College: Johns Hopkins University
Professional: Chesapeake Bayhawks
Michael Evans worked his way to the highest levels of lacrosse and has brought a fierce determination to be one of the best in the game. Walking into Hopkins, he was a part of a class that had to replace long time starters on defense. Chris Watson, Tom Garvey, and Greg Raymond had anchored the defense for years and were leaving it to a crop of young players to continue the success that Hopkins had recently found that culminated in the 2005 National Championship.
His career began in 2006 in grand fashion for the young team. He played in all 14 games for the Blue Jays, but not in the defensive role that he is known for today. Evans was a short stick defensive midfielder, logging two assists and five ground balls on the season. His team lost in the National Quarter Final against Syracuse, who would eventually lose to the champion in Virginia.
The transition came his sophomore year where he switched to long stick and started all 17 games. The defense was the focus of Hopkins success because Duke University and their offensive capabilities highlighted the 2007 season. Heading into the playoffs that season, Evans made his move to being one of the great defensive players that year. In a rout of the Hoyas, Evans held Brendan Cannon scoreless. The next game, the Hopkins defense held the Delaware Blue Hens to the lowest goal total in the history of NCAA Lacrosse with three goals. This set up the first of two great rivalry games against Matt Danowski and the Duke Blue Devils in the National Final. The Blue Jays won strongly on the play of the defense, where Evans held Danowski to one goal and one assist for the game. He ended the season as an Honorable Mention All-American.
His junior season was another step into the spotlight as his opposition was always the opposition’s best attackman. Making another step up, Evans was selected as a Third Team All-American. Also an NCAA All Tournament Selection, he held two of the three highest scoring players in the nation to six points in two games against them in the tournament. Many can remember the celebration in Boston by the Hopkins players when they upset the heavily favored Duke Blue Devils in the National Semi Final. The final wouldn’t come out in the Jays favor, as they lost to Syracuse, but Evans held the Orange catalyst, Mike Leveille in check for most of the game.
His rugged, tough style came to the forefront during his senior season. Michael Evans ended his Blue Jays career starting every game his final three seasons at Homewood, a First Team All-American, and the William C. Schmeisser Award winner for the Nation’s Best Defensive Player. He lost to Virginia in his final game, during the National Quarter Final, but his absence in college lacrosse didn’t mean an end to his career in lacrosse. Evans was drafted 18th overall in the Major League Lacrosse Draft.
The Chesapeake Bayhawks drafted Michael Evans where his aggressive style has become a staple of play in the MLL. He is a force on the defensive side of the field and any attackman will likely try to describe how difficult a challenge it is to play against him. Evans is a tenacious player and does not stop attacking his opposition until his team is taking possession up field.
During his time with the Bayhawks, he has added to his championship totals and he still has time to add to those totals. He has been an All-Star and even spent two years playing in the National Lacrosse League with the Orlando Titans. Each year he has been in the game of lacrosse, his talent has developed and has increased his level of play to best some of the greatest offensive players in the game.
Michael Evans now has the opportunity to take his game on the international level when the World Games come to Denver, Colorado this summer. In representing the United States, he can level his make on competition from across the globe. Likely one of the top defenders in the game, he now has the opportunity to be the best in the World. From watching his ascension from a defensive midfielder to World Defenseman, it is likely that he will have garnered all the honors a defenseman can assume by the time he hangs it up. Not to mention he can add all the trophies possible to his mantle after garnering a Gold Medal in the World Games.
– Brian Davies