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PMLA graduates make mark on NCAA

Many PMLA graduates have made their marks on the NCAA, boosting not only their resumes but also their level of play in box lacrosse season. American collegiate field lacrosse provides young men and women the chance to experience life and lacrosse on an entirely different level. The NCAA stresses professionalism and academic achievement as well as athletic success. MSL and NLL success follow.

Here are just a few Lakers who have made an NCAA impact:

  • Holden Cattoni – Johns Hopkins – named All-American, won team awards as outstanding midfielder and for outstanding character and attitude
  • Josh Currier – Virginia Wesleyan – graduated as the ODAC’s all-time leading scorer with 353 points
  • Shawn Evans – Bellarmine – member of the inaugural lacrosse program and still ranks second in all-time points
  • Adam Jones – Canisius – 2008 All-American, three-time All-MAAC selection, sixth in all-time career program goals

This year, two more Lakers end distinguished NCAA careers. Zach Currier will graduate from Princeton University with a degree in structural engineering, and Jake Withers will graduate from the Ohio State University with a degree in economics.

A midfielder, Currier finished the regular season as the Tigers’ best all-around player with 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists). More impressive is his 114 ground balls. His 286 overall is second in program history. Currier is revered for his ability to change the course of a game all by himself.

Also a midfielder, Withers served as team captain in his senior year where he was the Buckeyes’ lead face-off specialist with a .598 winning percentage over his career. He also set a record for ground balls and leads the program with 297. 

Their great seasons turned the heads of the Tewaaraton Foundation. Each year the foundation awards one male and female player with the Tewaaraton Award as the most outstanding player in collegiate lacrosse. Call it the Heisman of lacrosse. Both Currier and Withers are on the 25-man nomination list. Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced on May 11 and invited to the ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 1.

Peterborough’s Cam Milligan was on the initial list of 50 players to watch, while Erica Evans is one of the 25 female nominees.

Just being nominated is an honour. 

“It just shows how good the Peterborough Lakers’ system is with three of us on the list,” Withers said. “I think my senior year has been going well but we still have a championship left on the table to go win.”

Both Princeton (Ivy) and Ohio State (Big 10) are in their respective division tournaments. Currier and Withers are both focused on the team game and bringing home a championship. In true Peterborough born-and-raised fashion, their individual successes come second to the needs of their team.

“It won’t mean much if our season gets cut shorter than we want it to so we’re going to have to work as hard as we can in order to keep playing late into May,” said Currier.

Lakers’ general manager Paul Day is proud of his sophomores.

“Both Currier and Withers played an important role for us as rookies and will continue to make an impact as we take the next step as a team,” Day said. “Their success as leaders at the NCAA level will add to their confidence and to our success.”

Both Currier and Withers expected to be high picks in the 2017 NLL draft.