Boland is CCLA Defensive Player of the Year - 15 Spartans earn All Conference Award
Senior Kevin Boland in the 2018 CCLA Championship Game
Senior Goalkeeper Kevin Boland was recognized for his outstanding play this season by being named the 2018 CCLA D1 Defensive Player of the Year. He leads a group of 15 Michigan State Spartans who received All Conference honors.
"Kevin has played extremely well this season and is certainly one of the reasons our team is 14-1 and headed back to the MCLA national championship" said Spartan Head Coach Cam Holding. Boland was also named first team All CCLA goalie for the 2017 season.
Of the 15 All Conference selections, seven are on the first team, five on the second team, one on the third team and two Spartans were named honorable mention. "Honestly, if it weren't for injuries to several players causing them to miss conference games we probably would have had additional players on the list or those that are there would have been ranked even higher" said Holding.
Patrick Donovan, a close defender, was named CCLA first team All Conference for the fourth consecutive season and was also named CCLA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
Senior Patrick Donovan in the 2018 CCLA Championship vs Minnesota
Michigan State is ranked fourth nationally (April 18 Coach's Poll) in Division 1 and with a loss by a team ranked ahead of them in that poll (South Carolina) they may receive a #3 seed in the 16 team MCLA National Championship powered by Under Armour. This will be the ninth consecutive visit to the 16 team national tournament. In their previous eight visits, the Spartans have won a first round game twice, but have never won a second round game. Seeding for the MCLA Tournament is expected to be announced April 29 after all MCLA Conference Tournaments have concluded.
"We'll likely get a #3 seed, which is the highest seed the program has attained" said Holding. "We felt our seeding the past couple of seasons at the national tournament was a bit on the high side (#15 seed in 2016 and #16 seed in 2017), but in fairness to the committee all the teams attending are high caliber and we did not perform as well as we would have liked in year's past during the regular season against highly ranked teams. The 2018 team really focused on trying to win the "national games" this year and it's paid off". Holding added: "We plan on playing four games in Salt Lake City but we'll take them one at a time. There's no reason why this team can't go 4-0 and put an exclamation point on what's been a terrific season."