Bell honored as first-team All-SAC

Bell honored as first-team All-SAC

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum University senior attack Keegan Bell was named first-team All-South Atlantic Conference in men's lacrosse, the SAC office announced Wednesday.

Junior defender Quinn McKitrick was an honorable mention selection for the Pioneers, who finished the regular season with a 7-6 record and in sixth place in the SAC standings with a 3-5 league record. Tusculum qualified for the SAC Championship tournament for the third time in four years with a double-overtime win over 16th-ranked Catawba last Saturday before being eliminated by third-seeded Queens in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday.

Bell set single-season program records with 44 goals and 59 points, ranking second in the SAC in goals in the regular season and tying for fourth in points. Bell also established single-game records of seven goals and 10 points in a 23-8 win over Lees-McRae on Feb. 9. He had six games with five or more goals, and led the Pioneers with six man-up goals which ranked third in the conference.

For his career, Bell ranks fourth in goals with 88 and points with 134 at Tusculum. The Port Coquitlam, British Columbia native is second on the career assist list with 46.

McKitrick tied for third on the team with eight caused turnovers and had 19 ground balls while starting in all 13 regular-season games on defense. The Aldergrove, British Columbia native also scored his first career goal against Lees-McRae on Feb. 9, and had at least one ground ball in 10 of his 13 games.

McKitrick has appeared in 38 career games for the Pioneers, making 36 starts, and has 57 ground balls and 39 caused turnovers, which is third on the program career list.

Tusculum won a pair of SAC statistical championships for the 2019 season, finishing atop the conference in shooting percentage (35.7 percent) and man-up offense (38.9 percent).

The Pioneers scored 163 goals on 461 shots this season, including 23 of 45 against Lees-McRae (51.1 percent), 20 of 45 at Shorter (44.4 percent) and 14 of 30 against Lincoln Memorial (46.7 percent). With the man-up, Tusculum converted on 14 of 36 opportunities across their 13 regular-season games, scoring three goals each against Coker and Lincoln Memorial.

Individually, Bell led the SAC in goals per game (3.31) and points per game (4.46), and junior attack Liam Macdonald paced the conference in assists per game at 2.77 per contest. Macdonald set a program single-season record with 37 assists this season, including six against Shorter on Feb. 23, five vs. Newberry on March 30 and four on three different occasions.

Alex Llerandi was voted SAC Player of the Year by the conference's nine head coaches, with Freshman of the Year honors to Brady Kearnan of Newberry. Catawba head coach Peter Bourque was recognized by his peers as Coach of the Year in the league.

2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Lacrosse All-Conference
First Team
A – Joe Buduo, Lenoir-Rhyne
A – Keegan Bell, Tusculum
A – Dylan Mansur, Newberry
MF – Eric Dickinson, Lenoir-Rhyne
MF – Alex Llerandi, Wingate
MF – Joe Barber, Catawba
D – RJ Neal, Wingate
D – Tyler Bane, Lenoir-Rhyne
D – James Houston, Wingate
LP – Griffin Stechmiller, Queens
Spec. – Wyatt Weiseman, Wingate
GK – Kevin Geiger, Catawba

Second Team
A – Bobby Padden, Wingate
A – Kealan Pilon, Queens
A – Cole Fanzo, Catawba
MF – Conor Gronbach, Wingate
MF – Ethan Irizarry, Coker
MF – Robert Tucker, Lincoln Memorial
D – Payton Leonard, Catawba
D – Ryon Bellamy, Queens
D – Nick Rizzieri, Queens
LP – Reese Orman, Wingate
Spec. – Sean Moran, Wingate
GK – Noah Johnson, Lenoir-Rhyne

Honorable Mention
A – Ian Cook, Lincoln Memorial
A – Stone Boone, Newberry
A – Ryan Ormerod, Wingate
MF – Kevin Barry, Queens
MF – Zac Carrigan, Mars Hill
MF – David Byrne, Queens
D – Jake Coleman, Queens
D – Quinn McKitrick, Tusculum
D – Keenan D'Arcy, Catawba
LP – Connor Stanley, Lenoir-Rhyne
Spec. – Drew Flack, Queens
GK – Alex Cordero, Wingate

Player of the Year: Alex Llerandi, Wingate
Freshman of the Year: Brady Kearnan, Newberry
Coach of the Year: Peter Bourque, Catawba

Statistical Champions
Team Scoring Offense – Newberry, 14.53
Team Scoring Defense – Wingate, 8.43
Team Scoring Margin – Wingate, 4.93
Team Man-Up Offense – Tusculum, 0.389
Team Man-Down Defense – Lenoir-Rhyne, 0.797
Team Faceoff Win Percentage – Newberry, 0.585
Team Shot Percentage – Tusculum, 0.357
Team Ground Balls per Game – Newberry, 37.27

Goals per Game – Keegan Bell, Tusculum, 3.31
Assists per Game – Liam Macdonald, Tusculum, 2.77
Shot Percentage – Ian Cook, Lincoln Memorial, 0.529
Save Percentage – Kyle Hornik, Queens, 0.581
Goals-Against Average – Alex Cordero, Wingate, 8.29
Faceoff Win Percentage – Justin Messersmith, Newberry, 0.652
Ground Balls per Game – Justin Messersmith, Newberry, 6.73
Caused Turnovers per Game – Payton Leonard, Catawba, 2.50
Points per Game – Keegan Bell, Tusculum, 4.46