Denver Burns Boston, Schlosser and Lee Continue to Shine

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Photo Courtesy of Denver Outlaws                                                                                                                   

The Denver Outlaws’ 22-9 win over the Boston Cannons marked their second win in a row, putting them on the right track even more after just ending a four-game losing streak last week. 

In the win over Boston, Denver really got out to a hot start and saw their offense carry much of the weight as they exploded on that end of the field early on, and really rode that wave to victory. The Boston defense, who was without James Leary, couldn’t even put a dent in the Outlaws’ offensive unit. 

Already up 5-1 heading into the second quarter, Denver was able to push their lead to 10-5 heading into the half. While Boston did wake up and really started to put things together, they just could not slow down Denver, especially with the play from faceoff man Max Adler and goalie Dillon Ward. Denver piled on even more in the second half, taking a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter and fully securing that dominating 22-9 win in the fourth quarter. 

A big piece of Denver’s win over Boston, and climb back from that four-game losing streak has been the play and presence of Mikie Scholsser since returning from injury. The veteran midfield has been a total difference maker for Denver since coming back and has made an impact in multiple ways. Whether its his shooting ability, feeding ability, or doing the dirty work, Scholsser is an all-around team guy that makes this Denver Outlaws’ team run like a well oiled machine. 

In the win over Boston, Scholsser was “The Guy” for the Outlaws at the midfield spot that they could go to and trust that a play would be made. Also, Ryan Lee has awoken over the past two weeks and really showed fans what he has in his bag of tricks, being able to get to the middle and make things happen as a passer or a finisher. Lee gets it done all over the field and gives the Denver offense a huge advantage. 

In today’s win, Schlosser tallied three points (2G/1A) while Lee went off for five goals. In addition, Dillon Ward made 11 saves off of 19 shots to help anchor the Denver defense. 

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MLL Standouts: Week Twelve

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Photo Courtesy of the Denver Outlaws                                                                                                            

During week twelve of the MLL season, we saw four games take place with three being on Saturday and one being on Sunday. In Saturday’s action, the Dallas Rattlers defeated the Boston Cannons 13-10, the Chesapeake Bayhawks took down the Atlanta Blaze 16-13, and the Denver Outlaws beat the New York Lizards 16-13. On Sunday Dallas beat Chesapeake 14-13. 

Here are some players that really stood out during week twelve of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

In Chesapeake’s win over Atlanta on Saturday, Chesapeake was able to get hot in the second quarter and maintain their lead through second half to secure the win. The consistent firepower from the Chesapeake offense was crucial in helping them accomplish that. 

A key part of the Chesapeake offense on Saturday was attackman Steele Stanwick. The attackman looked like his old self for the first time in a while, making plays all over the offensive end, and doing so in a plethora of ways. Primarily, it was Stanwick’s passing that helped keep the entire offense firing. 

Stanwick ended the game with five points (2G/3A), helping secure the 16-13 Chesapeake win over Atlanta. 

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

The Dallas Rattlers are on a roll, and a key factor during this six-game winning streak for them as been the play and constant improvement of their defense. Their defense was shining once again on Saturday night against Boston, and Chris Keating was one leading the charge. 

Keating really aided the Dallas defense, swarming all over the field. The defenseman did a great job of taking his matchup, disrupting the Denver offense, and really doing the little things that make a team defense tick. 

In the win, Keating caused one turnover and scooped up three ground balls. 

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

In spite of losing, Atlanta Blaze Goalie Chris Madalon had himself a game on Saturday. He was able really add some hope to an otherwise lackluster Atlanta defense, especially in the second half as Atlanta started to put together a comeback. 

Madalon recorded 14 saves off of 30 shots on goals in the 16-13 loss against Chesapeake on Saturday. 

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Denver Outlaws attackman Chris Aslanian has been one of the most impressive rookies this season, and he was back on his game over the weekend. The rookie was a catalyst for the Outlaws offense in their 16-13 win over New York on Saturday. 

The Hobart product ended the game with five points (3G,2A) to help give the Denver offense a big boost. Aslanian was getting it done from multiple spots on the field, showcasing his style of play and scoring ability once again. 

Breaking Records

John Grant Jr. etched his name into the MLL record books once more as he broke the MLL career regular-season scoring record with 572 points. The veteran tallied seven points (2G/5A) in Denver’s 16-13 win over the New York Lizards on Saturday night. 

MLL Standouts: Week Eleven

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Photo Courtesy of Chesapeake Bayhawks                                                                                                       

Three games took place during week eleven of the MLL season, and they all went down on Saturday night.

In week eleven, the Atlanta Blaze defeated the New York Lizards 14-13 in overtime, the Boston Cannons took down the Chesapeake Bayhwks 12-11, and the Dallas Rattlers defeated the Denver Outlaws 17-12 to expand their win streak. 

Here are some players that really stood out during week eleven of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Yet again, Lyle Thompson put on another stellar performance this weekend and showed everyone why he is in fact one of the best players in the world. In Chesapeake’s one-goal loss against Boston, Thompson really was the leader and did it all for the Bayhawks on the offensive end. 

The attackman tallied seven points (3G/4A) in Saturday’s loss, getting it done as a goal scorer and a feeder. It was just another typical Lyle show as his greatness was one again on display.

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Despite the loss, the New York Lizards actually looked good on both ends of the field on Saturday night against Atlanta. One of the main factors as to why they were able to stay so close with the fiery Atlanta offense was due to the play of LSM Alex Spring. 

Spring was able to help slow down the Atlanta offense in set 6v6 situations, as well as in transition. The LSM really aided New York on the defensive end and ultimately gave them a boost on the offensive end, as well. It was an all-around great effort from Spring on Saturday night. 

The LSM ended with a total of three caused turnovers and seven ground balls in the loss. 

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

Dallas Rattlers goalie Sean Sconone showed up on Saturday night in Dallas’ win against Denver. The rookie goalie looked poised once again, and helped to keep the Dallas defense in sync as they made their way to their fourth consecutive win of the season. 

Sconone really helped anchor the Dallas defense, ending the game with a total of 14 saves off of 26 shots on goals. 

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Boston Cannons rookie LSM Rylan Rees was one of the better rookies in week eleven of the season. Rees has looked great all season, being able to make an impact on both ends of the field for the Cannons. 

On Saturday night, Rees helped lead Boston to a 12-11 win over Chesapeake, and it was his play in the middle of the field that really made the difference. Rees ended the game with a total of four ground balls. 

 

MLL Standouts: Week Ten

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Photo Courtesy of Denver Outlaws                                                                                                                   

Week ten of the MLL season presented three games that all took place on Saturday night. In addition, all three games were fairly close as well. 

In week ten, the Atlanta Blaze defeated the Boston Cannons 14-13 in a game that ended up going right down to the wire, the Dallas Rattlers beat the New York Lizards 15-11 to continue their winning streak, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the Denver Outlaws 12-9. 

Here are some players that really stood out during week ten of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

In Atlanta’s win over Boston Tommy Palasek absolutely took the reigns and was The Guy for the Blaze offense on Saturday night.

Palasek was the initiator as he was able to get the job done in a multitude of ways, and really help lead his team to victory. With Austin Staats still out and Mark Matthews as a primary distributor Palasek took on a bit of a different role, but he was still able to thrive and put together one of his best performances this season. 

Palasek ended the game with two goals and four assist, totaling six points in the win. 

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

After going down with an injury in week nine, Boston Cannon’s Defenseman/LSM Ryland Rees was back in the lineup this week and made his presence very well known. 

The rookie out of Stony Brook continued his impressive season, flying all over the field and causing havoc like usual. He stepped up as an on-ball defender and helped aid the Cannon’s transition which helped them comeback in the second half. 

In the loss, Rees scooped up three ground balls and had two caused turnovers. 

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

Chesapeake goalie Niko Amato was his usual self in their win over Denver, having himself another great performance.

Amato really helped anchor the Bayhawks defense, making save after save all game. He ended the game with 14 saves off of 22 shots on goal. 

Specialist Of The Week

Even with the loss, there was a very bright spot for the Denver Outlaws this past weekend against Chesapeake. 

That bright spot was the play of faceoff man Max Adler. He absolutely dominated the faceoff dot, winning 23-of-24 draws. Adler’s only loss was a violation on the first faceoff of the game. 

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

In Dallas’ win over New York it was rookie Bradley Voigt that really led the way for the Rattlers’ offense. Since being signed by Dallas a few weeks back Voigt has been nothing short of amazing, but this past weekend was his best game yet in the MLL. 

The rookie out of Syracuse absolutely dominated, breaking down the New York defense and scoring at will. Voigt ended the game with four goals and one assist, totaling five points in the win. 

 

 

MLL Standouts: Week Nine

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Photo Courtesy of Major League Lacrosse                                                                                                      

With the all-star break in the rear view mirror at the playoff push heating up. week nine of the MLL season featured four games with three taking place on Saturday night and on Sunday evening. 

On Saturday, the Boston Cannons took down the Denver Outlaws 16-13 to take over at the top of the standings, the Chesapeake Bayhawks defeated the New York Lizards 11-19, and the Dallas Rattlers beat the Atlanta Blaze 16-14 to secure their second win of the season. Sunday night, the Chesapeake Bayhawks beat the New York Lizards 24-7 in a complete onslaught. 

Here are some players that really stood out during week nine of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Chesapeake’s offense was fueled by many factors in their two wins this weekend, but no players stepped up bigger for the Bayhawks than Colin Heackcok. The lefty midfielder put on an absolute clinic in both of Chesapeake’s wins. 

In both of Chesapeake’s games against New York this weekend Heacock went off, causing havoc all over the field. While Heacock did most of his damage in the scoring department, he was also effective as a feeder and always seemed to be in the right place at the time. It was domination in its truest sense. It didn’t matter what the New York defense did, because nobody was going to slow him down. 

On Saturday, Heacock set a career-high of six goals and then followed it up with four goals on Sunday, tallying 10 combined points over the weekend. The midfielder also hit a career milestone, notching his 50th career goal in Sunday’s win. 

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Atlanta Blaze defenseman Liam Byrnes continued his impressive play this season on Saturday, despite the loss. Byrnes has been flying all over the field this season, terrorizing opposing offenses. Byrnes has been the leader of this Atlanta defense and The Guy when it comes to keeping things flowing how they should be.

On Saturday, the defenseman showed up big time once agin as he gave the Atlanta defense a big boost, especially when they might have not been performing their best as a unit. While they lost a close one, Byrnes’ effort certainly made a difference and helped to not allow Dallas to gain too much separation. 

Byrnes ended the game with two caused turnovers and seven ground balls. Currently, he leads the league in caused turnovers with 15 so far this season. 

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

Again, Nick Marrocco came up huge for the Boston Cannons, helping them secure the 16-13 win over the Denver Outlaws on Saturday night. His performance was not only great statistically, but Marrocco was a leader and a calming presence for the Cannons’ defense. 

Marrocco was able to shut out the Outlaws’ offense in the second quarter, giving Boston a ton of momentum going into the half. That momentum that Marrocco carried over into the second half, as Boston was able to hold Denver down the stretch and secure the win. 

The second-year goalie ended the game with 16 saves off of 29 shots, helping Boston secure the win and take over the top spot in the standings. 

Rookie OF THE WEEK

Despite the loss, Atlanta Blaze rookie faceoff man Alex Woodall really gave his team a boost on Saturday. Woodall showed why he was selected first overall in the 2019 draft as he absolutely dominated the faceoff dot. 

A Towson alum, Woodall went 26-33 at the faceoff dot. Woodall’s efforts helped his team be able to somewhat control the pace of play and dominate possessions, especially in the first half.

Woodall currently leads the league in ground balls off the faceoff with 95 and has an overall faceoff win percentage of 53.48 percent, thus far. 

Dallas’ Offense Finally Putting The Pieces Together

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Photo Courtesy of Dallas Rattlers                                                                                                                      

The Dallas Rattlers started the season with a seven game losing streak, and with an average goal differential of 3.2. The Rattlers clearly showed that they were capable of winning, but continued to have breakdowns that they just could not recover from, especially in the second half. 

Finally, the Rattlers secured their first victory in week seven, beating the Denver Outlaws 11-8 on the road. It was a momentum boosting win for the Rattlers and gave them a ton of energy heading into the All-Star break. They were able to squeak out another win in Atlanta on Saturday, beating the Blaze 16-14 in a contest that came down to the final minutes. 

While many factors can be attributed to the Rattlers’ recent success, the way their offense has transformed and gotten impressible better from week-to-week has been one of the biggest. They are no longer wasting possessions, looking out of sync, or killing a play in transition before it even gets started. The Dallas offense has indeed looked much improved over the past few weeks. 

The Rattlers’ offense looks much more poised and settled than they did early in the season, and they are moving the ball more efficently and with a purpose. Also, the addition of midfielder Adam Osika helped them out tremendously. 

Since being traded to Dallas from Chesapeake a few weeks back, Osika has really aided in settling down this young Rattlers offense and making keep the plethora of rookies and second-year players in check. Osika is able to get a touch and calm the offense, allowing plays to develop much more naturally instead of forcing it.

In addition, attackman Bryce Wasserman and LSM Eli Salama have both stepped up and continued to improve in recent weeks. Wasserman has really been an initiator from behind the cage, using his speed to create separation and set himself or a teammate up for a great look on cage. Salama has been deadly in transition all year, but over the past few weeks he has taken it to the next level. The British Columbia native is much more crisp in his passing and has taken much more time to let things develop, allowing their transition to be much more effective and reduce the silly mistakes. 

The Rattlers have also seen massive contributions, and improvement, from rookies Jake Seau, Bradley Voigt and Lucas Wittenberg, as well. All three have really been able to provide a spark at times and help lead this Dallas offense in some way or another.

This is a Dallas team that now knows how to win and play through a full game. While the youth of this team can still cause them troubles at times, they have minimized their mistakes and finally started to put all the pieces all together, especially on the offensive end. 

Brendan Sunday Dominates MLL All-Star Game; Continues Breakout Rookie Season

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Photo Credit: Dale Zanine                                                                                                                                   

The MLL All-Star Game took place over the weekend in Annapolis as Team Ice, captained by Lyle Thompson, defeated Team Fire, captained by Rob Pannell, 16-15 in overtime.

While the game as a whole was great there was one storyline in particular that stood out to many during this game. That storyline was the play of Atlanta Blaze rookie attackman Brendan Sunday. The Towson product put on a show, wowing fans all game long with his impressive array of offensive firepower as a scorer and a feeder.

Sunday ended the game with five points (4G/1A), including the game-winner in overtime. The rookie was simply on another level as he helped lead Team Ice to victory over Team Fire. Sunday took the reigns, ran the show, and did it just like he was a veteran.

Having such an unbelievable performance as a rookie playing in your first All-Star game may come as a surprise to some, but knowledgable lacrosse fans know just how special of a player Sunday is and how good he can be. 

Sunday’s success in the All-Star game and this season, in general, is no accident or fluke. The attackman has been grooming his craft and working towards this moment for years now. During his college days at Towson, Sunday was a key fixtures of the Tigers’ offense and regularly put up four-five point performances. He even had a few games where he tallied eight and nine points with most of those points coming from goals. 

The All-Star attackman was a force to be reckoned with during his time at Towson and still is now with the Atlanta Blaze. Thus far, Sunday has tallied 23 points (13G/10A). He is a big part of that fiery Atlanta Blaze offense that can strike at any given time.

A Poughquag, N.Y. native, Sunday’s ability as a pure sharpshooter is surely appreciated, but his passing game has seemed to develop the most during his rookie season with Atlanta, feeding some of the other amazing player makers on that offense. 

Sunday brought that same mentality to Annapolis on Saturday. Even though he was playing for Team Ice, Sunday was ready to catch fire and did just that. Sunday didn’t let the words All=Star get into his head all, and just simply went out there and did what he does best, ball harder than anyone else on the field.

With the second half of the season coming up next weekend the Atlanta Blaze will need the services of Brendan Sunday to help keep their offense flowing and ultimately keep winning the way they are.

 

MLL Standouts: Week Eight

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Photo Courtesy of Pretty Instant                                                                                                                       

Week eight of the MLL season saw three games take place, and it all started on Saturday night as the Atlanta Blaze beat the Boston Cannons 15-2 and the New York Lizards defeated the Chesapeake Bayhawks 14-10.

The week wrapped up on Sunday afternoon as the Dallas Rattlers secured their first win of the season, beating the Denver Outlaws 11-8 on the road. 

Here are some players that really stood out during week eight of the MLL season. 

OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Yet again, the Atlanta Blaze put on an absolute show with their fiery offense this past weekend. Randy Staats really ran the show as he was able to be the leader on offense and make plays all over the field. 

In addition to his scoring ability, Staats really put his passing game on display to help lead his team to victory. Staats was the quarterback of the Atlanta offense on Saturday night, and his play was one of the biggest factors that contributed to the them pulling out the win. 

Staats put up eight points (2G/6A) in the 15-12 win over Boston. Those six assists set a new Atlanta Blaze franchise record for assists in a game. 

DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

While it wasn’t the greatest team performance from the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday against New York, Jesse Bernhardt did not disappoint as he made plays all night long, really aiding the struggling Bayhawks defense. 

Bernhardt was a bright spot for the Bayhawks all game as he was able to cause havoc for the New York offense, even during times when it seemed all hope was lost for Chesapeake. Bernhardt was even able to get up and down the field a few times, jumpstarting the Bayhawks offense in transition. 

Statistically, Bernhardt caused three turnovers while also scooping up four ground balls in the loss. He also had one shot on goal as well, but did not convert. 

GOALIE OF THE WEEK

The Dallas Rattlers finally put it all together and secured their first win of the season, and they did so taking down the defending champs as well. A big part of the Rattlers win was the play of rookie goalie Sean Sconone who stood on his head all game long. 

Sconone hasn’t been the starter for Dallas all season, but has certainly made his presence known the last few weeks. The rookie has been shining bright, making impressive save after impressive save, and this weekend the win finally came to highlight his performance even more. 

The rookie made 20 saves off of 28 shots on goal to help lead Dallas to victor over Denver. 

Rookie OF THE WEEK

Cannons rookie defensive midfielder Zach Goodrich has been putting on a show all season, and even showed up once again this weekend.

Goodrich was making plays at both ends of the field just as usual. While the rookie gave the Cannons an edge on the defensive end, he was also able to help jump start their offense and make things happen in transition. Goodrich made his presence well known as a scoring, passing, and defensive threat. 

The rookie out of Towson scored one goal while also scooping up three ground balls in the loss against Atlanta. 

 

Boston Trades Shawn Evans To Dallas

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Shawn Evans going up against an Atlanta Blaze defender (Photo: Capital Gazette)                              

On Friday, the Boston Cannons traded attackman Shawn Evans to the Dallas Rattlers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 MLL draft. 

A Peterborough, Ontario native, Evans is a legend in the box game having won two Minto Cup’s, seven Mann Cup’s, and one NLL championship. Evans is a two-time NLL MVP and the only player in history to win a Minto Cup, Mann Cup, and NLL championship within 12 months. 

Evans, a four-year MLL veteran, was acquired by Boston in the MLL dispersal draft back in the spring. He has only played in seven games during his MLL career due to the NLL and Box commitments, but has tallied a total of 25 points (14G/11A). 

The attackman was drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 supplemental draft by the Chesapeake Bayhawks. He played three games for the Denver Outlaws in 2018 before being acquired by the Ohio Machine late in the season.

Evans has appeared in two games for the Boston Cannons this season after being picked in the MLL dispersal draft back in the spring. He has tallied three points (2G/1A) with the Cannons. 

 

MLL Championship Weekend To Be Held In Denver

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Photo Courtesy of Dallas Rattlers/MLL                                                                                                            

On Monday morning, Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced that Denver will host the 2019 MLL semifinals and championship games from October 4th-6th. This marks the first time that the MLL will play their championship game in Denver, known by many as the Lacrosse Capital of The West. 

The MLL semifinals will be played on October 4th at Peter Barton Stadium, sitting on the campus of the University of Denver. The MLL championship game will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on October 6th. ESPN 2 will broadcast the 2019 MLL Championship game. 

Both Peter Barton Stadium and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park know how to put on high quality lacrosse events, and have done so in the past. Peter Barton Stadium is the home of the Denver Pioneers and hosted the Big East Tournament this past season. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is home to the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer and hosted the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships. 

In addition, this will be the first time since the 2013 season that the MLL will host the semifinals and championship on the same weekend, and will be the latest the championship has ever been played in the league’s 19-year history.