded at least three points of offense in eight of his last nine games – this total includes a six-point performance against No. 9 Pace on Apr. 11, his team's first win over a top-10 program since the 2012 campaign.

Ranking seventh in the league in point production, his six man-up goals ties him with Sweeney for the team lead while also ranking third in the conference in that statistic. Across 32 career games played for the Hawks, Busconi has scored 62 goals and 33 assists for 95 points (62-33=95) while adding 51 ground balls and causing nine turnovers.

A mainstay for the Hawks on defense across the prior four seasons, Bourdeau earned his third NEILA All-Region nod. A key cog in the nation's 15th-best scoring defense (8.38), Bourdeau has caused 16 turnovers on the season and picked up 37 ground balls while potting his first goal since the 2016 season.

He has reeled in at least one ground ball in all but two games on the season, including a season-high of six against No. 2-ranked Merrimack on Apr. 3. Entering Friday's contest against Le Moyne, Bourdeau graduates 10th all-time with 129 ground balls since joining the team during the 2015 season.

Hesseltine completed his senior season with exactly 50 points of offense, scoring 27 goals and adding 23 assists for the Hawks. Prior to his breakout campaign, Hesseltine had combined for 33 points of offense (23-10=33) and set career-high marks in virtually every offensive category in 2018.

A key cog for the Saint Anselm offense, Hesseltine also added 33 ground balls and started all 16 games. He finished his career riding a nine-game point streak, pouring home 18 goals across that span to help the Hawks to the NCAA Tournament.

Across 16 games, Quinn scored 16 goals and eight assists for a career-best 24 points (16-8=24). He had a breakout game against Franklin Pierce on Mar. 24, scoring four goals to set a personal best. His season-high point-scoring streak spanned seven games from Apr. 6 to Apr. 28 where he tallied seven goals and six assists for 13 points (7-6=13).

Richard was one of the conference's top goaltenders in 2018, posting an 8.53 goals-against average alongside a .561 save percentage. Ranking 15th in NCAA Division II in goals-against average, Richard's 152 saves were the fourth-most in the league and his 837:17 minutes of game play was the third-most among the league's backstops.

He registered a season-best 16 saves against Saint Rose on May 1, helping the Hawks win their first NE10 postseason game since the 2009 season. He also made double-digit saves in seven of his 16 games on the season, including in two out of three of the conference's postseason games.

LaBranche secured the third-straight Second Team selection in his four-year career. As a senior, he appeared in a career-high 16 games while causing 27 turnovers and collecting 42 ground balls. He caused three turnovers in each of his first four games of the season and finished the year with at least one caused turnover in nine of the final 10 games of the season.

He finishes an outstanding career with 72 caused turnovers, the second-most in team history. His 143 career ground balls ties him with Chris Murphy '09 for sixth all-time. His 1.69 caused turnovers per game in 2018 led the NE10.

Tully joined LaBranche and Bourdeau on defense, contributing 15 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers from his position in the back. He committed only five miscues through a career-best 16 games, causing a season-high four turnovers against Saint Rose in the first round of the NE10 postseason. He has played in 38 games since joining the team during the 2016 season.