WINGATE, N.C. – Saint Leo junior midfielder John Laronga has been given the nod as the Deep South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, league officials announced Monday afternoon. Joining Laronga on the list of weekly awards were Lenoir-Rhyne's Tyler Kotch as the Offensive POW, and Florida Tech's Nick Gardner as the Conference Freshman of the Week.
Laronga won 19-of-25 face-offs to lead Saint Leo past Rollins in a 14-9 Deep South Conference contest. In addition to his .760 win percentage on face-offs, the Huntington, N.Y. native piled up 11 ground balls to help the Lions improve to 2-1 in conference play.
Kotch netted three goals in Lenoir-Rhyne's 12-11 overtime DSC victory against Catawba, which included the game-winning goal 24 seconds into overtime. Kotch did his damage on five shots on Saturday, registering four shots on goal. He also had a ground ball as he helped Lenoir-Rhyne move to 1-0 in conference play.
Gardner netted three goals in Florida Tech's 10-7 victory over Coker College. It was the second consecutive hat trick for the freshman and third in his five games with the Panthers. Gardner scored three goals while taking only three shots on the afternoon, adding a ground ball to help Florida Tech improve to 3-2 on the season.
The Lions return to action on Wednesday, March 6, when they host Catawba College in Deep South Conference action. Game time against the Indians is slated for 7 p.m. at University Turf Field. Fans who cannot make it to the game can catch all of the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com. For the latest news, updates, and information, fans can 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.