ATLANTA - The SAA announced the men's lacrosse Players of the Week for matches played April 10 - 16 and Rhodes' John Tooher won OPOW after tallying two late goals to lift Rhodes to the outright regular season crown. Defensively, Centre's Sam Long collected another nod for his stellar work on the field.
SAA Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week - John Tooher of Rhodes
Sophomore John Tooher (pictured at right) scored five goals on the weekend including the huge game winner against Centre to clinch the team's first ever outright SAA Title. Against Sewanee, Tooher scored a pair of goals in a 12-6 win and picked up five ground balls, coming away with nearly every hustle play and also causing two turnovers. Against Centre, Tooher scored three goals in the fourth quarter alone to give Rhodes the 8-7 win. Down 7-6 late, Tooher tied the game with 37 seconds left and followed that up with an unbelievable game winning goal for the remarkable 8-7 come-from-behind win.
SAA Men's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week - Sam Long of Centre
Sam Long had another solid week in goal for the Centre men's lacrosse team, saving 38 shots while only allowing 16 goals across two games. Long's save percentage was 70.4 for the week. Long was also credited with eight ground balls over the two games this week, including five against Hendrix on Friday.
Long minds the net for the Colonels
Other notable performances from around the league:
Continuing to lead both the Vikings and the conference on offense this season, Chris Berchock scored three goals and passed one assist as the Berry College men's lacrosse team held off Birmingham-Southern College 11-9 on Sunday to clinch the No. 3 spot in conference. Berchock scored in three of the four quarters for the Vikings, adding four shots in the contest as well, three of which were on goal. He also scooped one ground ball and assisted on a late third quarter goal as well. Berchock has currently scored 46 goals on the year, 15 more than anyone else in the SAA. He has also passed two assists to sit at third in the conference in total points on the year, with 48. Behind Berchock, the Vikings are now 10-4 overall, as well as 5-2 in the SAA, as they begin postseason play on Saturday.
David Arnold led BSC with eight goals this week against SAA opponents. He scored five over Oglethorpe and then had a hat trick against Berry. He finished with an 81.3 shot on goal percentage.
Despite not scoring a goal during the week, freshman Dominic Nayan had the biggest impact on offense for Centre in their two games this week. Nayan recorded a career high three assists in Centre's game against Hendrix on Friday. On Sunday, Nayan returned to his hometown of Memphis and added four more assists, the highest total for a Centre player this season.
Senior attacker Alex Ortenstone registered four goals, four assists and five ground balls as the Warriors split at home over the Weekend. Ortenstone, from Spring, Texas, recorded a career-high seven points on four goals and three assists with three ground balls in Friday's 8-7 win over Centre. In Sunday's loss to Sewanee, Ortenstone had an assist and two ground balls.
Kevin Murphy earned the complete-game win in goal for the Berry College men's lacrosse team, as the Vikings clinched the No. 3 conference seed with an 11-9 victory over Birmingham-Southern College on Sunday. Murphy collected eight saves off of 17 shots in goal for Berry, maintaining Berry's 11-9 victory over the Panthers. The freshman has recorded 206 minutes in goal for the Vikings this season, adding 30 saves, while allowing an average of only 7.28 goals per game. Behind Murphy, Berry is now 10-4 overall, as well as 5-2 in the SAA, as they begin postseason play on Saturday.
Senior defenseman Michael Riley recorded four eight ground balls and four caused turnovers as the Warriors split at home over the weekend. Riley, from Houston, anchored the Hendrix defense with five ground balls and three caused turnovers in Friday's 8-7 win over Centre. He also had an assist on a fastbreak goal. In Sunday's loss to Sewanee, Riley came up with three ground balls and a caused turnover.
Senior John Wancowicz had an unbelievable defensive weekend, leading the Lynx to their first ever conference championship with wins over Sewanee and Centre. Against Sewanee, Wancowicz had a caused turnover to go with four ground balls while defending Sewanee's Hayden Hunt, holding him to zero points. He followed that up with an unbelievable five CT, two ground ball game against Centre in a come-from-behind effort to win the outright title. The Lynx defense held Sewanee to only six goals while holding Centre to seven.
The SAA sports information directors contributed to this report