Rookie of the Year, Runner-Up: Devin Dwyer, Men's Lacrosse

A day before Siyani Chambers guided the Harvard men’s basketball team to a 68-62 upset over the University of New Mexico in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, another rookie playmaker turned in a breakout performance for the Crimson. Devin Dwyer recorded his first NCAA hat trick as the Harvard men’s lacrosse team defeated Bryant, 7-5, on March 20.

It was an unusual goal-scoring spree from a freshman who was establishing himself as the Crimson’s go-to assist-man. Indeed, Dwyer made his mark more through his set-ups than through his strikes this year. By the end of the season, the top-five recruit was the Chambers of the lacrosse team—the point guard, the distributor, the quarterback of the Harvard offense.

Dwyer arrived at Harvard last fall on the heels of high expectations. Inside Lacrosse Magazine named the Garden City, N.Y. native the No. 4 recruit of the Class of 2016 after he led his high school squad to an undefeated season and a virtual national championship. Yet few expected that Dwyer would post team-leading marks in assists (27) and points (43) in his first year.

“Right when he stepped on campus and started playing with us, we recognized he was a special player,” captain Jason Gonos said. “It was easy to tell that he was going to be a very good player for us. But that being said, you never really know, you can’t exactly expect a freshman to be playing that well and to be able to handle the speed of Division I games coming right out of high school.”

Dwyer’s 16 goals were also third among Crimson scorers. The freshman scored at least one point in all but one game this season.

“I don’t think we quite realized how good he would become over the course of the year,” Gonos said.

Dwyer made his home this season at the X. His vision behind the net elevated the play of those around him, said Harvard coach Chris Wojcik ‘96.

“Devin did a great job as the distributor on our offense from behind the goal—such an important position, QB’ing the offense and being able to distribute the ball effectively to teammates,” Wojcik said. “He helps with his distribution skills to make the players around him better.”

In addition to his hat trick versus Bryant, Dwyer’s top scoring efforts this year included six-point games in wins over Holy Cross and Quinnipiac as well as a five-point effort in the Crimson’s loss to Cornell. At the end of the season, the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association named Dwyer All-New England Rookie of the Year. Dwyer also received Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors.

—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at mledecky@college.harvard.edu. Follow him on Twitter @mdledecky.

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