We’re now through 12 weeks of Major League Lacrosse action this season, with only two weeks of regular season games to go. At this point, the playoff field is starting to take shape, season records are beginning to be eclipsed, and battles for the final playoff spots are starting to heat up, as Championship Weekend, presented by Smartlink is right around the corner.
Every Monday from now through Championship Weekend we will profile one of the top few candidates for MLL MVP; this week we take a look at Paul Rabil.
Paul Rabil is arguably the most famous lacrosse player in the world, for good reason. He is phenomenal on the field and has done much to grow the game off it, even showing up at All-Star weekend in Charlotte when he wasn’t able to play due to injury, signing autographs and interacting with fans.
Rabil is killing it on the field, he’s leading the league in points with 49; those 49 points average out to over four points a game—best in the league as well. The midfielder’s 30 goals trail only Chris Bocklet and Kevin Crowley—two players we’re likely to profile as MVP Candidates down the road. Rabil has kept his team in the playoff hunt this year and has also eclipsed a special individual record; a few weeks ago he passed former Boston Cannon, Conor Gill, as all-time leading scorer in Boston Cannons’ history.
In a poll featured on the MLL Website last week, which received roughly 800 votes, the consensus MVP was Paul Rabil. We tend to agree, saying that Rabil means more to his team than many of the other players being considered because he has been able to lead his team to success, even without top talent surrounding him. Don’t get us wrong; talent surrounds number ninety-nine, just not as much as some other teams. His ability to score off a dodge and assist his teammates once he gets double teamed, sets him apart from many in the league. Paul Rabil truly does make those around him better.
Whenever Rabil steps on the field, all attention is directed to him—you can always hear the opposing goaltender screaming, “Rabil! Rabil! Someone get Rabil! Slide to Rabil. His ability to create a play from almost anywhere on the field makes it a necessity for opposing teams to know exactly where 99 is at all times. Frequently, he will be double teamed, leaving many of his teammates open. Rabil has embraced this role and learned how to translate this to goals; he allows himself to be double-teamed, which opens up the middle of the field and allows his teammates to run free and score.
In addition to his leadership on the field through scoring goals and assisting on others, Rabil is such an emotional leader. You can see how invested he is in the game and how much pride he takes in winning. Even better, you can see how much he appreciates everything his teammates do and how happy he is to succeed, always being the first one to go give them a hug after each and every goal.
Rabil’s talent level, his drive to succeed, his ability to make his teammates better and his leadership make Rabil a perfect candidate for MLL Most Valuable Player. These last few weeks, as his team makes a push to make it to Championship Weekend, will go a long way to determining whether or not Rabil wins MVP.
Check back next Monday for the second profile of an MLL MVP Candidate. Tuesday we will profile Rookie of the Year Candidates, Wednesday Defensive Player of the Year Candidates, Thursday Goalie of the Year Candidates, and Friday Offensive Player of the Year Candidates. Don’t forget to check back.