The Major Lacrosse League returns to the Philadelphia area this weekend as four teams will battle it out to see who will raise the Steinfeld Cup. This weekend is also a testing barometer to see if the MLL would like to put a team back here in Philadelphia.
But to a lot of the lacrosse fans from Philadelphia, it will be a homecoming of sorts for six players who during the winter play for the Wings. Brendan Mundorf (Outlaws) Drew Westervelt & Jeff Reynolds (Bayhawks)
Kevin Crowley, Jordan Hall, Brodie Merrill (Nationals). Lets also not forget a couple of the coaches. Former Head Coach of the Wings Dave Huntley (Nationals), and former Wings & Barrage Head Coach Tony Resch (Bayhawks) will also return.
Mundorf has played in eleven games this summer, after an ankle injury sidelined him for last years title game. He has tallied 23G/18A (tied for 10th overall) this season and is one of the big reasons this Outlaw team that went undefeated during the regular season. There is no doubt there is some unfinished business for Mundorf.
Drew Westervelt & Jeff Reynolds. Westervelt finished the season with 36G/12A (5th overall) and was huge in the regular season finale scoring 4G/2A to help his Bayhawks to the #2 seed. Reynold who only played in 5 games, after coming off an injury tallied 2 goals, and will be a force out there with his speed. Defensive coach Tony Resch will no doubt have the defense on lockdown mode. Philadelphia fans know how Resch coaches, he led the Wings to 4 titles (94-95, 98, 2001) as well as 2 with the Barrage (2006-2007). This Bayhawks team was the last team to defeat the Outlaws in last years final. Bayhawks want title number five.
Kevin Crowley, Brodie Merrill, Jordan Hall. After missing the playoffs last season (4-10), this Natonal team rebounded to go 9-5 and get the # 3 seed in the playoffs. The teams defense reduced the goals against by 25. A big part of that is Brodie Merrill, fans of the game know he is a monster on defense. A six time defensive player of the year winner (2006-2011), Brodie was in top form this season picking up 91 ground balls in helping the defense cause problems for the opponents. Brodies next battle, Drew Westervelt and the Bayhawks.
When you look at the offense the Nationals have the co-winner of the league scoring title in Kevin Crowley 38G (3 2pt goals)/14A for 55 points. Kevin’s size, strength, and his ability to get into the clear to extend his arms has obviously been a big help in the National offense this season. Kevin now needs to do this two more times this coming weekend and he will give the Nationals their second Championship (2009 Toronto Nationals). Jordan Hall played in nine games this season recording 8G/4A, and will play a part this weekend with his speed and agility to get around the bigger defenders.
This should be a very exciting weekend for lacrosse and Philadelphia. WELCOME HOME BOYS!!
(1) Denver Outlaws vs (4) Charlotte Hounds 1pm
(2) Chesapeake Bayhawks vs (3) Hamilton Nationals 4pm