The MLL goes into the Memorial Weekend bye week with teams either making their mark or falling behind. There are a few surprises out there, like Chesapeake and Florida, and some gold standards set, the Denver Outlaws. Here is this week’s Major League Lacrosse Power Rankings heading into Week Five of the season.
1) Denver Outlaws – The last the Outlaws lost a regular season game is going on two years now. They are 4-0 early in this season and not looking to break that streak any time soon. Eric Law is pacing the offense with three goals a game, but there is a wealthy of scoring spread throughout the roster. Lee Zink and Jesse Schwartzman anchor a defense that is holding teams to under ten goals per game.
2) Florida Launch – They started out with a loss before rattling off three straight wins. In their first venture outside the confines of Florida, they ran the Bayhawks off the field for two quarters. The game wasn’t as close as the final score would lead you to believe. Casey Powell is still lighting up the scoreboard and Garrett Thul will shoot from anywhere on the field, putting defenses on edge all game. Brett Queener must be enjoying his time in the sunshine state and the defense in front of him, who is young but star studded.
3) Boston Cannons – The Cannons really must have thrown a lot into their championship a few years ago because since then, they have not been a dominant force. At 2 wins, 2 losses its not that they cannot do it, its that they cannot be consistently atop the league rankings. Ryan Boyle might be feeling his age with only five points through four games. Paul Rabil is again leading the team in scoring with as many points as Denver’s Eric Law at eighteen. The defense has been stingy with allowing an average of 8.33 goals per game.
4) New York Lizards – The Lizards round out the top four, who would be Championship Weekend bound if this were late August. Crew Adams has a rough goal against average of almost twelve per game. Which means they need to out score team, something they aren’t doing too often right now. Now they have a wealth of potential scores and Rob Pannell is leading the way. Max Seibald is back from injury and pacing the midfield. The Cornell products are determined to get the Lizards back to the Championship Game.
5) Rochester Rattlers – Who is going to score for the Rattlers to break into the top four? They have a wealth of scoring, but only two that have broken into double digits. Justin Turri stands at eleven, Steven Boyle with ten. They need to find their scoring tough. There is no proven scorer, a player who can break down defenses every time he has the ball. John Galloway has logged every minute of the season in net and has a goals against average of over eleven.
6) Ohio Machine – Ohio needs to learn how to win games. They have played teams tight, losing three games by a combined five goals. Its tough to gauge what is happening in net. With Scotty Rodgers in net, they have a goals against average of a hair of eleven, with Brian Phipps it is 9.77. So they are doing more defensively but not scoring enough to take home wins.
7) Chesapeake Bayhawks – The Defending Champs have really backed themselves into a hole and last weekend’s game against Florida hopefully was the low point of the season for them. One to which they can make a move in the right direction to try to three peat. Defenseman Jesse Bernhardt has two goals in three games, which makes his goal total equal to most of the midfielders on the team. Steven Brooks has been a bright spot and Brendan Mundorf can score really when he wants. It almost seems like Mundorf isn’t apart of the offense until it’s later in the shot clock and the Bayhawks need someone to go to the goal. The offense just is not in sync. The defense has always been strong, but the numbers would not reflect so as the team gives up thirteen goals per game.
8) Charlotte Hounds – Without Matt Danowski, this team is struggling to score, as not one player is in double digits. The team leader in assists has four. No other player has more than one. If you cannot score in this league, it’s going to be a long summer. Pierce Bassett took over the starting duties in goal and dropped the team’s GAA by three full points. The Hounds are going to be happy when Duke ends its season, as the Duke offensive firepower will come to play for them (along with their big defenseman) and they get their number one player back.