Going into the start of the 2013 MLL Season, it seemed as though the Hamilton Nationals were low on the list for critics, including myself. This was after seeing what unfolded last year as a result of most of the team being a part of the NLL. With a 4-10 record at the end of 2012, and the two leagues’ seasons overlapping, it was hard to see Hamilton coming out as a contender this season.
With some smart draft and trade choices, the Nationals have stunned the MLL. They drew the Boston Cannons as their first matchup, making things look skeptical as to what the outcome would be. Well, Hamilton came out on all cylinders, using a team that gelled beautifully together as didn’t rely on sole talent, trouncing the Cannons 15-8. The Nats would go on to win four more games, three by one goal over New York, Charlotte and defending champion Chesapeake. This was before falling 22-9 against the Denver Outlaws and then losing to the Lizards 12-10. Over the next four games, Coach Huntley’s squad would pick up two wins over Rochester, falling to the Bayhawks and recorded their second and most recent one goal victory over Ohio. Currently, the Nats sit in second place with a record of 8-3.
In the eyes of lacrosse fans, Hamilton was very underrated going into this season.
Not only do they have a group of talented players, but they posses a chemistry that gives them an edge over most teams. It ranges from the rookies all the way to Brodie Merrill and other veterans.
Denver is currently undefeated, making them the best team in the league. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re sitting on too and no one can get to you. However, Hamilton has an edge over that as they have lost three games. That’s a plus in my book because you can learn a lot more from a loss than never losing. It shows what kind of team a coach has, what kind of coach a team has and if they can come together and bounce back to grab a victory, than that’s the team you really want to be a part of because they never want to experience that down and out feeling again and will work hard to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
The Nationals have only three games left. They will take on Boston I. Their next game, followed by Charlotte and end in a battle of one and two as they host the Outlaws in a crucial game.