Somerset, NJ – Sacred Heart junior Joshua Salah (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester) has been named the 2012 NEC Golfer of the Year after a stellar third year in Fairfield in which he posted five top-10 finishes over the course of the season. Salah started of the year strong, posting a pair of second place finishes at the Central Connecticut Fall Invitational (67-73=142) and the Hartford Hawk Invitational (70-71-72=213), which earned him NEC Golfer of the Month honors in September. He followed up these performances with solid rounds at Yale McDonald Cup (72-73=145) and a season-low round of 67 at the UCONN Invitational. In the spring the Massachusetts native posted a fourth place finish at the Lonnie Barton Invitational (77-75=152) and fell into the ninth place slot at the New England Championship where he shot a 152 at the two day tournament. His best performance of the spring occurred at the Rhody Invitational where he took home top-honors after inking scores of 71-73 for a two-day total of 144. Salah placed 25th overall at the NEC Championship to help the Pioneers to a tie for second overall. He also collects first-team All-Conference honors for the first time in his career.
After bursting onto the scene in his freshman campaign LIU Brooklyn’s Obe Ayton (Liphook, England/Godalming College), collects NEC Rookie of the Year honors after he finished in the top-10 of six of the 10 events he participated in. The native of England started off his college career with a fourth place (74-76-71=221) finish at the Joe Agee Invitational, 10th place tie (73-74-73=220) at the Connecticut Cup and rounded out the fall season with a share of fifth place at the Barnabas Health Intercollegiate (71-75=146). Ayton then tied for second place at the Homewood Suites Invite after he carded scores of 74-72 for a two day total of 146. Ayton rounded out his freshman campaign with two ninth place finishes at the Manor Intercollegiate (72-72-76=220) and Navy Spring Invitational (74-76=150). For his efforts the freshman also earns a spot on the All-Conference second team.
Joining Salah on the first team is fellow Pioneer and NEC Tournament first place finisher Leo Garcia (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Colegio Marista). The senior took first place honors at the conference tournament after shooting a three day score of 219 (72-72-75). He also posted two other top-10 finishes throughout the season, including a second place finish at the Lonnie Barton Invitational (75-73-148) and a share of sixth at the UCONN Invitational.
Earning first team honors from Mount St. Mary’s is Devin O’Grady (Lancaster, PA/Manheim Township) who finished fifth (74-77-73=224) at the tournament championship to help the Mountaineers claim their first team title in program history. O’Grady also performed well throughout his sophomore season, picking up top finishes at the Rehoboth Beach Fall Invite (72-69=131) and ECAC Championships (71-75=146) where he finished fourth and third, respectively.
Rounding out the five-man first team are Monmouth’s Ian Thimble (Hyde Park, MA/Boston College) and Robert Morris’ Brock Pompeani (Aliquippa, PA/Hopewell), who both placed in the top-10 at the NEC Championship. Thimble collected two first place finishes over the course of the 2011-12 season including top honors at the Monmouth Quad match where he shot a season low 68. He also collected a first place finish at the Fairleigh Dickinson Invitational after inking a two-day total of 149 (76-73). The junior placed second overall at the NEC Championship after tallying a three day score of 220 (73-77-70) bringing his season average per round to 75.1. Pompeani, also a junior, had a solid spring season in which he posted three top-five finishes and a tie for seventh at the NEC Championship. The Pennsylvania native posted his best finish at the RMU Holiday Inn Colonial Classic where be booked scores of 72-74 for a two day total of 146, good for second overall.
Joining Ayton on the second team is LIU Brooklyn junior Josh Waters (London, England/St. Dunstan’s), who performed well at the NEC Championship, earning a piece of third place after carding an even 72 on day two of the event. Waters also earned two fifth place finishes early in the spring after carding scores of 153 and 149 at the Lonnie Barton and Homewood Suites Invitational, respectively.
Mount St. Mary’s earned a second All-Conference honoree in Kevin Ellison (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt), who collects second team honors. The sophomore was critical in the Mount’s top team finish at the NEC tournament after he picked up a share of third place following rounds of 73-72-77 for a total of 222. His performance at the ECAC Championship earned him a first place honors after he tallied scores of 73-70, while his single best score was at the Gary Freeman Spring Invite, where he inked a 69 on day two of the competition.
Central Connecticut captured the final two slots on the second team as Dan Fanion (Westfield, MA/Westfield) and Kevin Josephson (Berlin, CT/Rhode Island) each earned a spot. Fanion came on strong at the end of the season for the Blue Devils, picking up piece of ninth at the NEC Championship (75-75-79=229) which came on the wheels of a second place finish at the New England Championship, where he shot a 71 and a 74 for a two day total of 145. Josephson posted a 74.8 average per round during his final season in New Britain, which featured three top-10 finishes throughout the year. The Connecticut’s native best finish came at the New England Championship where he took home fourth place honors after shooting a two day score of 147 (77-70).
At the conclusion of the tournament, Mount St. Mary’s coach Kevin Farrell was selected the 2012 NEC Men’s Golf Coach of the Year in a vote by his peers after he led the Mountaineers to their first NEC Championship in program history. He is the first coach in NEC history to earn nods from the conference as both a player and a coach. Farrell picked up All-NEC honors after finishing in the top-10 at the NEC Championship twice during his playing career at the Mount.
NEC Men’s Golfer of the Year
Joshua Salah (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester) Jr. Sacred Heart
NEC Men’s Golf Rookie of the Year
Obe Ayton (Liphook, England/Godalming College)Fr. LIU Brooklyn
NEC Men’s Golf Coach of the Year
Kevin Farrell Mount St. Mary’s
NEC Men’s Golf All-Conference First Team
Ian Thimble (Hyde Park, MA/Boston College) Jr. Monmouth
Leo Garcia (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Colegio Marista) Sr. Sacred Heart
Brock Pompeani (Aliquippa, PA/Hopewell) Jr. Robert Morris
Devin O’Grady (Lancaster, PA/Manheim Township) So. Mount St. Mary’s
Joshua Salah (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester) Jr. Sacred Heart
NEC Men’s Golf All-Conference Second Team
Kevin Josephson (Berlin, CT/Rhode Island) Sr. Central Connecticut
Dan Fanion (Westfield, MA/Westfield) So. Central Connecticut
Obe Ayton (Liphook, England/Godalming College) Fr. LIU Brooklyn
Josh Waters (London, England/St. Dunstan’s) Jr. LIU Brooklyn
Kevin Ellison (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt) So. Mount St. Mary’s