ATLANTA – After leading Concordia-Irvine to its first title at the 2017 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour, freshman attackman Jonah Rinaldi has been named the MCLA Division II Player of the Year.
The lightning-quick rookie led the Eagles in assists (31) and points (83), averaging nearly four points per game (3.95) for 20-1 Concordia.
At the conclusion of the regular season, he was named the Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Offensive Player of the Year and first team all-conference. Recently, he was named a First Team Division II All-American.
At nationals, Rinaldi tallied six goals and four assists for the champs.
The Laguna Beach, Calif., product had a goal in 20 of the 21 games and opened up scoring opportunities for teammates in the upset of top-seeded St. Thomas in the finals.
“I am thrilled for Jonah and excited for our team,” said Concordia-Irvine coach Ryan Brent. “We view all of these postseason awards as team awards, so it is great to see Jonah and Concordia University earning recognition. We preached all year long that team success would bring individual success, and I don't think anything exemplifies that more than Jonah getting this honor.
“There were games where Jonah carried our team offensively and there were games where other teams did everything in their power to take him away. The strength of our program, and one of Jonah's biggest strengths, is that when teams over-committed to him, he moved the ball and that led to other openings which allowed our team to be successful. That kind of unselfish play is what every coach is looking for and it was a pleasure to see it in our top player this season.”