Matt Poskay’s Comeback Season
By Meg Andrews
Matt Poskay is having the best season of his MLL career. He leads the league in goals and points and is on pace to set three Boston Cannons records before the season is over. But the Cannons veteran was unaware of what the 2010 season had in store for him and never imagined the possibility of rewriting the record books.
Poskay has been a strong asset to the Cannons’ offense ever since he was chosen by Boston as the twelfth overall pick in the 2006 MLL Draft. He made an immediate impact scoring 25 goals in just eight games that season. At the end of the year he was named Boston Cannons Rookie of the Year. In 2007 he was named to the MLL All-Star Team and scored four goals to earn All-Star Game MVP honors. In 2008 he led the Cannons with 34 goals and was tied for first with 41 points.
The sky seemed to be the limit for this star player, but as the 2009 season was about to begin the New Jersey native’s career and life took a drastic turn.
During training camp, Poskay went to the doctor due to a concerning lump and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Surgery was scheduled immediately. Two weeks later Poskay received some positive news, the prognosis was for a full recovery and he would be allowed to return to the field in a month's time after the surgical incision had healed.
Just six weeks after being diagnosed, Matt Poskay made his 2009 season debut with four goals in a win against the Chicago Machine. He finished the season with a total of 15 goals in seven games. He did all of this while recovering from the surgery and undergoing three weeks of intense radiation care throughout the rest of the season. “At times last year I was pretty sick and didn’t want to show my teammates that,” he stated. “I just wanted to get out there and play, and play with all the energy I had, which wasn’t that much.”
After mustering up the energy to finish out last season, Poskay returned in 2010 not knowing what to expect health-wise. “I didn’t know how sick I was going to feel. I thought I was going to feel the same way,” Poskay said. However, after scoring four goals and recording one assist during the Cannons’ season opener against the Denver Outlaws, Poskay was feeling healthier than ever and was ready to tackle the rest of the season. “A good first game helped. I thought ‘Wow, okay I can do this!’ Then I just kept going from there. Now I feel better each game in and game out.”
The game against Denver proved to be just the beginning for Poskay. He currently leads the league with 34 goals and 39 points and was selected to the 2010 MLL All-Star Team, scoring a goal against the US National Team.
Poskay was credited with the game-winning goal on July 10
th. It was the 7
th game-winner of his career breaking David Evans’ team record. Before the season is over Poskay will likely hold a couple more Cannons records and an MLL record. He currently has 9 man-up goals on the season, which is tied for the most in a season in MLL history. His 34 total goals are just 5 shy of the Cannons single season record held by Michael Watson and Kevin Leveille, and with 5 goals in the teams final 3 games Poskay will break Evans’ all-time Cannons’ goal scoring record.
Regardless of his personal accomplishments, Poskay has not lost sight of his role on the roster. “He is successful at finding an open lane, receiving the ball, and then putting it in the back of the net. That’s been his role since we drafted him five years ago,” Cannons Head Coach Bill Daye said.
“[Getting the ball] is my role on the team, that’s what I gotta do,” Poskay added.
Rather than brag about his own achievements, the attackman boasts about team successes in true captain fashion, “It’s a good feeling [leading the league in goals and points] but more importantly the wins are better than anything,” he proclaimed. “My ultimate goal is to get better personally and get better with the team.” Poskay and the rest of the Cannons continue to improve each game. They are now tied for first in the league with Denver with a 6-3 record.
Matt Poskay’s passion to play lacrosse has become an inspiration to many. He has not only overcome some of the greatest obstacles thrown his way, but has surpassed many expectations and is having the greatest season of his career simply because he wanted to get back on the field. “Matt is just a very intelligent player who likes being on the field,” Coach Daye proclaimed.
“Playing this year and coming back from last year was important,” Poskay stated. He realizes how fortunate he is to be in good health now and has not taken it for granted. “I didn’t even realize how sick I was last year. I feel a lot better now and obviously it is showing.”
Poskay fans can’t wait to see what he’ll surprise them with next during the remainder of the 2010 MLL season.
Check out these Poskay
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com