The USILA announced the winners of its major individual Division I awards today and Lyle Thompson -- the NCAA's career leader in total points and total assists -- collared the most notable award the organization bestows upon an individual player: The Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award. Thompson becomes only the fifth player in the award's history to earn the honor more than once -- he joins Rob Pannell (Cornell, 2013 and 2011), Matt Danowski (Duke, 2008 and 2007), Casey Powell (Syracuse, 1998 and 1997), Gary Gait (Syracuse, 1990 and 1988), and Larry Quinn (Johns Hopkins, 1985 and 1984) -- and the fourth player to take home the Enners Award in consecutive seasons. While the Tewaaraton Award winner has deviated from the Enners Award winner eight times since 2001, it is highly likely that Thompson's achievement in the eyes of the USILA will serve as a precursor to Thompson securing the Tewaaraton Award on May 28, 2015.
As a consequence of Thompson's celebration, Albany stands with nine other schools -- Johns Hopkins (11); Syracuse (seven); Cornell (six); Virginia (four); North Carolina (three); Army, Duke, Maryland, and Princeton (two) -- with multiple Enners Awards lining their trophy cabinets. The Great Danes are, interestingly, one of two programs -- Army is the other -- that have realized more than one Enners Award winner despite never winning an NCAA championship.
The rest of the award recipients from the USILA are as follows:
- Lt. Col. Jack Turnbull Award: Kevin Rice (Syracuse). In a surprising turn, the USILA conferred the Turnbull Award on Rice instead of its player of the year, the allocation done despite the fact that Rice and Thompson plied their trade at the same position. Rice finished his 2015 campaign with 84 points on 36 goals and 48 assists, steadying Syracuse's potent offense throughout the season. This is the first attackman of the year award that Rice has won and he joins Mike Powell (2001-2004), Ryan Powell (2000), Casey Powell (1998), Matt Riter (1993), Greg Burns (1990), John Zulberti (1988-1989), and Tim Nelson (1983-1985) as Syracuse weapons that have been assigned the honor.
- Lt. Donald McLaughlin, Jr. Award: Myles Jones (Duke). College lacrosse's incarnation of Bill Brasky earned the USILA's nod as the nation's most outstanding midfielder. The junior is only the fourth Blue Devil to collect the trophy and is the first offensive-minded Duke midfielder to win the award since Kevin Cassese in 2002 (C.J. Costabile, a long-stick midfielder, obtained the award in 2012). In spite of a hand issue that hampered Jones' effectiveness down the stretch, the midfielder still led the Devils' nuclear-powered offense with 77 points on 40 goals and 37 assists, his 135 shots residing as the most among Duke players in 2015.
- William C. Schmeisser Award: Matt Landis (Notre Dame). Although the Irish have assembled an incredible run of defensive might in recent seasons, a push that has featured a host of elite defensive machines, Landis has become the first Notre Dame player to secure distinction from the USILA as Division I's best defensive player. A rock on a defense that remains among the nation's best, Landis' effort against Thompson in the national quarterfinals -- Thompson was "held" to a goal and four assists on 11 shots while committing six turnovers -- may have locked up the award for the junior. 16 schools now claim a Schmeisser Award winner with Notre Dame joining Loyola, Yale, UMBC, Rutgers, and Georgetown as one-time honorees.
- Ensign C. Markland Kelly, Jr. Award: Kyle Bernlohr (Maryland). Bernlohr follows Niko Amato as the Kelly Award winner, offering Maryland the opportunity to claim different back-to-back goalie of the year honorees for the first time since 1962. Bernlohr becomes the seventh Maryland player -- following Amato (2014), Brian Dougherty (1995 and 1996), Jim Beardmore (1987), Jack Schofield (1964), Jim Kappler (1955, 1956, and 1957), Bill Larsh (1952) -- to enjoy the honor. Bernlohr was exceptional against his best competition this season, buoying the Terps' suffocating defensive performances in oppressive circumstances, while holding a 58.91 save percentage ahead of the Terrapins' Championship Weekend appearance. With Bernlohr's receipt of the award, Maryland has developed 10 Kelly Award winners, the second most all time behind Johns Hopkins (13).