|Record Three Colonials Chosen for All-Star Game|
Moon Township, Pa. - A trio of Colonials from the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team were selected to play in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)/LaxWorld Division I-II Senior North-South Game as announced in a USILA release Thursday.
Seniors Casey Abbott (San Jose, Calif. / Bellarmine Prep.), Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ontario / John McCrae) and Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) were three of the 27 student-athletes named to the South roster and will represent RMU at the 71st annual contest that is held to honor the best senior players in the nation.
The three selections for Robert Morris represent a Northeast Conference (NEC) record as no NEC team had ever previously had more than two selections in a single season in each of their respective program histories.
The trio of Colonials competing in this year's edition is also tied for the most by one school on the South's roster as Bucknell, Lehigh and Penn also had three selections each.
The 2012 North-South Game will be played Friday, May 25, at Harvard Stadium in Boston. The opening faceoff is set for 5:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at the stadium.
Abbott garnered his first all-conference award in his final year of eligibility as he had the best offensive season of his career on the attack for RMU. He reset his career highs in goals (21), assists (12) and points (33) and also set new bests in ground balls (26) and caused turnovers (nine). Abbott ranked among the top 10 in the NEC in goals per game in conference play and had a string of six consecutive games with multiple points, four of which came in league play. He notched six multi-goal games on the season, including posting one of the best efforts of his career in the NEC Tournament Semifinals. Abbott posted four goals and an assist, tying his career highs for both goals and points, and tallied four ground balls and two caused turnovers in a postseason contest against Mount St. Mary's.
Abbott, who was one of just six attackman picked for the South roster, finished with 54 career points on the strength of 35 goals and 19 assists in 58 career games. He also notched 60 career GB and 15 caused turnovers in his four years.
Buchanan claimed his third straight all-conference honor in 2012 as he broke the single-season school record for assists. He posted 26 helpers, resetting a RMU record, and led the NEC with 1.86 assists per game. He added 15 goals to tally a career-high 41 points, ranking sixth in the NEC in points per game (2.93), and grabbed 46 ground balls, second on the team. Within league play, he raised his game as he tied for first in assists per game (2.40) and was fourth in points per game (4.20). He tied the single-game school record of five assists in RMU's victory over nationally ranked Bryant that clinched the NEC regular-season title and finished the day by tying his career high with six points. He had 11 multi-point games on the season, including registering at least three points in each of the team's final six games, contests that included key conference matchups as well as the postseason.
In addition to breaking the program's single-season assists record, Buchanan also topped the school's all-time assists record during his senior campaign and will depart the program as the all-time leader with 76. He also sits tied for fifth in career points (128), seventh in career goals (52), second in career ground balls (175) and 10th in career caused turnovers (24). He is the only Colonial in school history to rank among the all-time top 10 in points, ground balls and caused turnovers.
Matisz was named as both a semifinalist for the Tewaaraton Award, college lacrosse's national player of the year award, as well as NEC Player of the Year in his final season. He had his best offensive season in a Colonial uniform in his ultimate campaign with the squad as he has tallied a single-season school record 64 points in just 15 games on the strength of 40 goals and 24 assists. He currently sits sixth nationally in points per game (4.27) and 10th in goals per game (2.67). He became just the fourth Colonial ever to score 40 goals in a season and also finished third in single-season assists at RMU. Matisz converted on a career-high 45.5 percent of his shots, which helped him produce 13 consecutive multi-point games to finish the season. Matisz produced two of his best performances against a pair of squads that both reached the NCAA Quarterfinals this season. He netted six points (3g, 3a) against Denver before following that up by notching seven points (6g, 1a) against Colgate.
Matisz, who was also named NEC Offensive Player of the Year, took home his third consecutive first-team all-conference honor in 2012. He finished his career second in all-time points (166) at Robert Morris, fourth in career goals (94) and second in all-time assists (72). He had 14 career hat tricks along with 41 multi-point games and 26 multi-goal games over his four years.
Prior to 2012, only one Colonial in the young history of the RMU program had been selected to compete in this event as Andrew Watt took part in 2008.
The inaugural North-South All-Star Game took place in 1940 at Municipal Stadium in Baltimore, and the event has been held every year since with the exceptions of 1944 and 1945.
The RMU men's lacrosse team registered a program-record 11 wins in 2012, including running through NEC play undefeated to claim the conference's regular-season title. The Colonials knocked off a pair of nationally-ranked squads during the campaign and are currently leading the nation in scoring offense at 14.33 goals per game.