Zappitello, Billig, Cook are USA Lacrosse Men's Players of the Week


Ajax Zappitello was a USA Lacrosse Division I Men's Second-Team Preseason All-American.

This season, USA Lacrosse will celebrate the accomplishments of players across Divisions I, II and III each Tuesday with Player of the Week recognition. Players of the Week are selected by USA Lacrosse Magazine staff and contributors based on a variety of factors, including individual performance and impact on team success.



Few players, if any, on the field Saturday during the heavyweight Maryland-Virginia bout had the impact of Ajax Zappitello. The defenseman’s numbers in the box score don’t necessarily reflect the performance. The Portland, Ore., product had five ground balls and one caused turnover. Zappitello is instead earning recognition this week for what he prevented his opponent from doing. Connor Shellenberger, someone many believe to be a Tewaaraton Award favorite, was stifled by Zappitello. Shellenberger mustered just one goal on seven shots, and Maryland took down the Hoos in overtime 14-13.



Sure, it’s just a hat trick and a helper, but when the final score is 9-6 and you have a hand in almost all of the goals in the second half against Mercyhurst, one of the best teams in the nation, you should be recognized for that effort. UIndy outscored Mercyhurst 5-1 in the second half, and the win propelled the Greyhounds into the top three of the Nike/USA Lacrosse Top 20.

Billig now has 46 points this season on 18 goals and 28 assists. The Brighton, Michigan, native is averaging 6.5 points per game, behind only Wingate’s Willie Grieco. 



Cook had seven points, including six goals, and shot 75 percent to lead Christopher Newport’s massive upset of RIT. The Captains are now No. 1 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Top 20, and Cook has been a staple of the offense. He had four goals and one assist the very next day against Dickinson, giving him 35 goals and 10 assists on the season. Yeoman’s work for Cook. 


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