PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Highlighted by senior Hunter Arnold's selection as Offensive Player of the Year and junior Charles Molloy IV's selection as Defensive Player of the Year, the Keene State men's lacrosse program had nine student-athletes named to the Little East Conference (LEC) All-Conference Teams.
A four-time First Team All-Conference honoree, Arnold was an essential piece of the Keene State offense, as the senior midfielder led the team and the LEC in points with 79. From Boxborough, Mass., Arnold registered 51 goals, 28 assists, 48 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers. Earlier this season, he became just the eighth men's lacrosse player in Keene State history to score 150 career goals and tallied four or more goals in a game seven times throughout the season. Starting in all 17 games for Keene State, Arnold earns First Team All-Conference honors. This is the sixth straight year that a Keene State student-athlete has earned the Offensive Player of the Year honor, as Arnold joins Bryan Rotatori '17, three-time recipent Tyler McKelvie '16 and Ian Hart '13.
A starter in all 17 games, Molloy led the LEC and team in caused turnovers with 43, while scooping up 63 ground balls. Named the LEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Molloy anchored an Owls defense that allowed only eight goals or less five times this season. Molloy caused at least three turnovers or more in 10 games and caused at least one turnover in all but one contest, recently becoming the all-time leader in caused turnovers for Keene State with 64. From Guilford, Conn., Molloy also garners First Team All-LEC accolades and is the sixth Keene State student-athlete to earn the award, as the junior joins Mike Curley '14, Sean LeBlanc '11, and three-time recipient Matt Johnson '08.
Senior attacker Jon Nassif, senior midfielder Paul Beling, sophomore midfielder Anthony Marcella, along with junior short stick midfielder JJ Downey and freshman specialist Matthew Lemke all earned First Team All-Conference accolades, which is tied for the second-most in program history with seven honorees, as there were eight recipients in 2017.
Nassif capped off his standout senior season with his first First Team All-LEC honors. A native of Hanover, Mass., Nassif led the team and LEC in goals with 59, while adding six assists, 29 ground balls and six caused turnovers. Beling, from Holliston, Mass., was integral to the Owls' offense, registering 33 goals, 20 assists, 25 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers for his third career All-LEC selection. Nassif ranked second on the team with 63 points, while Beling finished fourth with 53 points.
Marcella and Downey each collected their first career All-LEC award. In his second season with the Owls, Marcella, a native of Hull, Mass., produced 24 goals and 19 assists with 13 ground balls, ranking fifth on the team in points with 43. Downey was a key member of the Owls' defense, as the native of West Islip, N.Y. scooped up a team fourth-best 62 ground balls and caused 22 turnovers, while adding three goals and three assists.
Lemke, from Agawam, Mass., quickly earned the starting spot from the face-off "x", as the rookie specialist went a LEC best 223-for-353 from the dot and picked up a league and team-best 114 ground balls. The freshman also chipped in two goals and added an assist.
Nolan, of Plymouth N.H., earns the recognition for the second straight year, as the sophomore was a mainstay in the midfield. recording 20 goals, 13 assists, 29 ground balls, and 10 caused turnovers. A two-time All-LEC selection, Hamel, from Southington, Conn., was a stalwart in the midfield, picking up a team second-best 76 ground balls and a team third-best 24 caused turnovers.
During the 2018 season, the Owls won their fifth consecutive LEC regular season and championship title, while extending a 47-game winning streak in regular season LEC contests.