« Lacrosse 2019

Chris Sabia

Penn State University
labor and employment relations


Chris Sabia is a labor and employment relations major, who is also earning a business minor and will graduate with both to his name in his four years at Penn State. He has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors during both of his eligible seasons. He plans on going into a sales career, while also hoping to play professional lacrosse. He also plans on coaching lacrosse and giving back to the game at the youth level.


Sabia was named a 2018-19 team captain for his work ethic and his competitive nature, which helps lead the Penn State men’s lacrosse team. Sabia said, “I lead on and off the field by being an example of how to act in certain situations, both socially and academically. I like to think I have become a role model for my teammates and the community around me.” Head Coach Jeff Tambroni had this to say about Sabia: “When you look at the core values of our program—work ethic, compassion and an ability to compete without fear or complaint—Chris [Sabia] embodies all of them, but when it comes to being a competitor, he is a fearless and appropriate bearer of the symbolic No. 16.”

The No. 16 will be worn by Sabia in 2018 as he was selected by former Nittany Lion Ryan Keenan to next wear the number, which has been presented annually since 2016 to a senior who best represents the “Heart of a Competitor” in honor of Penn State’s “Teammate for Life” Connor Darcey. Connor passed away tragically on June 12, 2015, in a car accident, prior to his redshirt junior season.

During his summer and winter breaks throughout college, Sabia has worked a full-time construction job. This summer he worked the construction job during the day, lifted and conditioned in the afternoon, and at night he took three summer classes. Sabia is also a two-year veteran of Penn State’s Athletics Directors Leadership Institute.


Sabia has been a staple in leading the Penn State men’s lacrosse team in the community. He led and put together a group of 10 teammates to participate in a day of volunteer work at the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County & ReStore this past fall, and he has also participated in many other community service events. He was a part of the 2018 State College Sustainability and Diversity Expo, in which he shared research and information on different initiatives in the local area. Each of the last four years, Sabia has helped freshmen move into their dorms on campus on Move-In Day and has participated in the “Day of Giving” on Penn State’s campus the last four years. He has built a relationship with the Wounded Warriors Project by participating in the Wounded Warrior Walk, Run and Roll even, as well as a wheelchair basketball event. He has also participated in many THON® functions, including the Student-Athlete Meet & Greet and the THON® Dance Hour.


Sabia was named thee 2019 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and was a First Team All-Big Ten Selection. He is a two-time USILA Honorable Mention All-American as a defenseman and earned back-to-back All-Big Ten Second Team Honors in 2017 and 2018. Sabia has started all 58 games in his collegiate career, and has accumulated 67 career caused turnovers, 102 ground balls, eight goals and an assist in his time at Penn State. The senior defenseman was also named to the 2018 USILA Player of the Year Watch List to open the season. Sabia has been part of 40 total wins including the the Nittany Lions winning the 2019 Big Ten regular season title after the team went 5-6 in conference play. He helped Penn State earn the No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, earning an at-large bid to the tournament after tying the program record for wins in a season with 12 in 2017. He also led the Penn State defense to help the Nittany Lions earn the program’s first No. 1 ranking in history. In 2018, he finished the season, second in the Big Ten in caused turnovers per game at 1.36, moving up from his third-place finish in 2017 with 1.25.