Moon Township, PA -- Senior midfielder Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) of the Robert Morris University men's lacrosse team was selected as one of 25 national semifinalists for the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Wednesday afternoon in an announcement made by the Tewaaraton Foundation.
Matisz becomes the first Colonial in program history to advance to this stage of the award process. He joins 24 men's players around the country in being selected as a semifinalist as the selection committee cut down the original watch list which consisted of 82 players.
This list of 25 will then be narrowed to just five male finalists May 10, and each of those individuals will be invited to the Tewaaraton Award Ceremony.
Matisz is having his best offensive season in a Colonial uniform in his final campaign with the squad. He has tallied 56 points in just 13 games on the strength of 34 goals and 22 assists. At the week's outset, he was fifth nationally in points per game (4.31), 15th in goals per game (2.62) and 19th in assists per game (1.69). His total of 56 points ranks third in single-season school history, just five shy of the current record, and his sum of 22 helpers is second in the single-season records at RMU, just three off the top mark. Matisz is converting on a career-best 47.2% of his shots taken, which has helped him produce 11 consecutive multi-point games. In this past Saturday's win over Quinnipiac, Matisz tied RMU's single-game school record of five assists, which had only been achieved twice previously at Robert Morris, en route to a career-high eight points. The veteran has come through against the toughest competition as he has notched a team-high 16 points (12g, 4a) in RMU's three games this season against teams that are currently nationally ranked.
Matisz, who has been named All-Northeast Conference (NEC) First Team in each of the past two seasons, has been climbing up in the career record book during his ultimate campaign. With his single-game record five assists April 21, he moved into first place in all-time career assists at Robert Morris with 70. The midfielder also ranks third in career points (158) and fifth in career goals (88) for the Colonials. He has 13 career hat tricks along with 39 multi-point games and 24 multi-goal games during his time at RMU.
Matisz is certainly among elite company as 14 of the semifinalists compete for teams that are currently ranked among the top 10 squads nationally.
The Tewaaraton Award was formally established in August of 2000 by The University Club of Washington, D.C. and is recognized as the preeminent lacrosse award that is awarded annually to the NCAA male and female lacrosse players of the year. The 2012 Tewaaraton Award Ceremony will be May 31 at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Matisz is no stranger to being recognized on a big stage as was selected as one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award earlier this month.
RMU will play its regular-season finale this coming Saturday, April 28, when it welcomes Bryant with the winner claiming the league's regular-season title and the right to host the 2012 NEC Tournament. The opening faceoff is set for 1:00 p.m.