By Jessica Braveman | 6/12/14 11:10 AM
The 2014 Major League Lacrosse rookie class has settled in nicely with their new teams. They’ve scored goals, been threats on defense and have proved that they can be contributing factors in team wins. Here is a look at the rookies who have already started, and those who are predicted to join their teams in the coming weeks:
Machine rookie midfielder, Tom Schreiber, who has been selected to the 2014 MLL All-Star Team, has demonstrated his ability to play under pressure. In last Friday’s game against Boston, Schreiber tallied two goals. The first goal put the Machine up 4-3 in the first quarter. Then, his second goal tied the game back up at five in the second quarter. Schreiber has proven to be a necessary part of the Ohio offense, tallying 7 goals, 2 assists, and 5 groundballs in the four games he has played for the team.
Attackman and Tewaaraton Award winner Miles Thompson played in his second professional game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks last week. Thompson is displaying a smooth transition into the league by earning points in both games he has played so far. In the match up with Chesapeake, he tallied two points with one goal and one assist. John LoCascio continues to be a strong addition to the defensive end, feeding one assist and picking up eight groundballs. Rochester still looks forward to the addition of Ty Thompson (Albany) and Jordan Wolf (Duke), both on attack.
In this past weekend’s frustrating loss to the Launch, it seemed as though New York’s typically strong defense fell apart. The defense allowed 6 goals in the first half, and five in the second. As a member of this defense, rookie Joe Fletcher, who will be appearing in the MLL All-Star Game as a member of Team USA, has been impressive all season long. In the team’s loss, Fletcher had one ground ball and played tough defense right around the crease in an attempt to stop players like fellow rookie Kieran McArdle and veteran Casey Powell, both of which had multiple goals in the game. While the loss showed the holes in the Lizards’ play, Fletcher continues to prove that he belongs among this veteran New York defense.
The Launch added one more rookie to their impressive first-year class, as defenseman Matt Harris joined the team this past week in the win against New York. The Syracuse graduate was drafted by Chesapeake in the third round of the 2014 Collegiate Draft, but Florida acquired him via trade earlier this year. In his debut, Harris picked up two ground balls and helped hold the Lizards to their lowest goal output of the season. On the other end of the field, Kieran McArdle continued his incredible first season, as he recorded five points and was the high scorer in a game that featured several proven stars. Currently, McArdle is the only rookie within MLL’s top 10 goal scorers. Fellow rookie Chris LaPierre also added a goal for the Launch last week, giving him two goals in three games in 2014.
In the Outlaws’ first regular season loss since June 23, 2012, Colin Dunster was the only rookie who saw time on the field. Dunster netted his first goal of the season in the second quarter to help Denver tie the game.
Justin Ward, Mike Chanenchuk, Thomas DeNapoli, and Michael Ehrhardt all played significant minutes in the Hounds 18-15 upset victory over the Outlaws. Ward is making a strong case as a Rookie of the Year candidate. He tallied 4 points for the second straight week and has become the catalyst of the Hounds offense as well as earning Cascade Rookie of the Week honors. Chanenchuk scored 2 goals in his MLL debut at midfield. As the 11th overall selection in the 2014 Collegiate Draft, Chanenchuk is a matchup nightmare for defenders and is projected to lead the Hounds offensive production this season. Ehrhardt also made his MLL debut at defense and helped contain the potent Denver attack. The USILA First Team All-American will help solidify the Hounds defense that has lacked consistency through the first six weeks of the season.
Cannons rookies Scott McWilliams, Rob Emery, and Austin Kaut all dressed for their second consecutive MLL game over the weekend as Boston raced neck-and-neck against the Ohio Machine. Pulling out a 16-15 win in the last few minutes of the game, Emery kept pace with top shooting midfielders like Stephen Berger and Paul Rabil—albeit with fewer minutes played—firing two shots. McWillams saw some time protecting goaltender Jordan Burke in net, scooping one ground ball, and Kaut served as Burke's back up, witnessing a great battle between net-minders.
Last week's double overtime loss to Rochester did not feature any rookies for the Bayhawks.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest information on the MLL’s 2014 Rookie Class.