Just like any professional sports league, week one of the MLL season is always seems to be a little more sloppy, in terms of play on the field. Players are adjusting to new teammates, systems, or are simply just tying to get back into the groove of playing a full sixty minutes of pro lacrosse.
While there are many players that are still shaking off rust in week one there are certainly a good number of players that look to be in mid-season form and standout amongst the rest with impressive performances, stat lines, and more. This past weekend there was certainly plenty of that across the league, and at every single position.
Best Offensive Performance
Mark Cockerton shot the lights out as he helped the Boston Cannons beat the New York Lizards 13-12 in their season opener at home. Cockerton was simply electric all night long, being the guy for Boston on the offensive end. The attackman tallied 6 goals, including 4 in the first half alone.
Best Defensive Performance
Looking at the box score from either of Denver’s games this weekend won’t tell you half of what Finn Sullivan did in week one. Sullivan has been known in the MLL as more of an underrated defenseman, but he might have lifted that tag this weekend after his efforts against New York attakman Rob Pannell in Denver’s win on Friday night.
Sullivan was able to shut down Pannell, only allowing him two assists. Sullivan was all over Pannell from all game, being a pest that the New York offense had trouble dealing with. Sullivan was in Panell’s hands the second he had the ball and rarely let the attackman even gain a meaningful possession.
Denver Outlaws goalie Dillon Ward showed the world why he is the best in the world this past weekend. The 6-foot-5 veteran put on one heck of a display, helping the Outlaws to an 11-9 season opening win on the road against New York. Ward made 19 saves and stood on his head down the stretch to really help subdue any comeback the Lizards had in mind.
On Sunday in the Outlaws 14-12 loss at Atlanta Ward made 5 saves, according to the MLL official stats.
Rookie Of The Week
Lucas Wittenberg had himself a fantastic MLL debut, besides the loss. The midfielder out of Georgetown had 4 goals for Dallas in their home opening 14-11 loss against Chesapeake. Wittenberg really put on a great display of offense, helping to lead the way for Dallas.
Fantastic Faceoff Man
There were a lot of great performances from faceoff guys this week but the best came from Chesapeake Bayhawks faceoff man Kenny Massa. Massa was crucial n the Bayhawks season opening 14-11 win at Dallas, getting their offense clicking and gaining those extra possessions.
In the win Massa went 18-29 at the dot with a win percentage of 62%.
The Swag Factor
Each week during the MLL season players either pull up to the stadium dripping with swag or show off their style on the field with heat on their feat, custom gloves, etc.
The player with the most swag this week is actually a whole team. The Atlanta Blaze unveiled their new uniforms and they might be the best the league has ever seen. From the chrome lids to the red home jerseys and shorts the whole squad was swaged out from head to toe.
Atlanta’s road white uniforms that they also released looked just as good as the home red ones do. The Blaze’s swag also seemed to pay off on the scoreboard as they beat Denver 14-12.