By Sam Gest | 8/8/13 10:00 AM
In Brett Queener’s first career game at the University of Albany, he made a save, ran the length of the field, and scored a goal against Johns Hopkins on national television. He quickly became known as the goalie with great offensive skills, and by his junior year, he was a part of the man-up offense, as he would run to the sideline and get a short stick while his backup would hop in cage.
That reputation carried into his professional career. When he played in the National Lacrosse League, he was a field player. In the MLL, he is known for his one-man clears and his incredible charisma, which has helped him win Inside Lacrosse’s “Lacrosse Personality of the Year” multiple times. With all the excitement that he generates with his fast-paced clears and his dynamic personality, people often forget that he is actually one of the elite ball-stoppers in the league.
Now in his sixth season in the MLL, the former fifth-round draft pick is having his best season to date. He is currently stopping a league-best 61 percent of shots faced, while allowing only 11.39 goals per game, good for third in the league. Not only that, but he has helped lead the Nationals to a 9-4 record, and a clinched playoff berth
Queener got off to an incredible start in 2013, allowing just under eight goals per game through his first four starts, while saving 68 percent of shots, helping the Nationals to a 4-0 record over that span. His performance midway through the season earned him a trip to the All-Star Game presented by Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Though he has cooled off a little as the season has gone on, his performances have still stood out. In a June 7 contest against Rochester, Queener faced 22 shots, and saved 16 of them to lead Hamilton to a 9-6 win over the Rattlers.
But what truly separates Queener from the rest of the goalies in the league is his athleticism, both in the crease and in the open field. In a sport where transition play is so important, he has the ability to make a save and sprint up the field and start a fast break all on his own. His athleticism is also on full display in the cage, where he consistently turns shooters away with acrobatic split-saves and last-second lunges. He is a dual-threat goalie of sorts, and he is truly a one-of-a-kind player in the MLL today.
With a playoff spot already clinched, the Nationals are looking very dangerous as candidates to knock off the undefeated Denver Outlaws. If Queener gets hot and makes some key plays, which he always has the potential to, Hamilton will be a team to be reckoned with.
You can see Queener in action on Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink on August 24 and 25 at PPL Park in Philadelphia. For tickets and more information visit www.majorleaguelacrosse.com/championship-weekend.