This week we’re doing a deep dive and looking at some of the games greats that could absolutely thrive under this year’s PLL Faceoff rule. The 32 second shot clock has transformed the league to the point where two-way middies are a hot commodity. It has also made people search for the almost extinct three-way midfielder.
Make no bones about it, there is a place for faceoff men in all areas of lacrosse. To see an All Star out of the lineup and people’s knee jerk reaction to things is unsettling, but teams are figuring it out. The purpose of this article is less about the rules and more about paying homage to the games greats whose skill set was out of this world.
The men listed below were do it all midfielders for their respective teams. Their ability to face off and jumpstart the offense would be a huge commodity in today’s PLL.
There are many deserving of this honor, but here is a list of five that would absolutely thrive in today’s PLL. Who are we missing?
Jon Reese – Yale
One of the games all time greats, Jon Reese has reached mythical status in recent years. Often overshadowed by Syracuse’s dominance, Reese was a menace for Yale. He was a do it all midfielder who never seemed to run out of gas. Reese received first team (1990) and honorable mention (1988, 1989) All-America honors as a four-year player at Yale. He was Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1987 and received the Ivy League’s Player of the Year award and the USILA MacLaughlin Award as the nation’s top midfielder in 1990, when he set the NCAA single season record with 82 goals.
Reese led Yale to three Ivy League championships (1988-1990) and was Yale’s all-time leader for career goals (162) and points (200). He did all this while also playing football for Yale and was even invited to New York Giants training camp.
Andy Towers – Brown
The current Chaos coach was also an absolute animal at midfield. It’s criminal that both he and Jon Reese never made a world team, but their impact was huge for the game. Towers was a two-time first team All-American and All-Ivy performer (1991 and ’93), while earning Ivy League Player of the Year honors in 1993 and leading the team to three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He’s still all over the Brown record books for goals scored in a season (59) and a career (150).
Towers continued his playing career in both the indoor and outdoor circuits. For five years he played in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and National Lacrosse League, plus played two seasons in Major League Lacrosse, earning All-Star honors in 2002. His ability to win draws and play offense would make him a perfect fit for today’s rules. His size would also make him an absolute Bear to handle for opposing defenses.
Geoff Snider – Denver
If I’m cornered in an alley and I need someone to help fight my way out, I’m calling Geoff Snider. He’s the man that was a huge catalyst behind Canada’s upset of the USA in the 2006 World Games. Unlike some others on this list, Snider was able to do it in both the indoor and outdoor game. An All-American at Denver, Snider absolutely tore it up both in the indoor and outdoor game.
The MVP of the 2006 World Games is all over both the indoor and outdoor record books. His skill set and personality would make him a fan favorite in the PLL. Snider is a flat-out winner and someone that would make any team he’s on better.
Doug Shanahan – Hofstra
Mr. Tewaaraton himself. Doug Shanahan was another dual sport college athlete that tore it up for the Hofstra Flying Dutchmen. Shanahan was a three-time All-American and took home the inaugural Tewaaraton Award. He was a three-time All-Conference selection and was named America East Most Valuable Player his senior season.
Shanahan finished his illustrious lacrosse career at Hofstra with 95 goals and 44 assists for 139 points and a Hofstra-record 450 ground balls. Shanahan enjoyed a 12-year MLL career and suited up for Team USA twice. In 2002 he was named MVP of the World Games for his play at the X and midfield.
Ryan Wade – UNC
A do it all midfielder out of the ACC, Ryan Wade was a player that was almost impossible to prepare for. He could hurt you in so many ways, and that made him even more dangerous. His ability to face off and stay on gave his teams a huge advantage. Wade was a three-time All-American at the University of North Carolina from 1992 through 1994. A two-time first team all American, Wade was tabbed as the USILA’s midfielder of the year in 1993. Wade was also the ACC’s player of the year in both 1993 and 1994.
North Carolina won four ACC championships during his tenure and captured the NCAA national championship in 1991. Wade was a member of two U.S. national senior teams, playing on the world champion U.S. Men’s National Team in both 1994 and 1998. He was selected to the All-World Team in 1998 and was named MVP in the 1998 games.