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Westchester's Landis Repeats As D-I College Lacrosse's Top Defender

Pelham Memorial High School graduate Matt Landis.
Pelham Memorial High School graduate Matt Landis. Photo Credit: Contributed

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Former Section 1 star Matt Landis, who was an All-American at Pelham Memorial High School, has been honored by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) with the William C. Schmeisser Award as the nation's top player on defense for the second straight year.

A 2016 Tewaaraton Award finalist, the University of Notre Dame senior and 2016 team co-captain is the eighth two-time honoree. He is also the third Irish player to earn one of the USILA's top awards. Former Irish goalies Joey Kemp and John Kemp were honored with the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Jr. Award in 2008 and 2012, respectively, as the top goaltender in the country.

Landis helped anchor a Notre Dame defense that allowed 8.0 goals per game this season and ranked seventh nationally in that category. The two-time Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year and two-time USILA first-team All-American keyed a Notre Dame defense that also ranked seventh in caused turnovers (8.47 per game). A two-time first-team all-ACC honoree, Landis started all 15 games for the Irish this season, collected 34 ground balls and led the team in caused turnovers with 19. He ranked as the top vote-getter among defensemen in USILA All-America voting for 2016 and 2015.

The other eight repeat winners were Hank Kaestner of Johns Hopkins (1966-67), Chris Kane of Cornell (1977-78), Mark Greenberg of Johns Hopkins (1979-80), Tom Haus of North Carolina (1986-87), Dave Pietramala of Johns Hopkins (1988-89), David Morrow of Princeton (1992-93) and Tucker Durkin of Johns Hopkins (2012-13).

The award is named after William C. “Father Bill” Schmeisser, a men’s lacrosse player and coach at Johns Hopkins in the early 1900s. He played defense for the Blue Jays from 1900-02 and served as head coach from 1907-11. The award has been presented since 1942.

The USILA also announced its other major award winners Sunday. The Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award as the nation's Most Outstanding Player went to Dylan Molloy of Brown. Myles Jones of Duke took home the Lt. j.g. Donald MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the nation's top midfielder. Molloy also was tabbed as the recipient of the Lt. Col. Jack Turnbull Award as the country's best attackman. Goalkeeper Jack Kelly of Brown earned the Kelly Jr. Award.

Landis’ 2016 Notre Dame team finished 11-4, shared the ACC regular-season title and claimed the number-three seed in the NCAA Championship bracket, advancing to at least the quarterfinals for a record seventh straight year. Landis received an honorary postgraduate scholarship from the ACC in 2016 and graduated earlier this month with a degree in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.

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