Moon Township, Pa. - Senior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) and redshirt junior Dillon Pope (Smithtown, N.Y. / Smithtown West) of the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team earned the top two weekly honors from the Northeast Conference (NEC) in the league's weekly release Monday.
Matisz was selected as the NEC's Offensive Player of the Week while Pope claimed his second-consecutive Defensive Player of the Week award.
RMU has now earned seven weekly conference honors this season, a figure that leads the NEC, and has now claimed accolades in both the offensive and defensive player of the week categories three times in five weeks.
After tallying his first-ever weekly award last week, Pope made it two in the past two weeks as he became the first Colonial ever to win multiple defensive player of the week honors. This third weekly defensive recognition of 2012 for the Colonials also tops RMU's total from last season in that category.
Matisz becomes the seventh active Colonial to have won a weekly NEC honor as he led the offensive effort in RMU's come-from-behind 14-12 win at Hobart last Saturday.
Matisz tied his career high for points March 17 by posting his second seven-point outing in RMU's past three games, becoming the fifth Colonial all-time, and the lone NEC player this season, to own multiple seven-point efforts. Matisz notched five goals and two assists to move into fourth place in career points (134) at Robert Morris and also slid into a tie for second in career assists (59). Matisz, who now has 33 multi-point games and 19 multi-goal games, has reached at least six points in three of the past four games and has tallied at least four points in eight of the past 10 games. Matisz is now averaging exactly a hat trick per contest, which leads the NEC and ranks seventh nationally, and he also has now moved into fourth nationally in points per game (4.57).
While Matisz was busy putting the ball into the net, Pope was doing exactly the opposite for the Colonials at the other end of the field. Pope claimed his second straight start in between the pipes against the Statesmen and again helped RMU to a victory courtesy of a notable effort. He registered a career-high and team season-best 17 saves and has now stopped at least 13 shots in each of the Colonials' past three games. Pope has tallied a career-best save total for a three-game stretch as he has stopped 43 shots in the past three contests. Pope also helped RMU continue its streak of notching double-digit team save totals in every game this season, a run that has vaulted the Colonials into third nationally as a team in saves per game (14.0).
This is the second time this season in which the Colonials have had more than one honoree in the same week.
RMU concludes its three-game roadtrip this Tuesday, March 20, as it plays at nationally-ranked Bucknell for the first time in program history. The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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