Inside Lacrosse selects Penn’s Handley as Freshman of the Year

Among freshman, midfielder Sam Handley ranked No. 2 in the country in assists and No. 3 in points.

Freshman midfielder Sam Handley prepares to shoot a goal against Dartmouth.

Rising sophomore Sam Handley, a midfielder on the Ivy League champion men’s lacrosse team, has been named Freshman of the Year by Inside Lacrosse.

“Handley disabused one of the most common tropes in college recruiting and player development—that midfield is the toughest position to transition from high school to college,” the magazine said. “Handley’s injection was near the center of the Quakers’ remarkable turnaround in 2019, going from 7-8 last season to the NCAA Quarterfinals this season.” 

A Portland, Oregon, native, Handley started 14 of the team’s 16 games, and ranked third on the team in goals (35), first in assists (26), and third in points (61). His goal, assist, and point totals were all school records for a freshman. 

Nationally among freshman, he ranked second in the country in assists and third in points.

Handley also garnered ECAC Rookie of the Year recognition, was the unanimous Ivy League Rookie of the Year, became the first Penn freshman to earn First-Team All-Ivy honors, and was the only freshman chosen as a First-Team All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and Inside Lacrosse.

The Quakers amassed a 12-4 overall record, including a perfect 6-0 in Ivy League regular-season play. They tied the team record with 12 consecutive wins and won the regular-season and Ivy League Tournament titles for the first time in program history.

Penn advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship, where they were defeated by Yale. 

The Red & Blue finished the season ranked No. 5 in the country in Inside Lacrosse’s Division I Media Poll.