The Rutgers men’s lacrosse team started off its 2019 campaign with a 14-8 victory over Lafayette last Saturday. On Tuesday afternoon, two players earned Big Ten weekly honors for their performances in the season opener.
#RUMLax has two @B1GLacrosse Players of the Week!— Rutgers Men's LAX (@RUmlax) February 5, 2019
Kyle Pless - #B1GLax Defensive Player of the Week
Connor Harryman - #B1GLax Co-Specialist of the Week
More on their performances: https://t.co/Nsn4bxeCiP pic.twitter.com/oWsJ2r7MXo
From the Rutgers press release:
Pless made his first career start at close defense on Saturday, having spent the first 45 games of his career at long-stick midfield over the first three seasons of his career. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native caused two turnovers and collected three ground balls. The senior captain and Preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse covered Lafayette’s 2018 leading scorer Conor Walters and held him to zero goals. It was just the second time in the last 16 games that Walters had been held without a goal. This is Pless’ second career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award, also earning the accolade on March 14, 2017 following five ground balls and two caused turnovers in a win over No. 14 Stony Brook.
Harryman made his Scarlet Knights debut on Saturday with a 22-of-25 performance at the faceoff ‘X’, collecting 14 ground balls. Both marks represented career-highs for the redshirt senior. The Southlake, Texas, native had the most faceoff wins for a Rutgers player since 2013 and the most ground balls for a Rutgers player since 2014. After the opening week of the season, Harryman leads the nation in faceoff winning percentage and ground balls.
Both players are extremely important to the success for Rutgers this season. Harryman could be the catalyst for major improvement this season with faceoff’s, while Pless could help fill the void in the defense after the graduation of All-American Michael Rexrode.
The Scarlet Knights are back in action against St. John’s on the road this Saturday at 1 p.m.