By Jessica Braveman | 8/8/14 11:00 AM
In order for any lacrosse team to be successful, they need a fearless goaltender. When a goalie has a strong performance it not only allows an offense to score, but it also motivates the entire team to push themselves to do better. The 2014 Major League Lacrosse season has featured some incredible goal-tending performances, many with unbelievable acrobatic saves.
Take a look at five of the most successful goalies this season and why we believe they have the qualities consistent with a potential Goalie of the Year:
In his best season yet, Rochester Rattlers goalie John Galloway has put on an impressive performance. Out of 13 games played, he has earned nine wins, and has allowed his team to score an average of 13.46 goals per game. Out of his four seasons in the league, Galloway has had his best stats to date; he has his lowest goals against average (11.49), which is lowest in the MLL, and his highest save percentage (.542), which ranks third among starting goalies. The former Syracuse star has finally been allowed to shine with an explosive offense supporting him. Galloway’s consideration for Goalie of the Year is obvious based on his team’s record and his goals against average.
Currently the reigning Goalie of the Year, Jesse Schwartzman of the Denver Outlaws has continued to prove why he belongs among the top goaltenders in the league. This season, Schwartzman has been a league standout, and has twice been named Warrior Defensive Player of the Week (Weeks 3 and 8) for his top-notch skills. Schwartzman played in 12 games, only missing one while competing in the FIL World Championships with Team USA, and has won eight. With a 12.18 goals against average, Schwartzman sits in fourth right behind New York’s Drew Adams, and the highest save percentage in the MLL at .562. After a dominating season on a quest towards the club’s first Steinfeld Trophy, Schwartzman could certainly repeat as Goalie of the Year.
Boston Cannons goalie Jordan Burke has had a successful season despite the overall struggle of the team. Burke has a goals against average of 12.69 and a save percentage of .529. As the starter for the Cannons, Burke has played in all 12 games so far this season, and was chosen as a goalie for the 2014 MLL All-Star Team because of his outstanding play. Of the 13 games played, Burke has collected only six wins. Although this number is low, it is not necessarily a reflection of his individual play, but of Boston’s inability to mesh as a team. Burke has had up and down moments all season; he’ll make incredible saves, but will then get caught off guard and miss a shot. However, Burke’s passion and strong play at the beginning of the season is enough to consider him for Goalie of the Year.
Since taking over as starting goalie for the New York Lizards in 2010, Drew Adams has consistently put up admirable numbers tending the net. This season, Adams has the third lowest goals against average with 11.77 and has a save percentage of .514. Of the 13 games this season, Adams started 12 (missing one due to his commitment to Team USA at the FIL World Championships), and earned seven wins. Adams is capable of making dynamic saves, and is not afraid to go after a difficult shot. When Adams is on top of his game the Lizards thrive, but when he struggles in the net the team often follows suit. New York has now made the playoffs in three of Adams’ five years as a starter, and the Lizards will be looking for another top performance as they hope to win their first championship since 2003. Due to his ability to save the challenging shots and his low goals against average, Adams certainly deserves to be discussed when talking about Goalie of the Year.
Known for his energetic goaltending style, Queener has certainly made a name for himself in the MLL. In the inaugural year for the Florida Launch, Queener has played in 12 games (missing one due to injury), winning five, and was also named to the 2014 MLL All-Star Team. Queener finds himself in a similar situation to Burke—strong goal performance, but a fading team performance—and therefore has only five wins. This season, Queener has a goals against average of 13.22 and a save percentage of .523. Although he can make some incredible saves, and isn’t shy about leaving the net, Queener’s confidence can get rattled if he misses a few saves. Queener’s emotional play and fearless goaltending has placed him among the top goalies in the league, and on the list of potential Goalies of the Year.