On Tuesday afternoon, the Big Ten announced their all-conference awards and Rutgers was well represented. Michael Rexrode was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He also made the First Team All-Big Ten squad and was joined by Jules Heningburg. Fellow senior Christian Mazzone was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and teammate Casey Rose was given the Sportsmanship award for Rutgers.
Congrats to the All-Big Ten Players from #RUMLax!— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) May 1, 2018
Michael Rexrode - Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Big Ten
Jules Heningburg - 1st Team All Big Ten
Christian Mazzone - 2nd Team All Big Ten
Casey Rose - Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoreehttps://t.co/PC5Fb665px pic.twitter.com/xWIp60iUvj
Rexrode, who we profiled in detail last week here, made the first team for the second consecutive season and captained the defense which was the Big Ten leader in forced turnovers this year. Head coach Brian Brecht had this to say from the Rutgers press release:
“I am very excited for Michael as he has started every game during his four-year career and has always matched up against the opponent’s best offensive player,” head coach Brian Brecht said. “He has been an exceptional student ambassador and a true leader of our program throughout his four years here.”
Heningburg led Rutgers with 36 goals and 33 assists for 69 total points this season. He recently became the program’s second all-time points leader for his career. Heningburg led the Big Ten in points and assists, while being second in goals this season. It was also the second time in his career he was named to the All-Big Ten First Team.
“I am extremely proud of Jules and the player he has become throughout his career,” Brecht said. “He has gotten better each year and is having his best season during his senior year, both on the field and as a leader of our program.”
Mazzone had a strong campaign as well, scoring 28 goals, along with 9 assists and 37 points. He also had 34 ground balls and forced 8 turnovers this season.
“I’m excited because of all the effort and hard work and passion that Christian plays with, that he was recognized as all-conference player,” Brecht said. “A fierce competitor, he has been dedicated in not only developing his game, but helping our program develop throughout his career.
After a disappointing loss last weekend at Ohio State, #11 Rutgers will face #2 Maryland on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Terps won the conference regular season title and beat the Scarlet Knights by one goal less than a month ago. Rutgers is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, as they sit 13th in this week’s RPI rankings. They’ll need to at least beat Maryland on Thursday and very likely need to win the Big Ten Tournament championship to secure a coveted NCAA berth. The last time Rutgers made the NCAA Tournament was in 2004.