By Jessica Braveman | 6/19/14 10:45 AM
The 2014 Major League Lacrosse rookie class is halfway through their first season with the pros. They’ve scored goals, been threats on defense and have proved that they can be contributing factors in team wins. Here is a look at the rookies who have already started, and those who are predicted to join their teams in the coming weeks:
Machine All-Star Tom Schreiber only tallied one goal against the Rochester Rattlers at Selby Stadium last Friday night. Schreiber received a feed from Team USA’s attackman Steele Stanwick to put the Machine ahead, 2-1 in the first quarter of the game.
Former Duke attackman and two-time NCAA Division I Champion, Jordan Wolf, made a stellar first impression during his professional debut last weekend with the Rochester Rattlers. The Rattlers have been anxiously awaiting the rookie’s arrival and he certainly made it was worth the wait. Tallying five points total, the Big Bad Wolf scored four goals and fed one assist. His performance earned him the Week 7 Cascade Rookie of the Week. Attackman Miles Thompson, in his third game of the season, earned the first hat trick of his professional career. Defenseman John LoCascio picked up four groundballs. The Rattlers rookies continue to tally points and prove to be dependable on field.
This past weekend’s loss for the Lizards was the first game in which two rookies played. Joe Fletcher,who will be appearing in the MLL All-Star Game as a member of Team USA, picked up six groundballs in the New York defense’s struggle to contain the Outlaws. Attackman Brandon Mangan, playing in his first game with the Lizards, had an excellent season at Yale, totaling 23 goals, 25 assists and 56 groundballs. In his debut, Mangan had one assist and one shot on goal.
When watching the Florida Launch play, it’s easy to forget that Kieran McArdle is less than two months removed from playing at St. John’s. He continued his impressive debut season in last week’s loss to Charlotte with two goals and one assist, bringing his season points total to 18 and making him the Launch’s second-highest scorer. In addition to McArdle, other rookies have joined the team in recent weeks and have made the most of their limited playing time. Last Saturday, Matt Harris, Joe Meuer, and Ryan Creighton each picked up two ground balls, and Chris LaPierre added one as well.
It was a slow week for the Denver rookies. Jeremy Noble made three unsuccessful shots, but had two ground balls. Brent Hiken, drafted 16th overall out of Stevenson in the 2014 Collegiate Draft, made his season debut with the Outlaws, winning one of five faceoffs and picking up one ground ball.
The youngest Hounds players continued to be key contributors in the Week 7 victory over the Launch. Mike Chanenchuk (two goals, two assists) and Justin Ward (one goal, three assists) make the Hounds one of the most balanced yet dangerous offensive units in the MLL. The always-aggressive Thomas DeNapoli scored the Hounds’ only man-up goal of the game, and his third score of the season. However, Pat Laconi stole the rookie spotlight when he stripped the ball from Launch midfielder Kevin Crowley and then seconds later scored his first career goal at the other end of the field, which proved to be the game-winner. Michael Ehrhardt and Henry Lobb both played their second career games and were instrumental in containing the explosive Launch attack.
Cannons rookie Rob Emery was the third highest scorer on the roster last Saturday, as Boston fell 15-16 in a heartbreaker of a match against the Bayhawks. Emery was the first to light the lamp for the Cannons and followed his first career point with another less than five minutes later for the Cannons' second goal of the match. The first year from UVA even saw time on the power play unit, one of his goals being on the man-advantage. His collegiate teammate Scott McWilliams also played, collecting one ground ball. He is still making adjustments having been moved by head coach John Tucker from a long pole to a short stick. Goaltender Austin Kaut, dressed but has still not seen time.
This weekend’s 16-15 win over the Cannons did not feature any rookies.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest information on the MLL’s 2014 Rookie Class.