Sam Handley Named USA Lacrosse Mag's D-I Men's Preseason Player of the Year

PHOTO BY KEVIN P. TUCKER

Sam Handley produced 36 goals and 37 assists in 2022.


Penn midfielder Sam Handley was named USA Lacrosse Magazine’s Division I Men’s Preseason Player of the Year, the publication announced Wednesday in advance of the 2023 season.

Handley, a 6-5 bruiser for the Quakers, produced 36 goals and 37 assists in 2022 and was featured on the January 2023 cover of USA Lacrosse Magazine.

The Portland, Ore., native burst onto the scene in 2019 with 35 goals and 26 assists as a freshman, but he’d play just one game combined over the next two seasons. A ruptured spleen and the subsequent cancelation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 limited him to just that one game his sophomore year, and then the Ivy League’s decision to cancel sports in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns took him away from the field yet again.

His return in 2022 was as if he had never left. Now, he’s firmly in the Tewaaraton Award discussion and could become the first true midfielder since Max Seibald in 2009 to win lacrosse’s highest individual honor.

Continue below to read the full list of USA Lacrosse Magazine Division I Men’s Preseason Positional Players of the Year.







PRESEASON ATTACKMAN OF THE YEAR

Connor Shellenberger, Virginia

A year after his star turn in the postseason, Shellenberger had 32 goals and 44 assists as the unquestioned central figure on the Cavaliers’ offense. Now a redshirt junior, Shellenberger’s mix of vision, dodging and shooting ability will again make him one of the nation’s top players.

PRESEASON MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR

Sam Handley, Penn

The midfielder is hard to miss at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, but he is blessed with the ability to allow the game to come to him. He scored 36 goals out of the midfield for the Quakers, but also was their top table-setter with 37 assists. His connection with finisher Dylan Gergar (52 goals), who also returns this season, bodes well for Penn.

PRESEASON DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR

Will Bowen, Georgetown

Already a two-time first-team All-America pick, Bowen is big (6-foot-3, 220 pounds), rangy and exceptionally smart. The graduate student caused 34 turnovers last season, tied for seventh nationally with Cornell’s Gavin Adler (another impressive defenseman who is back for another year).

PRESEASON GOALIE OF THE YEAR

Liam Entenmann, Notre Dame

A lineup change on offense helped the Irish close last season on a six-game winning streak, but Entenmann played a major role in that run, too. He posted a .607 save percentage in the second half last season, then followed it up over the summer as the primary goalie on the United States’ U21 world championship team. The senior is poised for a huge year on a hungry team.

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