June 7, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
While the academic year at West Point has come to a close, honors continue to pour in for two of the Academy's brightest cadet-athletes. Junior lacrosse defenseman Brendan Buckley and junior Ryan Leets, a goalie on Black Knights' hockey team, garnered Capital One Academic All-America honors on Thursday afternoon.
As members of the All-District I first team, Buckley and Leets advanced to the national ballot where they will both earned All-America honors for the first time in their respective careers. Buckley is the fourth lacrosse player overall and third to be a first team selection. Leets, named to the second team, is the second hockey player to garner All-American plaudits.
Buckley capped a breakout season as Army's top close defenseman with 2012 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and first team All-Patriot League laurels. He was also named to the Academic All-Patriot League behind a 3.99 cumulative GPA and No. 16 overall ranking within the West Point Class of 2013. A Dean's List member in all semesters at the Academy, Buckley served as a Battalion Sergeant Major, which is the highest position a junior cadet can achieve within the Corps.
A native of Massapequa, N.Y., Buckley emerged as one of the Patriot League's elite close defenseman this season and covered the opponents' top offensive threat in all 15 starts. That group included three of the top seven point-producers in the final NCAA rankings. He led the Patriot League and ranked eighth nationally averaging 2.0 caused turnovers per game.
A Civil Engineering major from Kentwood, Mich., Leets boasts a grade-point average of 4.04. He is one of four hockey players on the first team.
Leets started 24 games this past season and posted at least 30 saves in 12 contests. He made a season-high 41 saves against Rochester Institute of Technology and closed the season with a pair of 36-save performances. He recorded a 3.50 goals against average and .889 save percentage.
A two-time selection as the Atlantic Hockey Association Top Scholar-Athlete with the top GPA among goaltenders, Leets will serve as an alternate captain in the 2012-13 season.
To be eligible for Academic All-America honors, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution. The at-large pool includes women's bowling, women's crew, men's and women's fencing, women's field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo and wrestling.