ATLANTA - The SAA released the men's lacrosse Players of the Week for all contests played through February 12 and Ryan Fennelly of Rhodes claimed the honor for outstanding offense while Christian Wheeler of Hendrix was tabbed for the best defensive effort in the seasons opening weeks.
SAA Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week - Ryan Fennelly of Rhodes
Junior Ryan Fennelly (pictured at right) put together a monster game as Rhodes opened its season with a 12-9 win over Southwestern. Fennelly finished with six points, scoring four goals to lead the way along with two assists. Additionally, he added four ground balls and four caused turnovers.
SAA Men's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week - Christian Wheeler of Hendrix
Senior Christian Wheeler registered 51 saves, a .654 save percentage and 9.00 goals against average as the Warriors started the season 1-2. He had 17 saves with three ground balls in a 10-8 loss to Southwestern on Feb. 4. In Friday's loss at Division II Rockhurst, Wheeler tied his carer-high with 22 saves and had a ground ball and caused a turnover. He came up with 12 saves, two caused turnovers and two ground balls in Sunday's 7-2 win at DII Maryville (Mo.)
Wheeler minds the net for the Warriors
Other notable performances from around the league:
Quentin Johnson led the Berry College Vikings to a season-opening rout of visiting Huntingdon during their only game of the week. The Vikings outscored the Hawks 20-6 for their highest offensive output since Mar. 19, 2014 when they hung 21 on Oglethorpe. Johnson led the attack, scoring two goals and passing seven assists (tied for a Berry College record). He also led the team to a new school record with 16 total assists. His play led directly to nine of Berry's 20 goals, and he is currently leading the league in assists and points after his stellar outing (including several players with multiple games played).
Tanner Schneider earned four goals on four shots in the Panthers 23-9 win over Piedmont College. He also picked up one ground ball and finished with no turnovers.
Senior midfielder Alex Ortenstone scored six goals and an assist as the Warriors started the season 1-2. Ortenstone had two goals and an assist with four ground balls and a caused turnover in a 10-8 loss to Southwestern on Feb. 4. On Friday, he had a pair of goals, a ground ball and two caused turnovers at Division II Rockhurst. Ortenstone had two more goals and three ground balls in Sunday's win at DII foe Maryville (Mo.).
Earning his first career start in goal, freshman Kevin Murphy led the Vikings to a 20-6 win to open the season on Saturday. The Vero Beach, Fla. native recorded 45:00 minutes in goal where he tallied four saves and only allowed four goals on eight shots faced. He currently leads the SAA in goals-against average at 5.33. The Vikings defense only allowed 10 shots on goal for the entire game.
Nelson Salem of BSC was a perfect 5-for-5 in face-offs. He helped anchor a defense that held Piedmont to just nine goals. He also grabbed a team-high six ground balls in the win.
Freshman James Margraff picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers as the Rhodes College men's lacrosse team beat the Southwestern Pirates in their opening game, 12-9.
The SAA sports information directors contributed to this report