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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 20, 2009
WATERVILLE, Maine --- Colby College’s Craig Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.), the best face-off man in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, is a men’s lacrosse All-American after earning honorable mention honors Wednesday by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA).
Bunker, a sophomore midfielder, is the first All-American for the men’s lacrosse program since 2002.
“There is not anybody who deserves it more,” Colby head coach Jon Thompson said. “He does everything for us. He clears well, plays great defense, he’s the hardest worker on the team in the weight room, and is one of the most fierce competitors on the team.”
Bunker finished fifth in NCAA Division III in groundballs per game (8.73) and was 12th in face-off percentage (.645, 185-for-287). He was first in the NESCAC in both categories and was the only league player with a face-off percentage more than 60 percent. Bunker finished with 131 groundballs in 15 games and also added four goals and five assists.
“I’m not sure if he will get the same amount of face-offs next year,” Thompson said. “I do know that we’ll get the same work ethic every single day from him.”
Bunker often won face-offs, immediately picked up the groundball, and was able to get Colby’s offense going quickly. With the added possession time, the Mules finished the season at 8-7 overall and 4-5 in the conference. Colby made the NESCAC playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season.
“Not only does he have the fast hands on the face-offs, but he has the uncanny ability to pick up the ball with one hand and be able to ward off and get away from swarming defenders,” Thompson said. “When I saw him do that regularly, I knew we had something special.”