CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse All-American Joe Fletcher was named the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an award voted on by conference member schools that honors the top performer in the classroom and competition.
The award is presented annually to one male and one female Patriot League student-athlete. Those who are named Scholar-Athletes of the Year in their respective sports – as Fletcher was in men’s lacrosse – are eligible for the honor. Boston University outdoor track and field standout Allison Barwise received this year’s female award.
“Joe is the definition of a true student-athlete, and we are so proud of him for this honor and the many other he has received throughout his distinguished career,” said Jim Paquette, Loyola’s assistant vice president and director of athletics. “Joe was a leader in every facet of his life at Loyola – in the classroom, locker room, community and on the field – and he will be the same in the business world as he starts his career.”
Fletcher, who received the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation’s top defender, was a two-time First Team All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association. He also earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors this season and was the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The defender wrapped up his tenure at Loyola last month by graduating with a bachelor of business administration in accounting degree, posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in his final semester to finish with a 3.835 mark in his college classwork. This summer, he started his full-time job as a risk analyst with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In May, Fletcher was named one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top player, in the process becoming just the second close defender in the award’s 14-year history to be a finalist. Last month, he was the first Greyhounds men’s lacrosse player in program history to earn Capital One Academic All-America® presented by CoSIDA honors when he was named to the At-Large second team.
On the field, he was a three-time USILA All-American, earning honorable mention in 2012 in addition to first team laurels each of the last two seasons, the 2013 ECAC Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Year, a USILA Scholar All-American and a finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award.
He was the consensus top defender throughout the season and was equally good as a lockdown cover defender and groundball player. He led all NCAA Division I players in ground balls per game (4.71) and total ground balls (80). He also caused a career-high 31 turnovers. In 17 games this season, the players Fletcher had primary marking responsibilities for scored just 19 goals, several coming when he was already out of the game late in contests.
Fletcher was also a member of the 30-man U.S. Men’s Lacrosse National Team that trained for the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships that will take place next week in Denver. He was the lone collegian to be a member of the 52-man training squad and the 30-man team.
Prior to the start of the 2014 season, Fletcher was the third overall draft pick in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Entry Draft – the highest a Loyola player had ever been selected – by the New York Lizards. In seven games with the Lizards, Fletcher has 18 ground balls, and he was selected as the MLL Warrior Defensive Player of the Week after his first game.
In April, Fletcher received Loyola’s John R. Mohler Award as the athletic department’s top male senior student-athlete. He was a member of Loyola’s Green & Grey Society, a group of 14 student leaders who meet regularly and serve as liaisons to the University’s president, administration and board of trustees. Fletcher served as the co-president of Loyola’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well, in 2013-2014.
He earned five Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors throughout the year, something that had never been done in conference history.
Over the course of his career, Fletcher collected 191 ground balls and caused 76 turnovers. His caused turnover total is third-most all-time at Loyola and the most by a close defender.
This is the third-straight year, and fourth time in five years, a men’s lacrosse student-athlete has won the Patriot League Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. The U.S. Military Academy’s Brendan Buckley earned the award in 2012 and 2013, and fellow cadet Andrew Masisano was honored in 2010. Prior to 2010, a men’s lacrosse player had never won the honor.