May 27, 2007



Award Presented by Lowe’s at NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships

(Baltimore, MD) – Cornell goalie Matt McMonagle, the Ivy League Player of the Year who has been equally successful in the classroom and in his community, has earned the distinction of being the first-ever recipient of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for men’s lacrosse. The award, selected by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented to college lacrosse’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior student athlete.

The award presentation was made today on the field during the Semi-Finals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship in Baltimore, Maryland. McMonagle has helped lead Cornell to an undefeated season at 15-0 and the No. 1 ranking in Division I heading into championship weekend.

Earlier this year, Lowe’s announced the addition of men’s lacrosse and three other NCAA sports to the award program that originally was launched in 2001 with basketball. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student athlete, with criteria including excellence in the classroom, character and community, as well as competition in sports.

“This award is a great way to recognize what many student athletes have done for their communities and for their schools,” McMonagle said. “Here at Cornell, we really pride ourselves on being complete student-athletes. We are students first, and we really try to help the community, and then participate in athletics. I think this is a great way to showcase all those facets. It was very humbling just to be on that list (of finalists), and then to win it is really something.”

McMonagle is the winningest active goalie in NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse with 45 victories. During his stellar senior season, he has a 6.69 goals-against average, which ranks fourth in the NCAA, and a .628 save percentage, which ranks third nationally. He has posted double-digit saves in nearly half of the games he’s played during his career at Cornell.

The lacrosse All-American is also a champion in the classroom and community. A Physics major in Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences with an Art History minor, McMonagle carries a 3.61 GPA and is graduating this spring.

McMonagle has also been a leader in the lacrosse team’s involvement in local community service work. He was the co-publicity chair for the 21 Run, an annual 5k run organized by the team that raised over $10,000 to support and promote children’s literacy in the Ithaca community. As the philanthropy chair for his fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, he directed their Daffodil Days fundraiser, a program that raised over $60,000 for the American Cancer Society. He has also participated in raising money for the Dream Factory of Central N.Y.

“The fact that Matt has won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is a tribute to all his hard work both on and off the field,” said Cornell Coach, Jeff Tambroni. “There have been very few young men who have come through Cornell that have worked harder off the field than Matt. With his efforts, he has accomplished so much more than just saves on the field. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to coach such a well-rounded and extraordinary young man.

“We will miss him for his on-field talents and production,” Tambroni continued, “but we will miss him more for what he has accomplished off the field and what he has meant to this community and this program.”

“We at Lowe’s are extremely excited to award the Senior CLASS Award because it is about so much more than honoring talented athletes,” said Bob Gfeller, SVP of Marketing and Advertising at Lowe’s. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is about acknowledging hard-working students who embody the spirit of college athletics. Matt has set a great example for us on the field, in the classroom and in the community as he reflects on the goals he has accomplished and the promising future ahead of him.”


The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also named an All-Senior All-American Team based on voting results of the finalists. Joining McMonagle on the 2007 First Team are: Zachary Jungers of Princeton, Nick Bonacci of Dartmouth, Adam Crystal of Drexel and Tony McDevitt of Duke. The Second Team consists of Eric Heidenberger of Villanoca, Mitch Belisle of Cornell, John Dunn of Colgate, Drew Thompson of Virginia and Greg Rommel of Syracuse.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA.

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, has expanded the Senior CLASS Award program this year to include NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse, men’s hockey, baseball and softball in addition to men’s and women’s basketball. The winner in each sport will be announced at the respective NCAA Championship events.