May 28, 2016
PERRY, N.Y. - University of Denver sophomore faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.), junior close defender Christian Burgdorf (Westfield, N.J.), junior attackman Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and junior midfielder Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) were all First Team All-America selections, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced on Saturday morning. Junior midfielder Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, B.C) was tabbed a USILA Second Team All-America selection, giving Denver five All-Americans in 2016.
The Pioneers four first-team picks are the most of any program in 2016 and the most first-team picks in Denver's history. DU's five overall All-America selections are tied for the second-most in a single-season with the 2013 squad. Denver had seven All-America picks a year ago.
Saturday's first-team selection is Baptiste's second-straight in his two years with the program. The sophomore finished with double digit wins in all 16 games, 15+ faceoff wins in 11 games and 20+ faceoff wins in six games in 2016, including four of Denver's last six games. Baptiste picked up 163 ground balls on his 272 faceoff wins, good for second in Denver's single-season record book in both categories. The 2016 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year picked-up double-digit ground balls in nine games, including a school-record 20 ground balls in Denver's 17-7 win over St. John's.
Burgdorf was tabbed a First Team All-American for the first time in his career, and earned his third recognition from the USILA overall (second team in 2015). One of three captains for Denver, Burgdorf picked up 39 ground balls in 2016, good for third on the team behind Baptiste, and long-stick midfielder and faceoff winger Sean Mayle (San Carlos, Calif.). Burgdorf picked up 4+ ground balls four times and caused 12 turnovers.
A finalist for the 2016 Tewaaraton Award, Cannizzaro led the 13-3 Pioneers in points (69) and goals (46), and was one helper off the team lead (23). A two-time First Team All-American, Cannizzaro had 5+ points in eight of Denver's 16 games, including a season-high seven (2/5) in Denver's BIG EAST opener at Georgetown. Cannizzaro tallied his second career sock trick in Denver's 12-11 win at nationally ranked Villanova. The DU junior produced nine hat tricks in his second campaign with the Pioneers.
Miller earned his second All-American nod on Saturday after being named to the third team in 2015. DU's third junior on this year's All-America list was second on the team in points with 50 on 27 goals (second) and 23 assists (tied for second). Miller scored five of Denver's 26 man-up goals. The Steamburg, N.Y., native had 4+ points from Denver's first midfield in six games, including 5+ points in three of Denver's last four games. Miller tallied four hat tricks and provided multiple helpers in seven of Denver's 16 games.
Pace's second-team selection is his first USILA All-America nod. The DU junior was third on the team in points with 45 on 21 goals and a team-high 24 assists. Pace tallied three hat tricks and had 4+ points in four games, including a season-high six (3/3) in Denver's Faceoff Classic win over Dartmouth and five (2/3) in the Pioneers 13-12 overtime win at North Carolina.
Baptiste and Cannizzaro were Denver's second and third first-team selections a year ago, joining 2013 first-team pick Cameron Flint. The Pioneers now have five different players that have earned first-team nods and Baptiste and Cannizzaro are the first two-time first-team selections in DU's history.