SOMERSET, N.J. – Five members of the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team were presented with All-Northeast Conference honors on Thursday night, as Bryant University and league officials hosted its third annual NEC Pre-Tournament Banquet in Smithfield, R.I. Junior goalie Gill Conners (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) earned a selection to the NEC's First Team, while Michael Sagl (West Islip, N.Y.), Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) and Matt Diehl (Towson, Md.) were all tabbed to the NEC's Second Team. Also honored by the league were freshmen Dylan Baumgardner (Cheshire, Conn.) and Billy Oppenheimer (Conshohocken, Pa.) who each earned a trip to the NEC All-Rookie Team.
Conners was an instrumental piece to Quinnipiac's success through the regular season, serving as the top goalie in the Northeast Conference. Conners has 179 saves through 13 games in net for the Bobcats. He is sixth in the nation and leads the NEC in saves per game (13.77) and is 15th in the nation and leads the NEC in save percentage (.563). Conners has 10 or more saves in each of QU's conference games, including three with 15 or more. The NEC first-teamer has also moved into third place on Quinnipiac's all-time single-season saves list. Conners has been named the NEC Defensive Player of the Week four times throughout the season, and was the first QU goalie to post 20 saves in a game (Brown, 2/23) since the 2004 campaign.
Sagl, an All-Conference honoree for the second straight year, has flourished in his second season with the Bobcats. He leads the team in points (44), goals (22) and assists (22), which is good enough for third in the conference in points, fourth in assists and 10th in goals. Sagl recently extended his point streak to 17 straight games dating back to last season, registering multiple points in 16 of those 17 games. Sagl has 39 career assists which puts him in a tie for eighth place on the all-time list at Quinnipiac. His 22 this year place him among the nation's top-30 in assists per game.
Wilbur emerged as a major offensive threat for the Bobcats in 2012, and has put together an even better senior campaign. Wilbur eclipsed the 20-point plateau against Sacred Heart when he torched the Pioneers with four points on two goals and two assists. He is tied for second on the team in scoring (17 goals, 8 assists, 25 points) and has multiple points in nine games for the Bobcats. He also crossed the 50-point plateau for his career with two goals against Harvard on April 9th.
Diehl, also an All-Conference honoree for the second straight year, really hit his stride midway through the season. With a goal and an assist against Robert Morris last weekend, Diehl has nine points on five goals and four assists in his last three games. At the strength of 13 goals and 10 assists, Diehl is fifth on the team in points with 23. He has registered multiple points in seven games this year which includes four of the five conference games. The highlight of his campaign came on two separate occasions where he posted two goals and two assists in wins over Mount St. Mary's and Wagner.
The NEC also announced its All-Rookie Team and for the fourth straight year, Quinnipiac placed names on the list - Billy Oppenheimer and Dylan Baumgardner. Oppenheimer posted 13 points in his inaugural season, scoring five goals to go along with eight assists. His season was highlighted by a pair of four-point games. He scored twice and dished out two assists against Binghamton and tallied a goal and three assists against Mount St. Mary's. His 13 points has him ranked seventh among the team leaders.
Baumgardner has transitioned in to a starting role and a key member of the Bobcat defense. He has nine appearances, including four starts, picking up four groundballs and causing one turnover. With the help of Baumgardner, Quinnipiac ranks second in caused turnovers per game and third in goals against average.
In search of its second NEC Championship appearance, the Quinnipiac University men's lacrosse team's (6-7, 3-2 NEC) quest for a bid to the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Smithfield, R.I. The No. 3 seeded Bobcats will take No. 2 seed Robert Morris University (7-6, 3-2 NEC) at Bulldog Stadium in the NEC Semifinals at 4 p.m.