JT Thelen Offensive Player of the Year, Eight Mustangs Named All-Conference

JT Thelen Offensive Player of the Year, Eight Mustangs Named All-Conference

MAC RELEASE

ANNVILLE, Pa. – Stevenson University men's lacrosse junior JT Thelen was named the 2018 MAC Commonwealth Offensive Player of the Year as the conference office released this year's All-Conference teams Tuesday morning.  A total of eight Mustangs earned All-Conference accolades.

Thelen and sophomore Ethan Christensen were named First Team All-Conference at attack, while senior Harrison Faecher was a First Team midfield selection.  Sophomore Justin Burnette was tabbed the First Team faceoff specialist.

Selected to the Second Team were midfielders senior Kyle Karsian and junior Chris Hammerquist and senior defender Tom Brown.  Senior defender Austin Howard was named Honorable Mention.

In 16 games this season, Thelen, a First Team selection for the second straight year, has totaled 56 goals and 26 assists for 82 points, leading the conference in goals per game (3.5) and points per game (5.12).  He ranks among the top 20 nationally in points per game.  Thelen has scored in all but one game this season and has 12 multi-goal games on the season, including an April 10 game at Lycoming in which he matched program records for goals (9) and points (12) in a game.

Christensen ranks right behind Thelen in the MAC Commonwealth rankings, as he has totaled 32 goals and 32 assists for 64 points, placing him second in the league in points per game.  He ranks second in the conference in assists per contests and leads the Mustangs in that category. Christensen posted five goals and five assists in a win over Messiah on April 14.

Faecher has had a breakout senior season, totaling 24 goals and 14 assists for 38 points while also picking up 28 ground balls.  After not recording a point in the season's first three games, he has scored in 12 of the last 13 contests, including three goals and five assists against Arcadia on April 21.  Faecher has posted eight multi-goal games.

Burnette has been one of the top faceoff men in the country this season, winning 72.2% (268-371) of faceoffs in 2018, good for fourth nationally, including 82.2% (157-191) in league play.  A repeat member of the First Team, Burnette won 26-of-29 draws in a win over 13th-ranked Stevens in early April and was a perfect 19-19 in a triumph over Lebanon Valley. Burnette has picked up 147 ground balls and has four goals and an assist on the season.

Karsian has totaled 24 goals and 11 assists for 35 points this season and has recorded 33 ground balls.  A Second Team selection for the second straight year, Karsian has posted seven multi-goal games this season, including four goals and an assist in a double overtime win against No. 13 Stevens.

Hammerquist emerged as a key contributor for Stevenson this season, finishing the regular season with 12 goals and nine assists in 12 games and adding 10 ground balls.  He had three goals and an assist in a win at Albright and posted two goals and three assists in a win at Lycoming.

Brown stepped up as the leader of a defensive unit decimated by injuries early on.  He started all 16 games for the Mustangs and recorded 27 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers.  Brown picked up four ground balls on three occasions and also had three games with a pair of caused turnovers.  He also scored his first career goal against Alvernia.

Howard was also a key contributor on defense for Stevenson.  Starting all but one game, Howard recorded a team-high 17 caused turnovers and picked up 32 ground balls.  He recorded three caused turnovers against Albright and had multiple ground balls in nine contests.

Stevenson (10-6, 8-0 MAC Commonwealth) enters this week's MAC Commonwealth Championship as the top seed.  The Mustangs host Lycoming Wednesday in a semifinal at 7 pm as they seek their sixth straight conference title.