Clark, Hazell, Ryan, Wengreniuk earn 2nd Team honors; Guilbault named to both HM, All-Freshman squads
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
After reaching the conference semifinals, five members of the Grand Canyon University Men’s Lacrosse team have earned a spot on the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) All-Conference Teams. Senior attackmen Cody Clark and Cam Wengreniuk (wen-GREN-nee-yuk), junior long-stick midfielder Aidan Ryan and sophomore defender D.J. Hazell (HA-zuhl) were all named to All-SLC 2nd Team, while freshman face-off specialist Jesse “J.D.” Guilbault (GIL-baw) not only earned All-SLC Honorable Mention honors, but was also named to the All-Freshman team. The announcements come four days after the Lopes ended their season in Carlsbad, California, after facing Chapman University at the SLC Championships.
In a year of ‘growing pains’ for a young Lopes’ team, Cody Clark was the main constant on the offensive end in 2018-19. Injuries forced the Lopes to adjust their starting lineup on the attack, but Clark stayed steady, scoring at least one point in 11 of the Lopes’ 13 games. Clark had at least a ‘hat trick’ four times, including a three-goal, two-assist performance in the first round of the SLC Playoffs to beat the University of Arizona, and the high point: a 5-goal, 3-assist game against Utah Valley University over Spring Break. The native of Naniamo, British Columbia, Canada, led the team on the season with 16 assists and 41 points, while placing 2nd on the team (behind Wengreniuk) in goals with 25.
For Cam Wengreniuk, 2019 was a season of ‘what might have been’. No doubt pleased for earning a spot on the postseason conference squads, Wengreniuk was well on his way to another All-American caliber season (he and Clark were both MCLA Honorable Mention All-American selections in 2018) until a nagging knee injury derailed the latter half of his season, causing the native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to the sideline for five of the Lopes’ final six games. When Wengreniuk had the mask on, though, few opponents knew how to stop him. Wengreniuk recorded four straight four-goal efforts before his injury, and when he finally returned last Friday against Chapman in the SLC Semifinals, he showed no rust, recording his sixth straight ‘hat trick’ with 3 goals and 2 assists. For the season, Wengreniuk finished tops on the team in goals with 30 and second in total points (39).
In a season of new starters, one of the main newcomers to the lineup was Aidan Ryan, who was tasked with replacing last year’s Godekeraw Award winner, Jack Lamey, as the Lopes’ main long-stick middie. Ryan was up to the task, snagging at least three ground balls in all but one contest, and registering a high of 9 in just his third game as a starter February 24 against California Polytechnic State University. Ryan also got into the scoring column in three games, registering assists against Utah Valley and Chapman, and scoring his lone goal in the regular season finale at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Ryan finished 2nd on the team in ground balls with 58.
He certainly wasn’t new the starting lineup, but sophomore D.J. Hazell was one of the main ones on the Lopes’ backline that had to help train some of the first-year starters around him. Hazell was one of the directors of the Lopes’ defense, and was usually right there when the ball came loose near his own goal to scoop it up. Hazell – who grew up in Reston, Virginia, before heading west – finished 2019 with 23 ground balls in his 12 games.
Finally, feeling just as much or more pressure in being a new starter in 2019 was true freshman Jesse “J.D.” Guilbault, who slid into the spotlighted position of face-off specialist from the opening game. In only his second game as a collegian, the native of Bel Air, Maryland, shined against UC-Santa Barbara, winning 23 of 29 faceoffs. Guilbault racked at least 20 won faceoffs in four games this season, including the regular season finale against UNLV, when he lost just once in 23 circle showdowns. Guilbault also led the team in ground balls with 59.