The four Blue Hens were among 34 student-athletes honors on the three teams with regular season champion Penn State dominating the teams with 11 selections, including Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Austin Kaut, Rookie of the Year TJ Sanders, and Coach of the Year Jeff Tambroni. No. 9 ranked Penn State will face Towson in the CAA championship game Saturday.
Diachenko led the Blue Hens in scoring all season and finished the year with 39 goals, the fifth best total in the league. He also dished out four assists and finished with 39 points while scooping up 12 groundballs and causing five turnovers. His 35 goals was the second highest by a Blue Hen player since 2009.
The Courtice, Ontario native (Holy Trinity High School) scored multiple goals in a game 13 times and recorded four hat tricks, including a season-high five goals in an early season setback vs. Mt. St. Mary’s. He finished his career with 67 goals and nine hat tricks.
Connelly, a junior defender from Royersford, Pa. (Malvern Prep), was one of the team’s most improved players this spring as he started the final 11 games of the season after missing the first four contests. For the season he dished out two assists, scooped up 18 groundballs, and caused 11 turnovers. He played in 13 games as a sophomore in 2012.
Robertson, a freshman attackman from Salem, Va. (St. Anne’s Belfield HS), came on late in the season to become one of the Blue Hens most consistent scorers. He started the final eight games of the year and finished his rookie campaign as the team’s six leading scorer with 15 points on eight goals and seven assists while also scooping up 17 groundballs. He scored six of his goals vs. CAA opponents, including two each vs. Towson and Drexel.
Peaks, a freshman goalkeeper from Ponte Vedra, Fla. (Ponte Vedra HS), was one of the team’s most pleasant surprises as he took over the starting job in the nets midway through the year and finished strong. When second-year starter Chris Herbert was injured in a mid-season practice, Peaks took over and never lost the job.
He played in 13 games with seven starts and recorded a 9.30 goals against average and a .540 save percentage on 80 saves.
He turned back 10 or more shots five times, including a season-high 15 vs. Massachusetts in the season finale. Peaks also recorded 16 groundballs on the season.
Delaware, led by head coach Bob Shillinglaw, closed out the 2013 season with a 5-10 record and a 1-5 mark in CAA action. Despite having one of the youngest rosters in the country, Delaware lost five games by one goal.
2013 Colonial Athletic Association Honors
Player of the Year: Austin Kaut, Penn State
Coach of the Year: Jeff Tambroni, Penn State
Rookie of the Year: TJ Sanders, Penn State
Defensive Player of the Year: Austin Kaut, Penn State
1st Team All-Colonial Athletic Association: Attack - Robert Church, Drexel; Thomas DeNapoli, Towson; Jack Forster, Penn State; Midfield - Ryan Belka, Drexel;
Tom LaCrosse, Penn State; Ben McIntosh, Drexel; Longstick Midfield - Steven Bogart, Penn State; Faceoffs: Dan Henneghan, Penn State; Defense - John Fennessey, Towson; Mark Mullen, Hofstra; Jake Smith, Massachusetts; Tyler Travis, Penn State; Goalkeeper: Austin Kaut, Penn State
2nd Team All-Colonial Athletic Association: Attack - Will Manny, Massachusetts; TJ Sanders, Penn State; Kyle Smith, Massachusetts; Midfield - Nick Diachenko, Delaware; Andrew Hodgson, Towson; Ryan Izzo, Massachusetts; Longstick Midfield - Brett Tobin, Massachusetts; Faceoffs - Joe Calvello, Massachusetts; Defense - James Connelly, Delaware; Ryan Hollenbaugh, Massachusetts; JoJo Ostrander, Towson; Goalkeeper - Chris Selva, Hofstra.
Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team - James Burke, Penn State; Pat Conroy, Towson; Frank Fusco, Drexel; Sam Llinares, Hofstra; Zach Oliveri, Massachusetts; Conor Peaks, Delaware; Ian Robertson, Delaware; TJ Sanders, Penn State; Pat Swanick, St. Joseph’s; Brian von Bargen, Hofstra