WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Defenseman Brandon Klett (West Hartford) will represent Eastern Connecticut State University at the 2018 NEILA (New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) Senior All-Star Game, and midfielder Harrison Urda (Milford, NH) and attack Connor Wyllie (Somers) have qualified for the 2018 NEILA Division III Senior All-Academic Team.
A four-year player, three-year letterwinner and two-year starter, Klett becomes the program’s 41st representative to the all-star match, which features 50 of the top available graduating seniors from Division I, II and III. Klett is one of 25 players on the West team. Thirty of the players represent Division III institutions. A total of four players from the Little East Conference appear on the game roster.
The contest is scheduled for Friday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Penmen Stadium on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University.
Also involved in the match is former Eastern four-year player and one-year student-assistant coach Drew Deane ’14, a three-year assistant coach for 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) champion Western New England University, who will serve as one of the West team’s three coaches.
Players and coaches were nominated for the game by their respective head coaches within the NEILA. Players were then ranked and selected by a committee awarding seniors from all three NCAA Divisions who played their college career in the New England region.
Earlier this month, Klett was chosen to the All-LEC second team. A close defenseman, the 6-foot-2 inch, 230 pound Klett started every game in the season for the first time. He was credited with 25 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers, and was considered by the coaching staff as the leader of the defensive unit and its No. 1 cover defenseman who was responsible for neutralizing the opponents' top attackman.
In his career, Klett appeared in 52 matches with 27 starts and was credited with 57 ground ball and 26 caused turnovers.
Eastern (10-7, 5-2 LEC) rebounded from its first overall losing season last year, finishing second in the conference and reaching the LEC championship game for the 16th time in 18 years. The Warriors won seven of nine heading into the LEC title match following a 3-4 start.
Urda and Wyllie join seven previous Eastern qualifiers for the NEILA All-Academic Team, placing two players on the team for the third straight year. A total of 46 players qualified for the team, six from the Little East.
Qualifiers were selected by their respective head coaches for having excelled both in the classroom and on the field over the course of their career. The student-athlete must have senior standing, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and have been nominated for their respective all-conference team.
Urda is a Health & Physical Education major and Wyllie a Business Administration major and Criminology minor.
This past spring, Urda became Eastern’s first first-team all-conference repeater among position players since All-America Mike Devine was named to the first team for the third straight year in 2014. Urda led Eastern this year with career season-highs in goals (42), assists (28) points (70) and man-up goals (10), ranking in a tie for first in the LEC in man-up goals, second in points, tied for second in assists and third in goals.
Urda scored at least two goals in 13 of 17 matches this year, giving the Warriors their first lead of the match with six minutes left in a 10-9 LEC playoff semifinal win over the University of Southern Maine en route to a career-high six goals. Urda led Eastern in seven LEC regular-season games in goals (19), assists (11) and points (30).
A two-year starter, Urda concluded his four-year career ranked among the all-time Top 20 in assists (17th/45), goals (19th/81) and points (19th/126).
After seeing limited action in his first season in 2017, Wyllie earned a spot on the No. 1 attack line this past spring, appearing in all 17 matches with 13 starts, starting 13 of the final 14 matches. He was third on the team in goals (33) and tied for third in points (40), ranking in a tie for eighth in the former category and tied for 13th in the latter. He was also tied for second on the team with nine man-up goals, ranking in a tie for third in the LEC in that category. Wyllie scored six of his goals in two matches against LEC champion Keene State College. He netted a career-high four in the regular-season match against Keene March 30, then followed up a week later with four more en route to a career-high five points against the University of Southern Maine, both matches at home.