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NCAC Athlete of the Week honors go to Nelson

The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) named its weekly Athlete of the Week winners on Tuesday, and Kenyon College’s Thomas Nelson was tabbed as the face of the men’s lacrosse award.

Nelson nabbed his second career NCAC Athlete of the Week honor after helping the Owls continue their unbeaten start to the season with a pair of home wins. The junior went 19-for-21 in the face-off circle in a 16-6 victory over Albion College, where he grabbed a game-high 12 ground balls. Nelson and Kenyon had a tough test against No. 26 Centre College, but the face-off specialist rose to the challenge. He racked up 21 draws in 32 tries and tallied 16 ground balls, all season- and game-highs. Taking control of the midfield circle helped Kenyon complete a 17-12 comeback win as the Owls exploded for seven straight goals to open the fourth quarter by way of key wins from Nelson.

Amongst NCAA Division III players, Nelson’s .733 face-off winning percentage ranks 13th, and his 88 face-off triumphs are second-most in the nation. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, native has averaged 12.4 ground balls per game, the eighth-best mark at the DIII level, and his 62 total ground balls rank second.

The road gets even more challenging for Nelson and Kenyon this week. The Owls, who yesterday moved up to tie for 20th in the national United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll, head to Pennsylvania to take on No. 5-ranked Dickinson College on Wednesday and No. 22-ranked Franklin and Marshall College on Saturday.

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