Maryland’s Amato earns his league-leading third weekly honor of the season
GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Carolina junior attackman Joey Sankey and Syracuse junior attackman Kevin Rice have been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Co-Players of the Week, while Maryland senior goalkeeper Niko Amato is this week’s ACC Defensive Player of the Week, as announced Tuesday by the conference.
Rice tied his career high with four goals and added two assists to lead Syracuse to its first ACC victory, 11-10, against No. 7 Notre Dame March 29 at the Carrier Dome. Three of his four goals came in the second half, including the game-winner with 2:05 to play. Rice has a goal in seven straight games and at least one point in his last nine contests.
Sankey scored a career-high five goals en route to a seven-point day to lead North Carolina to a come-from-behind victory at No. 9/10 Johns Hopkins. With the Tar Heels trailing 7-4 late in the second period, the Warminster, Pa., native helped engineer Carolina’s comeback as he played a role in two goals, including the go-ahead strike, during a 4-0 run that gave the Tar Heels the lead for good. Sankey padded North Carolina’s lead with two goals midway through the fourth quarter to help ice the win.
Amato totaled 10 saves in a 9-6 win over No. 8 Virginia on March 30 to remain a top the league standings with a 3-1 ACC mark. Amato made six of his 10 saves in the first half to keep the Terps within striking distance of Virginia and made four more in the second half to limit the Cavaliers to just one goal over the final 30 minutes of the game. Amato’s 10-save effort is his third double-digit save output of the season and 21st of his career.
Amato’s defensive player of the week honor is his third of the season.
ACC men’s lacrosse action continues Wednesday, April 2 with Maryland hosting Robert Morris and Binghamton playing at Syracuse.