| BAYHAWKS ACQUIRE STAR DEFENSEMAN KYLE SWEENEY
Chesapeake trades draft pick to Boston for perennial All-Star
In a move that dramatically upgrades the defensive unit, the Chesapeake Bayhawks have acquired perennial All-Star Kyle Sweeney in a trade with the Boston Cannons.
Chesapeake landed Sweeney in exchange for a third round pick in the 2016 Collegiate Draft. The Bayhawks had just received that particular draft pick from the New York Lizards in a trade for veteran defenseman Brian Spallina earlier this week.
Sweeney is an 12-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, having made his debut in 2003 with the Bridgeport Barrage. The versatile defenseman helped the Barrage capture three MLL championships (2004, 2006 and 2007) before being assigned to the then Washington Bayhawks in 2009. That same year he was then traded to the Boston Cannons. Two seasons later, the former Georgetown University All-American won another Steinfeld Trophy in 2011 when the Cannons claimed their first title in the team's history. Sweeney played three more seasons with the Cannons appearing in all but one game during that stretch.
Sweeney ranks right alongside former collegiate teammate Brodie Merrill as a defenseman who can impact the game all over the field. The rangy and speedy 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has gobbled up 423 ground balls during his professional career, ranking eighth in MLL history in that category and third among defenseman behind Merrill and current Bayhawk Nicky Polanco.
Sweeney is a force in the clearing game and as a wing man on faceoffs. The New Jersey native is also a dangerous offensive weapon in transition, evidenced by the fact he has produced 69 career points (42 goals, 27 assists).
"There is no question that Kyle Sweeney is one of the best defenseman in the league," saidDave Cottle, president and head coach of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. "Kyle is tremendous on ground balls, is a remarkable stick-handler and a real disruptive force. We needed another defenseman and Kyle is a great pickup because he can play either down low or as a long pole."
Sweeney joins a unit that already features a pair of multi-time All-Stars in Polanco and Michael Evans along with a couple burgeoning young stars in Jesse Bernhardt and Jason Noble. C.J. Costabile and Brian Megill, two other players capable of playing up top or down low, round out the list of long sticks on the roster.
Sweeney, who hails from Sea Girt, N.J., was a three-time USILA All-American at Georgetown and was a two-time ECAC Defensive Player of the Year. He graduated as Georgetown's all-time leader with 229 ground balls.