The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) has announced that Redwoods LC faceoff man Greg “The Beast” Gurenlian is retiring from playing after 12 years overall as a pro and just one season in the PLL. The announcement came via the PLL’s social media accounts.
“Physically and emotionally, I’ve left it all on the field for the people I played for and with,” Gurenlian wrote in the letter posted on social media. “This sport has given me so much.”
Gurenlian played at Penn State, where he graduated in 2006. He was taken in the 2006 MLL Draft by the Rochester Rattlers and also played for the San Francisco Dragons, Toronto Nationals, Chicago Machine, and New York Lizards during his time in the MLL.
He played his last eight seasons in the MLL with the Lizards, where he set the MLL record for most ground balls in a season, most faceoff wins in a season and highest faceoff percentage in a season. In 2015, Gurenlian won the MLL MVP and helped lead the Lizards to an MLL championship.
Gurenlian originally announced that he would be retiring from pro lacrosse at the end of the 2017 MLL season and that playing with Team USA in the World Championships in Israel in 2018 would likely be his last time playing at that level. However, in the fall of 2018, he announced that he would be coming out of retirement to play in the inaugural season of the PLL in 2019.
Despite battling through injuries last season, the 35-year old was top five in faceoff percentage during the regular season, named a PLL All-Star, and helped lead Redwoods LC to the PLL Championship game appearance. He went 86-for-172 at the faceoff dot for a 50% faceoff win percentage during the regular season.
Gurelian is one of the founders of the Faceoff Academy and throughout his career has helped evolve the faceoff position into what it is today.