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FOGO of the Year: Greg Gurenlian

March 18, 2016
BOSTON (August 11, 2014) – Major League Lacrosse has named Greg Gurenlian of the New York Lizards, the winner of the 2014 FOGO award, presented by The Faceoff Academy, an honor determined solely by statistical success.

“[The award] means a lot to every single faceoff guy that takes pride in his craft”, Says Gurenlian. “All the award means to me is that I was one of the more effective guys in the league, and that’s the only thing that really matters. That’s what my job is.”

Gurenlian finished the season winning 201 of 329 faceoffs taken and leading the league in ground balls with 101. While the “Beast” accepted his award with professional modesty, it should be known the other two trailing players competing for the award gave Gurenlian a tough fight for his number one spot. Boston Cannons’ faceoff specialist, Chris Eck came in a close second place with 168-287 victories, winning well over half of his matchups (.585).  He is also ranked third in the league for ground balls (89). Despite having fewer opportunities this season at the X, third place Bobby Dattilo is proving consistency is key. With only eight games played on the Ohio Machine, Dattilo went 83-155, and had the most goals and the highest shooting percentage (.80) of any of the faceoff specialists.

Regardless of who came close, it was Gurenlian’s impressive performance throughout the season that earned him the FOGO award. With a .611 winning percentage, he leads the league by nearly two percent. It is no coincidence that the Faceoff Academy cofounder and coach can boast such remarkable numbers. As the faceoff specialist for Team USA, Gurenlian also made an MLL All Star appearance in 2013, as well as making the All-MLL Team last year. After setting the Penn State record for Career Faceoff Wins, it was only fitting that the “Beast” dominated the X for the MLL after ten solid years in the league. Throughout the 2014 season, Gurenlian found himself first for At the X seven different times.

When asked the secret to his success, Gurenlian’ replied, “The answer is simple: I’m not going to be outworked.” Gurenlian has put in an enormous amount of effort and time growing and evolving his position. The Faceoff Academy has helped the X master spread his knowledge and share his incredible skills with aspiring elite athletes all over the country.  

The Faceoff Academy was developed by Greg Gurenlian, Chris Mattes, and Jerry Ragonese to help athletes of all ages develop their lacrosse skills. Through innovative and high quality instruction, players are taught all of the physical and mental components to succeeding at the elite level.

“[We started Faceoff Academy] to clean up the faceoff position, just teach it the right way and give kids the right information,” Gurenlian said. “Our goal now is to give kids the best instruction possible, give them role models to look up to and effectively make these kids elite right away, so that they’re college ready.”

With 10 MLL seasons under his belt, Gurenlian’s experience is among his greatest assets, along with his insatiable desire to improve.  

The Penn State graduate will be back in action this weekend as his New York Lizards face off against the Denver Outlaws in the second semifinal of the 2014 MLL season on Saturday, August 16, at 5:30 p.m. ET at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in Denver. Tickets for this event go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 13, following a Denver Outlaws Season Ticket Holder presale and can be found HERE.

The winner of that game will move on to the 2014 MLL Championship Game on Saturday, August 23 at 7 p.m., at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. Tickets for the Championship game can be purchased HERE.

Final Faceoff Standings


Greg Gurenlian

New York




Chris Eck





Bobby Dattilo





Anthony Kelly





Stephen Robarge





Christopher Mattes





John Ortolani





Matt Dolente





Craig Bunker





Jerry Ragonese

New York



About Faceoff Academy

Established in 2013, The Faceoff Academy is owned and operated by Major League Lacrosse players Greg Gurenlian (NY Lizards), Chris Mattes (Florida Launch) and Jerry Ragonese (NY Lizards).  With weekly stops in cities all over the country The Faceoff Academy provides elite level Faceoff instruction to coaches and players at all skill levels.  The FOA runs youth clinics, High School Elite combines and an annual National Recruiting Showcase with collegiate coaches on staff.  You can find out more about The Faceoff Academy by visiting their website or emailing them at Be sure to follow them on Twitter  @faceoff_academyand Instagram  @TheFaceoffAcademy