Men's Lacrosse

John Sexton Named USILA's Defensive Player of the Year

May 24, 2018

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior long-stick defensive midfielder John Sexton has been honored by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) with the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation's top player on defense.

A unanimous 2018 first team All-America selection, Sexton becomes the fourth Irish player to earn one of the USILA's top awards. Former Irish defenseman Matt Landis was a back-to-back recipient of the William C. Schmeisser Award in 2015 and 2016 and goalkeepers Joey Kemp and John Kemp were honored with the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award in 2008 and 2012, respectively, given to the top goaltender in the country.

Sexton (Sudbury, Massachusetts) had a remarkable season to conclude a great career for the Irish. The senior standout was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and to the ACC All-Tournament Team after helping the Irish win the ACC Championship title. Sexton scored four goals and added three assists to go along with a team-high 60 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.

The award is named after William C. "Father Bill" Schmeisser, a men's lacrosse player and coach at Johns Hopkins in the early 1900s. He played defense for the Blue Jays from 1900-02 and served as head coach from 1907-11. The award has been presented since 1942.

Irish All-Americans

A total of six Notre Dame men's lacrosse players received USILA All-America honors, headlined by the first team selection of Sexton. 

Sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile earned a second-team nod and junior short-stick defensive midfielder Drew Schantz, junior defenseman Hugh Crance, junior attackman/midfielder Brendan Gleason and junior attackman Ryder Garnsey were selected as honorable mention.

This marks the 14th consecutive season Notre Dame has produced multiple USILA All-America selections. In 30 seasons under head coach Kevin Corrigan, the Irish have had 46 different players earn 86 All-America citations. 

After a solid freshman campaign in 2017, Costabile (Sykesville, Maryland) had a breakout season as a sophomore. The midfielder scored a team-high 30 goals and added four assists to total 34 points. Costabile played his best lacrosse of the year in the ACC Championship, scoring six goals and adding two assists against Duke and Virginia to earn MVP honors.

Schantz (Allentown, Pennsylvania) was a lockdown defender for the Irish in 2018. The junior was a key member of one of the best defensive midfield units in the country. Schantz also added a goal and five ground balls over the course of the season.

Crance (Newport Beach, California) anchored the close defense, earning starts in all 15 games. The junior played a large role in holding opposing attacks to just 8.6 goals per game over the season. The defenseman scooped up 30 ground balls, ranking fourth on the team, and caused seven turnovers.

Garnsey (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire) led the Irish attack, posting a team-high 43 points in his junior campaign. The attackman scored 29 goals and dished out 14 assists for Notre Dame. Garnsey saved his best performances for late in the season, recording 13 goals in his final four games. The junior combined for eight goals and three assists in the ACC Championship to help deliver the Irish the title.

Despite missing three games due to an injury, Gleason (Essex, Vermont) managed to be one of the most productive players in the Irish attack in his junior campaign. The attackman/midfielder scored 19 goals and tied for the team lead in assists with 14.

-- ND --

The University of Notre Dame men's lacrosse team pursues excellence on and off the field through the three pillars in which the program is built: Character, Culture & Community. These three foundational values guide the promise of the program, which is to provide its student-athletes with the most compelling and enriching experience in all of college athletics. Through academics, competition, service and travel, the program aims to immerse its players in situations that enhance their student-athlete experience to help them become the people, students and teammates they aspire to be.

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