Piseno Named National Defensive Player of the Year

UAlbany long-stick midfielder Jake Piseno has been named the USILA Defensive Player of the Year.
UAlbany's Jake Piseno has become the first Great Dane to be named USILA Defensive Player of the Year. (Photo by Brent Warzocha/UAlbany Athletics)

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 4, 2024) — Long-stick midfielder Jake Piseno has been named the recipient of the prestigious William C. Schmeisser Award, given by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) to the top defensive player in Division I men's lacrosse. It's the first time in UAlbany history that a Great Dane has earned the honor.

Piseno collected his second-straight America East Defensive Player of the Year title in 2024, leading the Great Danes to their first conference title since 2018. He was named the America East Championship's Most Outstanding Player after being instrumental in games against Merrimack and Vermont, scoring three goals and collecting nine ground balls.

The Great Danes went on to win their opening-round match in the NCAA Tournament over Sacred Heart before falling to defending and eventual repeat national champion Notre Dame.

On the season, Piseno scored 13 goals and added six assists for 19 points. He recorded an outstanding 79 ground balls and finished third in the nation with 2.44 caused turnovers per game.

In addition, Piseno was named a First Team All-American by the USILA at his position. This is the third time Piseno has been named a First Team All-American this season at the long-stick midfielder position, also collecting accolades from USA Lacrosse and Inside Lacrosse earlier in the year.

Piseno was named a nominee for the America East’s prestigious Man of the Year Award. The award recognizes a senior male student-athlete who has distinguished himself throughout his collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service, and leadership.

In mid-April, Piseno was selected as one of 25 individuals in men's college lacrosse as a Tewaaraton Award Nominee. The Tewaaraton Award is recognized as the pre-eminent lacrosse award, annually honoring the top male and female college lacrosse players in the United States.

Piseno was drafted No. 9 overall in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) draft by the Denver Outlaws on May 5.

The William C. Schmeisser Award 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.