Did you know that Major League Lacrosse’s regular season has officially started up? It’s okay if you didn’t as we are just entering the most exciting part of the college season, but it’s worth it to stay up on the MLL because when the college season ends, this is where some of your field attention should go!
I’ll run through some results, stand out players and what these early season games mean!
The Boston Cannons were truly able to keep a large portion of their championship team from 2011 intact, even with the expansion draft and off season moves. This comfort and consistency showed early as the Cannons downed the Rochester Rattlers 15-3. Yes, the Cannons held another pro team to only 3 goals. Talk about defensive domination!
The amazing thing about this game is that Rochester went up 2-0 early, and the only scored one more goal for the rest of the game. That is just insane. Jake Beebe had four goals for Boston, and I wonder if this Springfield (NCAA D3) grad can stick on the Cannons roster this year after all the new draft picks come in. He can certainly put the rock away! Paul Rabil notched 3 goals as well, and he totaled up with 8 points, as he also had five assists. Okay, that’s extremely impressive. John Galloway had 12 saves in the loss while Jordan Burke made 17 for the win.
When you look down the Cannons roster, it just reads like a team. They have their stars, and then excellent players who can get it done, or do their job, filling out the rest of the spots. Out of all the teams this year, the Cannons might change the least when the new crop of college grads come in. Cracking this roster is going to be TOUGH!
They also have their head coach, Steve Duffy, returning, which is very rare for 2012! But he won it all for the first time in franchise history, and he’s clearly a keeper.
The Denver Outlaws, unlike the Cannons, saw massive turnover and change, but it didn’t stop them from getting an opening weekend W on the road over the newly formed Charlotte Hounds, 21-12. Peet Poillon had 7 points on 4 goals and 3 assists for Denver and Billy Bitter went 2, 2 for 4 points. Stephen Berger shined for Charlotte going for 4 goals and 2 assists. Jeremy Sieverts had 4 goals and Terry Kimener went 3, 2 for 5 points for Denver.
While Denver has talent, I think they will see some new faces make waves this year when the draft picks come in. They need consistent offensive production, and while Poillon and Sieverts will be mainstays, outside of that anything can probably happen. Denver has a diverse group of players and should be interesting to watch as they gel this year.
Charlotte has talent already, but almost no team chemistry. And why should they have any? They’re brand new! I like that they strung together 12 goals, and I think their defense will tighten up with some new additions. I can’t see them making any serious waves this year, as they still seem to have some big holes, but if the group can stick together for another season 2013 could see them contending.
In by far and away the most even game of opening weekend, the Chesepeake Bayhawks took a down to the wire win from Long Island 13-11. Chesepeake used a strong effort by their midfielders to put up the 13 goals, and Long Island got decent scoring from their attack, and Brian Langtry. Langtry might be done with pro box, but he’s still got it as he had 4 goals in the losing effort for the Lizards.
Chesepeake looks a lot like they did in 2011, and will definitely be dangerous. There are some new faces to work in, but the foundation for a run is already there. This is a team that is good and will only get better. In my eyes, they are Boston’s main threat when it comes to winning a second championship.
Long Island is still a bit of an enigma to me, but I think they will be solid at the very least. It’s a new look team, and some of the faces getting run right now might not be around later in the year. But I’m no so sure they won’t be around either… it’s just that kind of team. Long Island will find a real identity this year, which I feel they lacked in the last year or two, and I’m excited to see how they turn out. But like I said, right now they are unreadable. At least by me!
I’ll talk about the Ohio Machine and the Hamilton Nationals when they play their first games. Okay, now you can go back to caring about college lacrosse. But don’t sleep on the MLL… 2012 is going to be a great season!