The 2015 Major League Lacrosse season is underway! This year, the regular season begins two weeks earlier than usual. The first four weeks of the schedule has all games played on Sunday’s, which should give the MLL good exposure seen as their indoor counterparts play on Friday and Saturday nights. Also, the league signed a deal to have all games air on ESPN3 with select games airing in markets throughout the country on Fox Sports Net, Comcast Sports Net, Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and MSG+ among others.
The biggest off-season news came in a blockbuster trade between Boston and New York. The Lizards acquired Paul Rabil and Mike Stone in exchange for Max Seibald, Brian Karalunas and New York’s 2016 1st and 2nd round along with New York’s 2017 1st Round Collegiate Draft picks. Just a week later, Charlotte overhauled their team sending Matt Danowski to Chesapeake and in a separate deal, the Hounds unloaded goalie Adam Ghitelman to the Boston for a draft pick.
The off-season had us saying goodbye to retiring All-Stars Kyle Dixon, Stephen Berger, Lee Zink and Ryan Boyle, but also welcoming future stars Lyle Thompson (Florida), Connor Buczek (Florida), Jesse King (Rochester), and Wells Stanwick (Boston). Rosters will remain influx for another month as players finish up their indoor, college coaching, or college playing commitments.
Week 1 Game Balls
Jeremy Boltus, Rochester: A First Lieutenant in the United States Army, Boltus missed last season serving our country. He returned to the MLL with the Rattlers and had an outstanding re-debut notching three goals including a spectacular game tying goal with three seconds on the clock to force overtime.
Max Seibald, Boston: After four seasons playing with the hometown Lizards, the Cornell alum was sent to the Cannons as part of the Rabil deal. On Sunday, Seibald had a hat trick including two critical late fourth quarter goals to seal the Cannons first win in Gillette Stadium.
Matt Poskay, New York: The MLL veteran who doubles as the head coach at Wagner College, showed his team the coach still has it leading the Lizards with four goals en route a convincing opening weekend win. Those four goals moved Poskay into 7th place on the MLL All-Time Goals list passing Casey Powell and Scott Urick.
Week 1 MLL Top 8
1- New York (1-0). The Lizards have the best Goalie, FOGO, and the all-around player in the MLL. Their offense has excellent balance at both the attack and midfield.
2- Rochester (1-0). They can’t be pleased with their week one effort, but adding Boltus to a good young attack makes the Rattlers a team to watch.
3- Chesapeake (0-0). Dave Cottle pulled off two huge trades that make the Bayhawks title contenders adding Matt Danowski and Kyle Sweeney.
4- Boston (1-0). The new look Cannons looked impressive in their first game in Foxborough, Mass. Boston controlled tempo early on and never looked back.
5- Denver (0-1). Disappointing start for the defending champions. Jesse Schwartzman got peppered in the first three quarters.
6- Ohio (0-1). Face-offs did the Machine in vs. New York. Steele Stanwick needs to have a big year for the Machine to be a playoff contender.
7- Charlotte (0-1). This could be the beginning of a long season for the young Hounds.
8- Florida (0-0). Should Launch themselves out of the basement after Lyle Thompson arrives.
Brendan McDaniels is a color analyst for the MLL Regional broadcasts and can be seen this week as the Rattlers host the Lizards on ESPN3 at 1 p.m. Sunday. Follow Brendan on Twitter @BMcDTWCSports.