Craven: Crotty. Rabil was a stud as always but the guy who impressed me the most was Crotty. He was all over the place this year from leading Duke to the ‘ship and then playing a key role down the stretch for Team USA.
Wilson: Rabil. Duh. He was an instrumental cog in NLL and World Championship Teams. He is the best midfielder on the planet and he’s the face of lacrosse right now. A Boston MLL championship would have made this a non-issue but he’s still the best beast out there.
Brunelle: Brodie Merrill! Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe I’ve just played d-pole my whole life. But the fact is that Merrill is indeed building a legacy. Top Defender of the World Games and FIVE consecutive MLL Defensive Player of the Year awards later, Merill gets my vote for Player of the Year.
D1 Men’s PotY
Craven: Rodgers. Crotty was impressive but easily the most memorable D1 player was Rodgers. He reminded everyone that a dominant goalie and put an entire team on his back and drag them to a championship game. The lax equivalent of having a hot keeper in the playoffs for the NHL.
Wilson: Crotty. Kid can do it all and was the best player in the country on the best team in the country. Lock it up.
Brunelle: Rodgers. If not for the his Final Four run, then for the passion he exuded every time he stepped in goal. For a few minutes, I wanted to be Scott Rodgers.
D2 Men’s PotY
Craven: Cama. Face-offs win championships? You bet.
Wilson: Cama. Post had a good D and a decent O. Without Cama, they don’t win back to back Championships. Game: Blouses.
Brunelle: Kyle O’Brien, also known as QB1.
D3 Men’s PotY
Wilson: Hessler. On a team that lacked starpower, Hessler more than made up for it. He ran the show on offense and every team keyed on him yet he still produced and Jumbos still won. Like Cama, without Hessler the Jumbos would have been a very different team. Hard worker and led by example.
Brunelle: Sam Bradman. 86 points with a 39% shooting percentage at middie? I think I want this guy on my team.
D1 Women’s PotY
Craven: McFadden. See Connor Wilson’s explanation.
Wilson: Read the descriptions. Tewaaraton winner, National Champion, can score and can shut down other team’s top guns. I love a player that can do it all when it matters most!
Brunelle: McFadden. No contest. If Northwestern had won, I would have said Dowd.
Craven: Connor Martin. Michigan is the team of the year but Connor Martin was the face of the MCLA and gave the league it’s first crossover, mainstream star.
Wilson: Westfall. Sure, his shot is ugly, but it’s effective! This award should really go to ALL of the Westfalls. Michigan is a team and Yealy is a scoring ma-chine but Westfall took his team to new heights and should be rewarded.
Brunelle: Trevor Yealy. Watching Yealy on Fox College Sports, there was something special about him. He dodged his defenders damn well and played with hard-nosed tact. Westfall & Martin tie for 2nd.
Craven: Rabil. Even injured for a few games he sparkled when he made it on the field.
Wilson: Poillon. Kid can ball and was the most exciting player to watch all season. Expect greatness from Peet for years to come.
Brunelle: Poillon? I’m allergic to poillon!
Craven: Ratcliff. Really filled up the net for the Stealth and earned post-season MVP honors.
Wilson: Ratcliff. Scored. A LOT. Won the ‘ship and kept producing when it counted most.
Brunelle: Lewis Ratcliff should obviously get the LAS NLL PotY award since we all picked him.
Personality of the Year
Craven: Martin. This should be called the “Connor Martin Award” from now on, right? A fresh voice in the lacrosse world that should be seen as a siren to wake up the lax traditionalists. Martin represents the tech savvy, west coast, non-traditional lacrosse player who is taking lacrosse beyond its traditional D1- centric roots. Some may chafe at his lax bro alter ego but Martin is media savvy and more importantly a good player who didn’t make it the same old way.
Wilson: Connor Martin. Proved he can play with the best when given a chance and his personality is second to none. Not even a question in 2010.
Brunelle: You know, you really gotta hand it to Connor Martin. The kid has balls for putting himself out there like he does. I can’t even begin to think how much criticism he’s gotten along with the accolades. Sign of a true trendsetter if you ask me. He’s got my vote.
Performance of the Year
Craven: Ratcliff’s 6 pts in the championship game for the 1st year Stealth. Good for the sport’s growth in the Pacific NW.
Wilson: Galasso. Did it all and capped of his career as possibly the best LI player in recent memory. That says something. Dropping 7gs in a NYS HS Championship game is legit. I couldn’t do it.
Brunelle: What’s that? 7 points in the NY Class A Championship AND he goes to West Broslip? Galasso, you’re such a performer.
Game of the Year
Craven: USA – Canada. The game that people had been looking forward to since Canada took home the gold last time. A good rivalry for the sport.
Wilson: None of them. The best game of the year was Stony Brook-Virginia. Entertaining, close and featured an established power being pushed to the brink by a newcomer. Perfection.
Brunelle: Duke/UVa. My favorite game of the year, by far. Of those I watched, that is. I watched it while at the Jersey Shore and may or may not have thrown a couple fist pumps.
Upset of the Year
Craven: Army over Cuse. Had people double checking the ESPN crawl to make sure they saw that correctly.
Wilson: Army over Cuse. Why? because NO ONE saw it coming and it came down to the wire, where Cuse is always on.
Brunelle: Colorado over Michigan. They fire their new coach and week later they crash Michigan’s undefeated party. That W had to have felt so so good.
Highlight Reel Goal of the Year
Craven: Ripped net for the win (Duke who?)
Wilson: Costabile. Longsticks scoring to win NCs off the face is pretty much the best thing ever. congrats go to Duke for not wimping out and calling a TO when he won the f/o.
Brunelle: Costabile. No question.
Team of the Year
Craven: Michigan. Will Big Blue ever lose the ship? They might have to go D1 before the MCLA sees another champion.
Wilson: US Team. Redemption and keeping it classy. Got to go with America here.
Brunelle: Gotta hand it to Team USA. They made us all proud. Plus, Ryan Powell’s beard was off the hook.
HS Team of the Year
Craven: Jamesville-DeWitt. See Connor Wilson’s explanation.
Wilson: Jamesville-DeWitt knocking off West Genny, going undefeated and being awesome. And they did it without a player like Galasso.
Brunelle: Manhasset or Brohasset? Same difference. Another innocent t-shirt plug.
Coach of the Year
Craven: Pressler. Took a lot of heat but delivered when it mattered.
Wilson: Mike Daly. Took over a struggling team and won a NC within 10 years. Impressive. Oh, and then throw in the fact that he played baseball, gave that up and converted to coach lax? I think we have a winner.
Brunelle: Pressley. After a lot of skepticism he stuck to his guns and made it all happen. Visionary coach, perhaps.
Clutch Performer of the Year
Craven: Quinzani. Was the other option that Duke needed down the stretch. Clutch. Clutch. Clutch.
Wilson: Quinzani. Big goals all the time for a D1 NC team. Pretty simple. He did it with Greer and Danowski and he did it with Crotty. Kid can just straight up play.
Brunelle: Quinzani, Quinzani, Quinzani.
Breakthrough of the Year
Craven: Thompson. A throwback player that was a one man highlight. Face-offs, defense, offense, serving hotdogs and licorice in the stands… dude did it all.
Wilson: Peet Poillon. Dominant and most people had never heard of him before. I think that qualifies him nicely.
Brunelle: Jeremy Thompson. Why? Because every where I went, I heard someone talking about him.