May 23, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Loyola University Maryland senior defenseman Joe Fletcher became the first Patriot League player and first in program history to capture the William C. Schmeisser Outstanding Defensive Player Award, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced on Friday.
Fletcher is also a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation's top male lacrosse player and the Senior CLASS Award given to a student athlete who exemplifies excellence in community, classroom, character and competition.
The award caps off an amazing week for the Syracuse, N.Y. native who was also recognized on USILA's All-America first team and on the 2014 USILA Scholar All-America team. Immediately after graduating on May 17, Fletcher flew to Ohio to play in his first professional game with the New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse. He helped the visitors post an 11-9 win over the Ohio Machine and was named the MLL's Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending May 18.
In his senior campaign with the Greyhounds, Fletcher led all NCAA Division I players in ground balls per game (4.71) and total ground balls (80). He also caused a career-high 31 turnovers while providing primary marking duties on the opponents top offensive player.
Fletcher is a member of the 30-man United States Men's Lacrosse National Team from which the roster for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships will be chosen. He was the only collegiate player on that list, and he was the lone current collegian in the 52-man training pool.
The Patriot League Men's Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year graduated with a 3.81 grade point average to earn a bachelor's of business administration in accounting; he will start a job this summer for Pricewaterhouse Coopers.