2008 was the last season the Rochester rattlers had that they saw the post-season. granted, the team was moved to Toronto in 2009 and there was no Rochester team in the MLL during the ’09 and 2010 seasons. Since then, the Rattlers haven’t had any luck reaching MLL Championship Weekend.
2013 was no different as the Rattlers finished 6-8, fifth in the MLL, one step down form their 7-7 season in 2012, the closest they’ve come to getting a taste of playoffs. Coach Soudan’s squad went out on a very high note, as they dismantled the Boston Cannons 23-14.
It was interesting to MLL fans when the league announced that the Rattlers would be having “home” games in both Florida and Atlanta. Lots of people are thinking that there may be a team in one of those two cities, and according to an In Lacrosse report not too long ago, Atlanta seems to be the focus. With the game in Atlanta and Rochester not having great turnouts with fans during games, it was skeptical to viewers about wether or not the team would be moving again. Again, the report made earlier said that the Atlanta team would be an expansion team NOT a relocation team, so the Rattlers seem to be safe, for now.
Their draft results were decent as they didn’t pick up anyone until John Ranagan and Ryan Clarke in the third round. Followed by Notre Dame keeper John Kemp in the fourth, Brett Schmidt and David Lawson in the fifth, Matt Miller and Noah Molnar in the sixth, Peter Johnson in the seventh and ended with Zach palmer and Marshall Johnson in the eighth. Ranagan and Lawson were the most productive rookies out of the Rochester draft class. Lawson finished third on the team with 23 points and Ranagan picked up 19 of his own to end fifth on the team in points.
Ned Crotty and Matt Striebel led their team in points. Crotty tallied 15 goals, one two point goal and 20 assists to end with 36 points, his second best of his career. Striebel recorded 29 points (17G, 8 two-point goals, 4A). Jordan MacIntosh fell five points shy of tying his highest point total, nabbing 20 goals and two assists this season. Kevin Leveille had the lowest pints scored of his entire career this season with 19.
John Ortolani was the main guy at the face-off X this year, going 166-376, finishing second to last out of the eight teams in the MLL in draws, one above Ohio.
Defensively, the team was bailed out by the great play of goaltender John Galloway. John ended the 2013 season with 151 GA, 7 two-point GA, averaged 11.97 GAA, while making 167 saves to end with a save percentage of .525. In front of Galloway throughout the season were his Syracuse teammates John Lade and Joel White, Mike Manley, Tom Montelli, Will Koshansky, and SSDM’s Steve DeNapoli, Dan grout and Michael Lazore. This defensive unit is tough to get by, but have had their ups and downs, just like any team. The unit hunkered down after their 17-11 loss at Hamilton and tightened things up, averaging 11.67 GAA and went 3-3 in the final six games of the season. Ortolani and White conquered the ground ball game for Soudan as White scooped up 63 and John raked in 61.
In their special teams, the Ratts wet win the bottom three of the league, above New York and Charlotte, finishing 28 percent of their Man Ups. Their penalty killing unit boasted dead last with 57 percent effective, but only let up 18 short handed goals.
The 2014 Draft in Philadelphia will be crucial for Rochester as they need help in consistency, mainly on offense. Finding a rhythm was their biggest problem, so that one draft pick could make or break the Rattlers dreams of returning to championship weekend in 2014.