Dignard, Falcone Earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors

Tom Dignard and Johnathan Falcone. (photos by David Silverman, dspics.com)

Ice Hockey, Lacrosse Player Honored for Work in the Classroom

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two Yale student-athletes who led their teams to Ivy League titles this year -- senior defenseman Tom Dignard (Reading, Mass.) of the ice hockey team and junior goalie Johnathan Falcone (Flemington, N.J.) of the lacrosse team -- were named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 1 men’s at-large selections on Thursday. Dignard was a first-team selection and is now eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, which will be announced next month. Falcone was a second-team selection.

Dignard, a second-team collegehockey247.com All-American, helped Yale to an ECAC Hockey championship and an Ivy League championship for the second straight season. The Bulldogs also made their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and picked up their first NCAA Tournament win in 58 years, 3-2 over North Dakota in the Northeast Regional. The Elis were 21-10-3 overall and were ranked No. 6 in the country in the final USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

Dignard was fourth in the NCAA in points per game among defensemen (six goals, 21 assists in 29 games) this past season. In addition to his All-America honors, he was also first-team All-New England and All-Ivy League. He was a second-team All-ECAC Hockey selection in each of the past two years, and was honorable mention All-Ivy in 2008-09. He also won the Yale’s men’s hockey team’s John Poinier Award as the Bulldogs’ top defenseman.

Dignard, who finished his career with 19 goals and 57 assists in 115 games, has also received numerous academic honors. He was an Academic All-Ivy League selection this past winter, and was an ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year finalist in 2008-09 and nominee in 2009-10. He will earn his fourth ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection this year. Dignard also was the recipient of the Yale men’s hockey team’s Edward M. Wright, M.D. Award this year as the team’s top scholar-athlete.

An economics and mathematics major in Branford College, Dignard is a graduate of Andover Academy.

Falcone helped Yale to a share of the Ivy League title, a spot in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament and a 10-4 overall record. The Bulldogs were ranked as high as No. 13 in the USILA poll and are currently No. 18. Falcone anchored a defense that allowed just 8.57 goals per game, placing the Bulldogs 11th in the country in scoring defense in the latest national rankings.

Falcone was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection this past season, going 10-4 overall (4-2 in the Ivy League) with a .502 save percentage. His 8.54 goals-against average leads the league and is 11th in Division I. It was also an improvement of nearly three goals per game over his GAA from a year ago.

Falcone had double-digit saves in four of the last eight games, including a season-high of 15 saves at Dartmouth. He held opponents to single digits in goals in six of the last seven games. That included a 7-6 win over archrival Harvard in the regular season finale at Reese Stadium, a win that gave Yale a share of the Ivy title and a spot in the Ivy Tournament.

An economics major in Calhoun College, Falcone is a Hunterdon Central Regional graduate.

Academic All-District voting is done by the members of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). There are eight districts throughout the country, with 12 first-team and 10 second-team honorees in District 1 this year. Members of the first team in each district are eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, which will be announced on June 8.

The at-large ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America program includes up to three nominees per school across 12 different men's NCAA sports (fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling).

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Pubicity

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