SPARKS, Md. – After guiding their teams to strong performances during the month, Utah Valley sophomore attackman Spencer Tunick and College of Idaho sophomore midfielder Henry Ontiveros were named the US Lacrosse MCLA Player of the Month in Divisions I and II, respectively.
Utah Valley posted an 8-1 mark March, including wins over a pair of ranked teams thanks to the scoring prowess of Tunick. The Provo, Utah, product scored 34 goals and dished out nine assists (4.9ppg) while also grabbing 22 ground balls.
Tunick twice hit the eight-point plateau in the run – which featured seven of the nine games coming on the road – scoring seven goals and dishing out an assist against Boise State before dropping eight goals on San Diego State.
“We traveled 16 of the first 23 days of March – over 3,200 miles by bus – and Spencer was consistent, reliable and a great teammate,” said Utah Valley coach Brian Barnhill. “In fact, his proudest moment he shared with me was his game against Dominican, where he had double the assists (4) to his goals (2).
“You know how difficult it is with all that travel and to still be on your game, but he didn't let off the gas all month. In practice, he is one of the hardest working players and holds his teammates accountable in giving their best in practices, as well.”
The College of Idaho recorded a perfect March, winning all six contests, including three against ranked opponents, and Ontiveros played a huge roll in the Yotes’ success.
On the faceoffs, the Carlsbad, Calif., native was nearly unbeatable, winning 104-of-113 faceoffs for a staggering 89.4 winning percentage. In addition, the Wagner (N.Y.) College transfer has gobbled up 70 ground balls while scoring 18 goals and dishing out 14 assists in the 6-0 month.
“Hank has brought a NCAA-level of intensity and focus to our program and has been instrumental in all of our wins,” said College of Idaho coach Matt Gier. “The biggest asset he has brought is his ability at facing off and has exponentially increased our offensive time of possession.
“Hank has a high lacrosse IQ and has been able to spread his knowledge to his teammates, which has elevated our level of play. He is one of the most passionate players I have ever coached.”
For their efforts, both Tunick and Ontiveros 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 US Lacrosse Magazine.
US Lacrosse MCLA Monthly Honor Roll
Ryan Brown, Jr., Faceoff – Cal Poly
Connor Graves, Jr., Goalie – Missouri
Wyatt Hill, Soph., Goalie - Arizona
Jake Marthens, Sr., Attack – Arizona State
C.J. Nichols, Sr., Midfield – Liberty
Jake Pistotnik, Jr., Attack – California
Andrew Yi, Sr., Midfield – Georgia Tech
Jacob Collins, Jr., Faceoff – UNC-Charlotte
Dean Grau, Gr., Attack – Cal State Long Beach
Casey Marsh, Sr., Defense – Dayton
Scott McNamara, Sr., Attack – Minn.-Duluth
Kyle Rodney, Jr., Attack – UC Santa Cruz