Terps Tillman, Amato, Cannizzaro honored by ACC

May 02, 2014 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Head coach John Tillman, senior goalie Niko Amato and freshman attackman Connor Cannizzaro were among the recipients of the annual ACC men’s lacrosse individual awards, the conference announced Thursday.

Tillman was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, while Amato and Cannizzaro were named the Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Tillman earns his first ACC Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Terrapins to a 10-3 overall record, including a 4-1 mark in conference play, which earned Maryland the 2014 ACC Regular Season championship. Tillman, who is in his fourth season at the helm of the Maryland program, is the third Terrapin head coach to earn the honor, joining Dick Edell, who won the award in 1989, 1992 and 1998, and Dave Cottle, who won the award in 2004 and 2008.

Amato, who is the first goalie in the history of the ACC to be named to the All-ACC squad four times, becomes the second Terp to win the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in just the third season of the award’s existence. The native of Conshohocken, Pa., leads the conference with a 7.27 goals-against average, which is nearly a full goal less than the second-place goalie. He is also tops in the conference with a .573 save percentage. A three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Week honoree this season, Amato was at his best in conference games and had a 7.80 goals-against average with a .585 save percentage in the five regular season conference games. His standout performance of the season came in the Terps’ 10-6 victory over then-No. 1 Duke on March 1 when he recorded a season-best 17 saves, which is the most by an ACC goalie this year.

Cannizzaro becomes the eighth Terrapin to earn the ACC Freshman of the Year award and is the first Maryland attackman to win the award since Joe Walters in 2003. The native of Cazenovia, N.Y., was solid throughout the season for the Terps, ranking third on the team with 25 points and is tied for third with 19 goals. But Cannizzaro excelled in ACC games this season and ranks 10th in the conference in points per game (2.80) and goals per game (2.0). He scored three goals and added an assist in the Terps’ 16-8 win at Syracuse on Feb. 22 and matched that performance with three goals and an assist in Maryland’s 12-8 win at Notre Dame on April 19. He also had two goals and an assist in each of the Terps’ games vs. Virginia and North Carolina.

Duke senior attackman Jordan Wolf was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.

Maryland closes out its regular season vs. Navy on Saturday, May 3 at 1 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

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