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Eaton Named Pilgrim Lacrosse Player of the Year as Eight Earn All-Conference Honors

Eaton Named Pilgrim Lacrosse Player of the Year as Eight Earn All-Conference Honors Springfield, Mass. - May 10, 2010 - Junior Mark Eaton was selected as the Pilgrim Lacrosse League Player of the Year on Monday afternoon in a vote by the league's coaches. Eight members of the Pride garnered all-conference accolades, including six first-team honorees.

Eaton becomes Springfield's three consecutive player of the year in the league. Chris Sharpe was named the league's top player in 2008, while Jake Beebe took home the honor last season.

Eaton was joined by Mike Smith, Pete Sessa, Joe Macchi, Cory Schwarzkopf, and Mike Delia on the first team, while Shawn Runyon and Marc Martinez were selected to the second team.

Eaton had a breakout junior season for the Pride. Stepping in as the Pride's face-off man, Eaton had a dominant season, winning 138-of-303 draws for a 61.7 wining percentage. The Westford, Mass. product picked up 131 ground balls, over 70 more than the next highest member on the team. He also added four goals out the midfield for the Pride as he ranks in the top 25 nationally in both ground balls per game and face-off percentage.

A native of South Hadley, Mass., Smith wrapped up his standout collegiate career with his fourth all-conference selection. A two-time first team honoree, Smith was a dominant defender for the Pride as he appeared in 13 games while battling a leg injury. The team leader in caused turnovers with 23, the quad-captain has also chipped in 25 ground balls this year.

Earning his second-consecutive first team honor, Sessa had a solid senior campaign for the Pride. A preseason honorable mention All-American, the Newton, Mass. native picked up 40 ground balls and was responsible for causing 14 turnovers. One of the team's captains, his leadership on and off the field was a major factor in Springfield reaching its' third-straight NCAA Tournament.

The Pride's leading goal scorer this season, Macchi took home first-team honors after a terrific year on Springfield's midfield. The Mahopac, N.Y. product ranks second on the team in points with 38 and routinely came through in the clutch as he pumped in five-game winning goals on the year. He found the back of the cage 30 times and took 131 shots, averaging just under eight a game.

Last season's Pilgrim League Rookie of the Year, Delia earned his second-straight first team selection. Hailing from Wading River, N.Y., Delia was a spark on the Pride's first midfield line as he totaled 13 goals and a team-high 16 assists for 29 points as a sophomore. Much in part to his solid wing play on face-offs, he added 59 ground balls, the second-highest total on the team.

Schwarzkopf earns all-conference honors for the first time after a strong showing in his final year in Maroon and White. A big and physical defender from Mamaroneck, N.Y., he ranked second on the team with 22 caused turnovers and added 24 ground balls. A member of the Springfield defensive unit, he was a key factor in Springfield allowing just 6.52 goals per game, the 11th-lowest average in the country.

Stepping into the starting role between the pipes as a sophomore, Martinez earned all-conference honors for the first time in his career. He ranked first in the conference in goals against average with a 7.08 and was also tops in the league with a .595 save percentage. A product of Babylon, N.Y., he has recorded 131 saves to date and picked up 29 ground balls.

Runyon continued to produce for the Pride's midfield as he had another steady year for SC. Thanks to his quickness and speed, Runyon was one of Springfield's top dodgers and registered 18 goals and 13 assists this season. A warrior on the field, the Fairport, N.Y. native has chipped in with 22 ground balls during his junior season.

Springfield will now prepare of its opening round game of the NCAA Tournament, when it will host Widener at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon on Stagg Field.

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