ATLANTA – On the strength of solid individual numbers and early team success, Georgia Tech’s junior defender Will Byars and Concordia-Irvine’s senior attackman Dillon Bernad have been named the US Lacrosse MCLA Players of the Month for February.
Byars has anchored the stingy Yellow Jackets’ backline from his close defender spot. The second-ranked Ramblin’ Wreck have allowed 4.60 goals per game in Tech’s 5-0 start that has included three victories over ranked teams, No. 7 Virginia Tech among them.
“He has started since he showed up here, and at 6-foot-5 with a hockey background, he presents serious problems for opposing attackmen,” said Georgia Tech coach Ken Lovic of the Worthington, Ohio, product. “He’s tough, has great hands and pushes the fast break as well as any of our middies. He draws the toughest attackman every game, and uses a blue-collar approach to give us an advantage.”
Regardless of the division, No. 3 Concordia-Irvine has rolled so far this spring thanks to Bernad’s offense. The Temecula, Calif., native posted seven goals and five assists in wins over MCLA D-I UCLA and Loyola Marymount. That was followed up with six goals and an assist in the Eagles 14-9 triumph over then-No. 19 San Diego.
"Dillon is a captain and one of the hardest workers on our team,” said Concordia-Irvine coach Ryan Brent. “He strives to get better every day and that is evidenced by the way he performs week in and week out. What he continues to do for us is impressive given that teams key in on him and throw their best defender at him every game."
For their efforts, both Byars and Bernad will receive a one-year membership to US Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport. Membership includes on-the-field insurance coverage, discounted tickets and apparel along with a subscription to Lacrosse Magazine.
US Lacrosse MCLA Monthly Honor Roll
Grant Clifford, Jr., Oregon
Adam Connolly, Sr., Southern Methodist
Tanner Knego, Sr., Arizona
Chris Severson, Fr., Brigham Young
Sam Harris, Sr., Minn.-Duluth
Taylor Harrison, Jr., Southern Oregon
Tarek Mousali, Sr., UC Davis
Zain Rehman, Soph., UT-Dallas