Closing out a busy week of trading for New York, the Lizards have acquired Long Island native Steve DeNapoli and a 4th round supplemental draft pick from the Rochester Rattlers in exchange for Mark Matthews.
The 2011 Hofstra University graduate was drafted in the 5th round (30th overall) by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in 2011. DeNapoli played in five games with the Bayhawks in his rookie season before being traded to the Rochester Rattlers in 2012 for the rights to then-draftee Joe Cummings and an undisclosed draft pick in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft. During his two seasons in Rochester, DeNapoli played in 27 games, scoring 15 goals and adding five assists and 72 ground balls.
After big trades on the offensive side of the ball earlier in the week with the acquisition of attack/midfielder Ned Crotty and midfielder Matt Striebel from the Rattlers, Coach Joe Spallina made it no secret that his next moves would be on the defense.
“Getting Steve is a great get for our team. He is a premier short stick defensive midfielder that has been an All-Star in this League,” said Spallina. “Steve will help us on the wings with face-offs and is a great 1v1 defender that plays with true grit and hustle every time out. Your defense starts with your midfielders and our defense improves greatly with this trade.”
In exchange for DeNapoli, the Lizards give up attackman Mark Matthews, who played in eight games in 2013. Despite playing in only eight games, Matthews managed to finish the season as the Lizard’s 4th leading scorer, with 11 goals and six assists.