By Kelsey Doherty & William Griffin | 8/5/13 11:00 AM
In week one of the season, the Hamilton Nationals came out strong, with a 15-8 win over the Boston Cannons. The Player of the Game, was someone who had only scored 37 points in the previous season, and posted seven points in the match. The player was Kevin Crowley, who would become 2013 All-Star Game MVP and is a candidate for the top award of the season as well.
After the four goal, three assist performance, Crowley and the Nationals never looked back. Sure they may have stumbled a bit midseason, but they’re right back on track and have secured a spot at Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink. Crowley has led this charge, now with 49 points on the season, right behind the league leading Chris Bocklet (50 pts). Crowley appears to have come out of thin air, an unexpected leader and an integral piece of the Hamilton midfield.
Also with 12 assists on the season, Crowley has proved to be a necessary piece of the team, unselfish, and contributing in any way possible to ensure that the ball finds the goal, even if it’s not his stick that takes the shot. Crowley does not carry this team alone; along with the help of teammate Joe Walters and Kevin Cunningham, the Nationals have a real shot at the Steinfeld Trophy.
Some may question how valuable Crowley is to the Nationals if they also have Walters and Cunningham dishing out assists and posting upwards of 30 points a piece on the season. For those doubters, Crowley has been the difference maker in six of the Nationals’ nine wins this season. This means that in a game such as week 11 against Ohio, when the Nationals won 13-12, Crowley’s two goals were enough to push them past the Machine. To put it in perspective, without Crowley, the Nationals would likely not stand at 9-4 on the season, and would probably still be fighting for playoff contention. Thus he is the most valuable player to his team, and potentially more valuable to Hamilton than any other player is to their respective team.
On a team that is all about teamwork, the Nationals can boast that 63 percent of all goals are assisted. Undoubtedly, Crowley is a part of their team effort, and brings something special out on to the field. His club-best 28 game point streak speaks for itself and supports the point that he is one of the most important players in MLL. The Nationals know they can always count on Crowley for at least an assist, and this season he has grabbed a goal in every game. More than that, he has nine multi-goal games, and 10 multi-point games.
Crowley’s impressive scoring and teamwork have made him invaluable to the Nationals and a threat to the rest of the league. There’s no ignoring his impact this season as he makes every shot count and leads the Nationals on a playoff hunt.
The Nationals will be looking to secure the number two seed in the playoffs and head to Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink. To follow Crowley during the finals make sure to get your tickets to what is sure to be a fantastic event by visiting Major League Lacrosse’s Champ Weekend page.