AMHERST, Mass. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College men's lacrosse team had five of its student-athletes listed on the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association's (NEILA) All-New England Preseason Teams.
The roster, revealed on Wednesday, contains student-athletes nominated and voted on by coaches across New England. Seniors Patrick Sweeney (North Andover, Mass.), Anthony Busconi (Watertown, Mass.) and Xavier Quinn (Rye, N.H.) earned First Team placement while senior Christopher Tully (Andover, Mass.) and sophomore Thomas Mapstone (Andover, Mass.) were voted to the list's Second Team.
The Hawks wrapped up a spectacular 2018 season with an 11-5 overall record with the help of the nation's 15th-best scoring offense (12.63) and scoring defense (8.38). The squad knocked off the top team in NCAA Division II (Le Moyne) in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals and won its first postseason game since 2009, downing Saint Rose in the Quarterfinals.
Head Coach Michael Sciamanna enters his fourth season at the helm of the Hawks men's lacrosse program and owns a 27-17 overall record. Saint Anselm is currently ranked 11th in NCAA Division II, according to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, and second in New England according to the NEILA.
Sweeney, a Preseason All-America pick by Inside Lacrosse this year, set career-high marks in goals (36) and assists (13) for the Hawks last year. He crossed the 100-career point threshold against Saint Rose in a NE10 Quarterfinals tilt and recorded at least one point in each game on the season.
Heading into the 2019 season, he is riding a point-scoring streak that dates back to the 2017 campaign. Across his last 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).
Joining Sweeney as a Preseason All-America selection by Inside Lacrosse, Busconi potted 38 goals and added 13 assists to lead the Hawks last season with 51 total points (38-13=51). A valuable offensive weapon for the Hawks, Busconi yielded at least three points of offense in eight of his last nine games, including 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.
He capped the year ranked seventh in the league in point production and his six man-up goals tied him with Sweeney for the team lead. 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 Second Team All-New England pick following last season, Quinn played in 16 games for the Hawks as a junior, potting 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points (16-8=24). He also racked up a seven-game point streak and recorded at least one point in all but three of his 16 games played on the campaign, scoring the game-winning goal at Assumption on Apr. 21.
Through 42 career games on the Hilltop, Quinn has recorded 37 goals and 19 assists for 56 points (37-19=56), securing 36 ground balls and causing four turnovers. Last year, Quinn also made the first three starts of his career, two of those coming in the Northeast-10 postseason.
Tully, another Second Team All-New England pick for the Hawks last season, played and started all 16 games last year, recording 15 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. He helped his team to a convincing 19-9 victory over Saint Rose in the NE10 Quarterfinals last year, causing four turnovers.
He has appeared in 38 games for the Hawks since coming to the Hilltop as a freshman, picking up 41 ground balls and causing 26 turnovers. He was a key member of the defensive unit last season that posted the second-best goals-against average in team history (8.35).
Mapstone earned All-Rookie Team honors from the Northeast-10 Conference as a freshman, scoring three goals and one assist for four points (3-1=4) after playing in all 16 games as a long-stick midfielder. He finished the year with 39 ground balls, causing 12 turnovers, and picked up at least one caused turnover in each of his 16 contests.
Earning at least four ground balls in three of his first four collegiate games, Mapstone fired home his first collegiate goal at Southern New Hampshire on Mar. 27. Three of his six shots found the back of the net and he finished the year with more caused turnovers (12) than committed turnovers (11).