EDISON, N.J. – After one of his best outings of the 2012 season, VMI face-off specialist Stephen Robarge was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week, announced by the league office on Monday.
On Saturday, Robarge won an astounding 23 of 28 face-offs against Canisius at a cold and rainy Demske Sports Complex. It marked the fourth time this season the Lorton, Va. native surpassed the 20-win mark in a single game, the only Division I player in the country to do so four times this season.
Even more impressive than the 23 wins was the number of opponents Robarge faced on Saturday, squaring off with eight different Golden Griffins. Not only did Robarge come out on top 23 times, but he sent six of those eight away from the X without a win.
Robarge dominated at the face-off X, but he contributed on the offensive end as well, chipping in a goal just 12 seconds into the second half, breaking a 6-6 halftime stalemate. The reigning MAAC Face-off Specialist of the Year collected 15 groundballs on the day, nearly half of VMI’s total of 34.
For his career, Robarge has logged eight games with at least 20 wins at the face-off X, putting up four last year and an additional four this year, with one game to play.
Through last weekend’s games, Robarge moved into the No. 1 spot in two NCAA statistical categories. He averages 9.23 groundballs per game, grabbing 120 in his 13 games played. At the X, he has won199 of his 297 draws (67.0 percent).
This is the second time in his career Robarge has been honored as the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week. His first came on Feb. 22, 2010. He is the third VMI player to earn weekly honors from the league, following freshman Mike DeBlasio as the Rookie of the Week on March 19 and junior goalkeeper Matt Lindemann as the Defensive Player of the Week on April 10.
The three VMI players to have earned weekly honors from the league office mark the first time since 2008 the Keydets have had three players honored in one season. VMI saw two players earn Offensive Player of the Week honors on two occasions each.
Also earning plaudits this week were Siena’s Bryan Neufield as the Offensive Player of the Week and Jacksonville’s Quint Miller as the Rookie of the Week.
VMI returns home to conclude its 2012 season on Saturday against University of Detroit Mercy. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at the SprinTurf Field, located directly behind Foster Stadium. Prior to the game, the Keydets and the coaching staff will honor the squad’s 11 seniors.