Zaia Honored with NEWMAC Sportsmanship Award

©Russell Cole
©Russell Cole

WESTWOOD, Mass. – The Massachusetts Maritime Academy men's lacrosse was shut out of All-New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference voting, but senior Nick Zaia concluded his career with a nice honor as he was named to the NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team.

"Nick is a coach's dream for a captain, from coordinating fundraisers for charity to organizing visits," explained Head Coach Rick Bagby. "He was my one guy on the field: a competitor, but a gentleman. Nick would never get a bad penalty or make a hot-headed reaction."

Zaia has been an important part of Buccaneer men's lacrosse in his three years with the team both on and off the field. While Zaia played a key role as the long stick midfielder this year, his contributions were arguably more important off the field.

The West Newbury, Mass. native has been a team leader in community service this year, helping in the organization and execution of two major charity events. In September, Buccaneer men's soccer and men's lacrosse teamed up to run the 13th Annual MitoAction Energy Walk and 5K in South Boston.

The event was inspired by Teddy McGowan, the lacrosse squad's Team IMPACT draftee. McGowan has been a Buccaneer since 2012 despite suffering from mitochondrial disease, which causes debilitating physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities. "McGowan's Mito Laxers" raised $1,200 in support of MitoAction.

Meanwhile, in the spring, the Bucs donned gold laces in support of Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer, sponsored by Go4theGoal. The mission was to improve the lives of children battling cancer by providing financial support, developing and implementing unique hospital programs, funding innovative research, and granting personal wishes.

The fundraiser took place during the Bucs' thrilling come-from-behind victory over local rivals UMass-Dartmouth, who also wore gold laces in support of the cause. While the Academy's men earned a hard-fought 9-5 victory, it was Go4theGoal that was the real winner as the Buccaneers raised over $4,000 for the foundation.

Zaia missed his sophomore season while studying in Dalian, China as part of the Academy's exchange program.

"I was able to learn a new language and travel to 10 different countries in southeast Asia," explained the courteous and Zaia. "It was a great experience and one I will remember for the rest of my life. I was able to meet new people and establish relationships with people from all over the world."

Zaia will conclude his three-year career after more than 30 games, including 12 starts, of which eight came this season. In a position that is notoriously difficult to quantify, Zaia picked up 35 career groundballs and caused more turnovers than those for which he was guilty.

 "I'd just like to say it's an honor," noted a surprised Zaia. "It's awesome to compete every game but have a respect for everyone on the field."

"Nick is a great kid and will be an unbelievable Army officer," concluded Bagby. "He is just a great guy and will be a great leader. He made life easy for me."

At a team season-ending banquet yesterday, Zaia also took home the Coaches' Award for his contributions, while Marshall McCarthy earned Team and Defensive MVP. Ted Powers was the Offensive MVP and Alexandre Lucas was the Rookie of the Year, while Kenneth Parnell claimed the Unsung Hero award.

The full list of NEWMAC honors appends this feature.    

Make sure to bookmark www.mmabucs.com for more on men's lacrosse at the Academy and get the inside scoop on Facebook and Twitter @mmabuccaneers. Plus, check out our new Instagram @massmaritimebuccaneers.

Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate

2018 NEWMAC Men's Lacrosse All-Sportsmanship Team

Name

Institution

James Monroe-Chausse

Emerson College

Jack Kelly

MIT

Cam Glover

Springfield College

Alex Groff

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Nick Zaia

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Whit Merritt

Clark University

Jordan Shapiro

Babson College

James Holston

Wheaton College

2018 NEWMAC Men's Lacrosse All-Conference

Team

Name

Position

Institution

First Team

Graham Davis

A

MIT

First Team

Jack Vail

A

Springfield College

First Team

Brandon King

A

Clark University

First Team

Riley McNulty

M

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

First Team

Duncan Preston

M

Springfield College

First Team

Mitch Turley

M

MIT

First Team

Connor Eschmann

D

Springfield College

First Team

David Klee

D

MIT

First Team

JT Kapnis

D

Springfield College

First Team

Chris Cunnington

LSM

Springfield College

First Team

Anthony Sullivan

SSD

Springfield College

First Team

Ryan Gochar

SSD

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

First Team

Luke Gianni

FO

MIT

First Team

Jake Reynolds

GK

Springfield College

First Team

Trey Johnson

GK

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

 

 

 

 

Second Team

Tom Hurley

A

Springfield College

Second Team

Will Mandracchia

A

Clark University

Second Team

Samuel Mishkind

A

Babson College

Second Team

Anthony Wyler

M

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Second Team

Mason O'Hanlon

M

Babson College

Second Team

Matt Morgran

M

Wheaton College

Second Team

Tom Bleifuss

D

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Second Team

Anthony Febbo 

D

Springfield College

Second Team

Justin Edwards

D

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Second Team

Connor Ellis

LSM

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Second Team

Quinn Schomp

SSD

Babson College

Second Team

Bobby Philbin

FO

Clark University

Second Team

Austin DiPietro

FO

Emerson College

Second Team

Christopher Aranalde

GK

Babson College

Second Team

Nathan Maselek

GK

Clark University