8/21/10 8:00 AM
Boston, Mass. (August 21, 2010) –Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Saturday the players who have been named to the Ten Year Anniversary Team, recognizing the greatest players of the past decade at each position.
Out of the 643 players who have been part of the MLL over the past decade, 40 finalists were selected by a diverse group of experts who have been involved with the league since its inception. The MLL’s fans determined the final roster by voting on Major League Lacrosse’s website.
Named to the Ten Year Anniversary Team were:
Attack: Jesse Hubbard, Kevin Leveille , John Grant Jr.
Midfield: Casey Powell, Gary Gait, Josh Sims
Defense: Brodie Merrill, Nicky Polanco, Lee Zink
Goalkeeper: Brian Dougherty
Face-off Specialist: Paul Cantabene
Jesse Hubbardretired as the MLL All-Time Scoring Leader in 2008 with 247 goals in his eight year career. This season Tim Goettelmann broke the legend’s record. Hubbard attended Princeton University where he led the Tigers to three NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships, was named number 11 of the top 20 athletes in Princeton Tiger history and won a gold medal playing for the U.S. National Team in the 1998 World Games. Starting his professional career with the league’s first season in 2001, Hubbard played for New Jersey from 2001-2007 and Los Angeles in 2008. While Hubbard currently ranks second in All-Time Scoring, he holds the MLL Single-Season Scoring Record with 54 goals in the 2002 season and is tenth All-Time in assists. For his career, Hubbard played in 95 games and posted 247 goals, 16 two-point goals and 89 assists, totaling 352 points.
Chicago’s Kevin Leveille has been voted onto the Ten Year Anniversary Team following a solid season. The former UMass Minuteman impacted the Machine’s offensive efforts to bring the franchise its first four win season. After being drafted ninth overall in the 2003 MLL Collegiate Draft, Leveille spent three seasons with the Boston Cannons and helped bring the team to two playoff berths. Leveille finished tied for third in goals scored this season with 24 and added nine assists to his total of 33 points. Fifth in the MLL All-Time Scoring Rankings, Leveille has 230 goals and 298 points for his career.
John Grant Jr.began his professional career in the league’s inaugural season with Rochester. After finishing second in points and goals with 59 and 41 respectively in 2001, Grant took a three season hiatus before returning to Rochester for the 2005 season. Grant helped Rochester to the Steinfeld Cup in 2008 before winning the championship again in 2009 for the Toronto Nationals. He holds the MLL Single-Season Point Record with 71 in the 2007 season, is sixth in the MLL All-Time Scoring Rankings and is ninth in the MLL All-Time Assists Rankings. The two-time MLL Champion (2008, 2009) and MLL MVP (2007, 2008) has scored more than 40 goals three times and earned Offensive Player of the Year on three occasions (2001, 2007, 2008). For his career, Grant has played in 73 games and posted 205 goals, 18 two-point goals and 102 assists, totaling 325 points.
Casey Powellled the Long Island Lizards to the first-ever MLL Championship in 2001. and won a second MLL Title in his last season, 2008 with Rochester. Powell is the is the Major League Lacrosse leader in career points with 388 and is second in all-time assists with 186. Scoring more than 30 goals in four straight seasons (2001-2004), Powell is second for single-season points after tallying 70 in 2003 and earned the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2005. In his 82 career games, Powell scored 197 goals, five two-point goals, 186 assists, totaling 388 points.
Perhaps most known for his behind-the-back and mid-air shots, Gary Gait joined the MLL and helped Casey Powell lead the Long Island Lizards to the league’s first Championship in 2001. The following year Gait was traded to the Baltimore Bayhawks where he became a player/coach from 2002-2005 and won his second MLL Championship in 2002. Gait originally retired after being named MLL MVP holding the Steinfeld Cup for the third time in 2005, but returned for the Toronto Nationals’ inaugural season in 2009 and won it all for the fourth time in his career. In his six seasons, Gait has played in 64 games and recorded 161 goals, one two-point goal and 62 assists for 224 points.
Josh Simsbecame the first-ever Princeton grad to receive the NCAA Top VIII Award and twice received the McLaughlin Award as the Division I Midfielder of the Year. After his collegiate successes, Sims joined Major League Lacrosse and played for the Baltimore Bayhawks from 2001-2005 where he added two MLL Championships to his two NCAA Championship rings. Sims was traded to the Denver Outlaws in 2006 when the league expanded. He went to Toronto for the 2010 season and played in two games for the Nationals before being traded to the Chicago Machine. The midfielder finished this season without a playoff berth for the first time in his ten year career; he has 29 career post-season goals in 16 games. Sims has amassed 209 points from 130 goals, 16 two-point goals and 63 assists in 89 games.
Toronto’s Brodie Merrill was named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Year for the fifth consecutive season in 2010. He picked up an impressive 55 ground balls this season, putting him second on the MLL All-Time list with 447. Merrill’s 12 points and nine assists lead all defensive players in the two categories. Drafted as the third overall selection in the 2005 MLL Collegiate Draft, Merrill was named Rookie of the Year and was part of the Baltimore Bayhawks Championship victory. After his first season with Baltimore, Merrill went to Rochester where he won another Championship in 2008. Merrill joined Toronto for its inaugural season and the defenseman brought his winning ability to his native Canada and won his third MLL Championship. For his career, Merrill played in 66 games and posted 31 goals, 1 two-point goal and 48 assists for 80 points.
Nicky Polancois perhaps most known for his physical game, placing him third on the MLL all-time list with 68.5 penalty minutes. Selected fourth overall in the 2002 MLL Collegiate Draft, Polanco played for Bridgeport for two seasons before spending a year in Philadelphia. The defenseman won his first and only MLL Championship with Philadelphia and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. Spending the next six years of his career with the Lizards, Polanco added another Defensive Player of the Year to his resume I 2005. He has scooped 329 ground balls and tallied 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 91 career games.
The Outlaws’ Lee Zink was a cornerstone of Denver’s successful defensive unit again this season. Zink tied a personal season high this year with 26 groundballs, giving him 166 for his career. The Maryland graduate was selected fifth overall in the 2004 MLL Collegiate Draft by the Baltimore Bayhawks and was traded to the Denver Outlaws for the 2006 season. While the defenseman has been in the post season every year, he only holds one MLL Title with the Bayhawks in 2005. Zink’s four playoff runs with the Outlaws have yet to produce the final win, but they will try for the fifth time this season.
Brian Dougherty’s name is found on nearly all of the MLL All-Time Goalkeeper Records. He tops the league in games played (105), minutes played (5945), saves (1752), goalkeeper wins (60), goalkeeper losses (43) and two-point goals allowed (53) while he is second in save percentage (.579) and third in goals against average (12.84). The record holder is a three-time MLL Champion and a three-time Goalie of the Year. After spending the league’s first two seasons with Rochester, Dougherty spent the next two with Long Island and won his first Championship and Goalie of the Year award. From 2005-2008 Dougherty played with Philadelphia and brought the City of Brotherly Love two Championships and himself two more Goalie of the Year awards. Dougherty spent his last season before retirement with the Long Island Lizards.
Paul Cantabeneholds two MLL career records for All-Time Ground Balls, 538, and All-Time Face-Off Wins, 1015. The face-off specialist joined Major League Lacrosse in its inaugural season and played for the Baltimore Bayhawks from 2001 to 2005, winning two Steinfeld Cups. Cantabene is second All-Time in Face-Off Attempts, 1861 and recorded the most ground balls in a game in 2003 with 23. 2004 was his best season; he recorded the most ground balls in a season (156), most face-of wins in a season (238) and highest face-off win percentage in a season (.633). After his success with the Bayhawks, Cantabene tried his luck in Philadelphia and came out with another MLL Championship. He chose to retire while he was ahead and has won 1015 out of 1861 face-offs for his career, tallied 52 goals, 12 two-point goals and 26 assists for 79 points.
The Major League Lacrosse Ten Year Anniversary Team will be honored at the 2010 MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior on August 21 and 22 in Annapolis, MD.
The 2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior takes place at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, one of the nation’s premier athletic venues. Tailgating is permitted for both Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 AM. A number of great attractions will be featured in the fan zone on both days, including the Warrior Lacrosse Chop Shop, musical performances by MAD PLANET, Bud Light Build-A-Bar, face painting and other activities for fans.
Tickets for the 2010 Championship Weekend presented by Warrior are still available. Complete MLL Championship Weekend packages which include tickets to all three playoff games start at just $30 and may be purchased by calling 866-MLL-TIXX or by visiting www.majorleaguelacrosse.com. Single day tickets will go on sale beginning Sunday, August 15 and will cost $20.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premiere professional outdoor lacrosse league, commenced play in June of 2001. The MLL is comprised of six teams located in Boston, Chesapeake, Chicago, Denver, Long Island and Toronto. The season will culminate with the MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 21 and 22 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
Major League Lacrosse was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the Official League website at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com.