SPARKS, Md. — USA Lacrosse Magazine named its NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse All-Americans on Thursday, highlighting the top performers of the 2023 season. Included among the selections was Kenyon College face-off specialist Thomas Nelson.
USA Lacrosse organized its selections into three, 13-player teams, as well as a list of Honorable Mentions. Nelson, a sophomore, was selected to the Second Team. He is the fourth member of the Kenyon program to reach All-American status over the last three seasons.
Nelson has played in all 17 games for the 15-2 Owls and, at the center of the field, he’s won 238-of-328 face-offs. His win percentage of .726 ranks second-best among all NCAA Division III players.
With all those face-off wins comes a lot of ground balls and Nelson accumulated a team-high 166 of them. That total, along with an average of 9.76 ground balls per game, are tops in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and are top-20 marks within Division III competition. Additionally, that total is, by far, a new Kenyon program record, erasing the old, single-season mark of 121 ground balls scooped up by Chris Munster in the 1991 season.
Nelson’s face-off success also led to him tacking on three goals and three assists to his season stat line.
The Owls shared the 2023 NCAC regular-season title and received an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament. They received a bye through the first round and will play in Saturday’s second round against Stevens Institute of Technology. That game has a 3 p.m. start time and will be played on neutral turf at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.