Did you know that a group of lizards is called a lounge? You learn something new every day! Step in to our lacrosse lounge, where the topic of the day is the New York Lizards, who open the 2020 MLL season on Saturday vs. the Boston Cannons.
Twenty-six players on the New York Lizards come from New York, a hotbed of lacrosse. This team is, interestingly enough, devoid of any Canadian players. Given some of the Canadian lacrosse talent, this seems unusual. Time will tell if this non-Canadian team has enough talent to win the championship. And with Dylan Molloy, last year’s All-Star MVP leading the lounge, fans know anything is possible.
Molloy is a New York star who is used to being in the spotlight and delivering big goals when needed. He’s a solid force whose ability to power through defenders is reminiscent of many Canadian players, and something that can be lacking in many field players from the United States.
Molloy is the only offensive player with three seasons or more in the league, so this Lizards team will need additional offensive players like Ian Kirby and Andrew Pettit to quickly get up to speed with the flow of the game if they’re going to be competitive and finish better than last place like last summer.
Like the leadership and skills of Molloy, the Lizards will also look to Austin Kaut’s leadership and goaltending skills.
Kaut is arguably one of strongest players between the pipes for Major League Lacrosse, a quick goalie with solid reflexes. Kaut’s greatest number of saves in 2019 came against the Bayhawks in August when he had 20 saves on 31 shots. His backup will be Brian Corrigan, whose highest number of saves came against Dallas when he stopped eight of 14 shots.
Both Kaut and Corrigan will be expected to command the defense. With few defenders with professional experience, New York will look to Jack Carrigan and LSM Alex Spring to help the newer players quickly transition to the kind of play the Lizards will need to be competitive.
Both Carrigan and Spring played for the Lizards last year so they have that experience to draw on. Carrigan picked up four ground balls and recorded two turnovers in his most successful outing last season. Spring’s strongest game was an eight-ground-ball and four-turnover-game against Atlanta.
And of course overseeing all of the goals scored and goals against this is perennial New York coach Joe Spallina.
Spallina is entering his 10th season with Major League Lacrosse. He has had a lot of strong seasons including a championship under his belt. And although the former coach of the year changed spots by becoming a general manager, rest assured he will have plenty to say and do this season as he helps B.J. O’Hara run this young team.
O’Hara has a stunning resume as the “only coach in MLL history to win MLL titles with two different teams.” His number of championships is a stunning four.
The Lizards coaching staff will have their hands full. Look for the expertise of coaching in Spallina and O’Hara to shine as they work a team of mostly New Yorkers into a competitive Major League Lacrosse team.