NEWTON, Mass. (5/30/17) – Seniors Jorge Salazar (Waltham, Mass.) and Anthony Saitta (Derry, N.H.) of the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship men's lacrosse team have been selected as two of 52 athletes to play in the annual New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) East-West All-Star Game.
All players and coaches were nominated by the head coaches within the NEILA. Players were then ranked and selected by a committee awarding seniors from all three NCAA Divisions who played their college career in the New England region.
This year's all-star event will take place on Friday, June 2, at Stagg Field on the campus of Springfield College. Faceoff is slated for at 6:30 p.m., and will feature the top graduating students from Divisions I, II, and III.
Salazar and Saitta join five alternative GNAC members from JWU (Brad Medlin), Mount Ida (Chad Coelho, Matt Hoffman), Emmanuel (Chris Bagliui), and Albertus Magnus (Greg Buck). This year marks the second straight where a Lasell member has been an NEILA East-West all-star, as Mike Pino '16 was named to the squad last season.
The Lasers will also be represented by '16 alum Derek Marshall, who was chosen as one of three members of the East Team coaching staff. Marshall completed his first season as assistant coach with Wheaton College, and led the Lyons to a 6-9 post this year.
Both named to the GNAC all-conference teams after a remarkable season, Salazar and Saitta led the 2017 squad to its first-ever conference title, defeating Mount Ida College at home, 13-12, on Saturday, May 6. The Lasers' historic run came to a halt after its first trip to the NCAA Tournament, falling in a close matchup to the Misericordia Cougars, 9-7, on the campus of Salisbury University.
The Cougars' season ended the following day by the No. 1 Sea Gulls of Salisbury University, who eventually notched their 12 national championship on May 28, in a 15-7 victory at Gillette Stadium over No. 2 Rochester Institute of Technology.
Salazar, named GNAC goalkeeper of the year, backstopped the Lasers to 13 wins this season, combining for 212 saves for a 59.7% save percentage, ranking third among conference stat leaders. Salazar received the GNAC goalkeeper of the week nod three times this season, and made 23 combined saves in Lasell's postseason victories alone.
Saitta, a GNAC third-team selection, was the team's fourth-leading goal scorer as a senior captain with 16 goals and 40 total points. Saitta additionally doubled his career assist total with 16 this season. The postseason honors were the first of these seniors' careers.