7/26/10 3:30 PM
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, has announced it’s weekly award winners following this past weekend's action. Long Island Lizards midfielder Stephen Berger was named the Offensive Player of the Week, Boston Cannons goalie Kip Turner was named the Defensive Player of the Week and Denver Outlaws attackman Connor Martin was named the Rookie of the Week.
Berger took home the offensive award in Long Island after a five goal performance including a last second two pointer for a total of six points. With time winding down and the Lizards leading by one, the Chesapeake Bayhawks pulled their goalie to double the ball, but Berger capitalized and hit the two pointer from out deep on the empty net to seal the 14-11 victory.
The long time Lizard had an outstanding night shooting the ball, tallying his five goals on just eight shots. Berger’s performance was all the more impressive as he helped fill the void left by top scorer Zack Greer who was overseas for the FIL World Championship.
The Long Island victory puts the Lizards at 5-5 and keeps them in control of their own destiny in regards to Championship Weekend. Currently sitting in third place the Lizards are poised to return to the playoffs and could clinch a spot with a victory over the Toronto Nationals next weekend.
The defensive honors this week went to Turner after his standout performance which helped the Cannons clinch the first spot in the 2010 Championship Weekend presented by Warrior. Turner made 16 saves on the night, allowing 10 goals to the Nationals in a full 60 minutes in the cage. Turner stopped one shot after the next, including several shots right on the doorstep of the goal. Many of the Nationals are indoor lacrosse players by trade and were playing like it with quick releases and blistering shots from up close, but Turner remained unfazed.
“Kip played very well on Saturday night as well as the past couple of weeks which is important as we come down the stretch and into the playoffs,” said Boston head coach Bill Daye. “Having a goalie who’s seeing the ball and leading the defense is important for us to have success in the post season.”
It was a night celebrated for Boston’s playoff berth and attackman Matt Poskay breaking the Cannon’s all-time scoring record, but Turner was the unsung hero of the game on the defensive side. The Cannons have gone 5-0 at home and can clinch the first undefeated home schedule in team history with a win on Aug. 7 against the Bayhawks.
Martin was the top rookie this week as he helped lead the way for the Outlaws in a come-from behind 15-11 win over the Chicago Machine. Martin made his Outlaws debut and helped lead the come-back as he finished the night with a hat trick and an assist. Martin was making his debut as a fill in for the lauded Denver attack while top scorers Drew Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf were both over in England playing for Team USA.
“Martin is a great sport, a great kid. I just wanted to give him a shot,” said Denver head coach Brian Reese. “I thought he’s a pretty talented guy. He’s a great guy to have on the team, he pushes everyone else. I think he can play in this league.”
Martin took the road less traveled to MLL as he never played at a top Division I school like most players; instead he played at the club level for Chapman University in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA). Martin is the only MCLA field player to ever receive playing time in MLL history. He was extremely successful at Chapman, one of the top club teams in the nation, as he helped lead the team to back to back national championship appearances. Perhaps better known as his YouTube sensation, Con Bro Chill, Martin was drafted in the seventh round by the Outlaws.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com