DURHAM, N.C.—Just days removed from earning All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament Team honors, Duke University junior Brendan Fowler picked up the biggest honor of his career as he was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s coaches. This marks the second consecutive season a Blue Devil has been named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Fowler joins 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year CJ Costabile as Blue Devils to take home the award. He is the fifth Blue Devil under head coach John Danowski to win an ACC Player of the Year honor.
The ACC’s top draw man, Fowler has been outstanding at the faceoff X for the Blue Devils. In his first year as the starter at the X, the Wantagh, N.Y., native has won 20-plus faceoffs in three games, including a career-high 25-of-38 against No. 1 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament semifinal. Fowler has taken 89 percent of Duke’s faceoffs this season and has won at least 50 percent of his restarts in 14 of the 16 contests.
Fowler, also a two-year member of the Duke football team, currently ranks third in the nation in faceoff percentage (.652). He has won 255-of-391 draws for the Blue Devils and has been especially successful in the third and fourth quarters with games on the line.
With Duke trailing 14-12 heading into the fourth quarter against Virginia, Fowler won all eight of his faceoffs to help lift the Blue Devils to the 19-16 victory. This past Friday night as Duke trailed North Carolina by nine early in the third quarter, Fowler went on a tear and won 14-of-18 faceoffs in the second half to spark the 11-1 run that gave Duke the 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter. Overall, in the second half he has won 132-of-181 faceoffs for a .729 win percentage.
His success at the X is matched by his ability to pick up the ground ball. With eight ground balls at Rutgers, Fowler tied Costabile’s Duke single-season record 144 ground balls. He added a career-high 15 pickups to his total against North Carolina, bringing him to 159 for the year. Fowler currently ranks second nationally in ground balls (9.94/gm) and has corralled 10-plus ground balls in eight games and has at least seven in all 16 outings.
Duke finishes the regular season on the road at Marquette, May 5. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m., (ET).
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