By Sam Gest | 6/18/13 3:00 PM
Major League Lacrosse will announce the selections for the 2013 All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill on Monday, June 24. The players are selected through balloting process by MLL coaches and general managers. The game will be played in American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte on July 13. Each day this week, we will be previewing some players that have stood out in the first half of the season as names to look for when the selections are announced on Monday.
All-Star weekend is sure to be a can't-miss event and if you haven't done so already, you can get your tickets by visiting the MLL.com All-Star page
Today we will take a look at some players from the Boston Cannons and the Ohio Machine.
Paul Rabil – Midfield
Rabil has been a nightmare for defense through seven games in 2013. His 29 points rank second in the league, and he leads Boston in goals (16) and assists (11). Rabil has scored multiple points in all but one game, and recorded a season-high seven points in back-to-back games in weeks four and five. The hard-shooting midfielder has appeared in the All-Star Game in each of his first five seasons, and a sixth appearance this season would be a Cannons franchise record.
Mike Stone- Midfield
In his fourth season in the league, Mike Stone is emerging as a star for the Cannons. His 14 goals from the midfield, as well as his 17 total points, are good enough for second on the team. The fourth-year man out of Middlebury has recroded a point in all six games he has appeared in, and has scored four points in three games this year, including the Cannons’ week 7 win over the Charlotte Hounds. With his strong start to the 2013 season, Stone is looking for his second straight All-Star Game appearance.
Kyle Sweeney – Defense
In a league where defensemen don’t always get the credit they deserve, Kyle Sweeney stands among the best. A threat on both ends of the field, Sweeney has been able to score goals and lock down opposing attackmen consistently during the first half of the 2013 season. Sweeney and his Cannons teammates may be overlooked by All-Star voters due to their rocky start, but Sweeney has made a strong case for his selection. He has seven points on the season and has already eclipsed his goal total from last season, with four so far in 2013. If selected, it would be his sixth career All-Star game, and first since 2010.
Steele Stanwick – Attack
Through seven games, Stanwick leads the Machine in points (17) and assists (11), while tallying six goals. His 11 assists ties him for third in the league in that category. The second-year man out of Virginia has had a number of impactful performances, but his best came in a 15-8 loss to the Hamilton Nationals in which he notched two goals and dished out three assists. Stanwick has tallied three assists in two other games already this season, and with the addition of two talented rookie attackmen, he could be in line for many more.
Kyle Hartzell – Defense
Known as one of the most athletic and best offensive longpoles in the game, Hartzell has three goals and two assists through seven games. He has scored two points on two occasions and has now scored goals in back-to-back games. The sixth-year veteran has also scooped up 28 ground balls so far, good for second on the team behind faceoff specialist Eric O’Brien. After All-Star selections in 2011 and 2012, Hartzell is looking for his third consecutive All-Star Game appearance.
Brian Phipps – Goalie
After goalies Stefan Schroder and Scott Rodgers struggled through the first four games of the season, Phipps has provided some stability between the pipes for the Machine. In the first four games, the Machine were giving up over 14 goals per game. Since becoming the starter in week five, Phipps has played every minute of each game, giving up only 10.3 goals per game, which ranks second-best in the league. He has also stopped 58 percent of shots faced, good for third in the league. As a rookie in 2011, Phipps was selected to the All-Star Game as a member of the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Tomorrow, we will take a look at some of the top performers from the Rochester Rattlers and New York Lizards.