August 18, 2009

Brodie Merrill Reigns as MLL's Top Defenseman

from press release

Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Tuesday that Toronto Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill has been selected as the 2009 Warrior Defensive Player of the Year, according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. The award was based on the votes submitted by the head coaches and general manager of each of the league's six teams.
 
Although Merrill broke records by becoming the Defensive Player of the Year for three years in a row in 2008, this season he breaks his own record by becoming the Defensive Player of the Year for an unprecedented four consecutive years.
 
The Ontario native attended Georgetown University and graduated in 2005. Picked up by the Rochester Rattlers in the 2005 MLL Collegiate Draft, Merrill has played for Baltimore, Rochester, and Toronto during his five year tenure in the MLL. In 2008, he won the Steinfeld Cup with his Rochester teammates, putting up an impressive 18 points throughout that season while still anchoring the team's defensive efforts.
 
This season Merrill has played in all 12 regular season games for the Toronto Nationals, helping them to a 7-5 record. In addition to 69 ground balls, he has tallied 12 assists and scored eight goals.
 
Scoring four points in the Nationals' season opener against the Washington Bayhawks, Merrill set the tone for what would turn out to be an extremely successful season. Merrill has earned MLL Defensive Player of the Week twice this season and was named Bud Light MVP in week five, helping to propel the Nationals into the postseason.

All-Time Defensive Players of the Year
2001 - Rob Doerr, Baltimore Bayhawks
2002 - Christian Cook, New Jersey Pride
2003 - Ryan Curtis, Boston Cannons
2004 - Nicky Polanco, Philadelphia Barrage
2005 - Nicky Polanco, Long Island Lizards
2006 - Brodie Merrill, Rochester Rattlers
2007 - Brodie Merrill, Rochester Rattlers
2008 - Brodie Merrill, Rochester Rattlers
2009 - Brodie Merrill, Toronto Nationals
 
Merrill received seven first-place votes and totaled 39 points. Denver Outlaw Lee Zink finished second in the voting with one first-place vote, finishing with 23 points.

Merrill and his No. 2-seeded Toronto Nationals will take on the No. 3 seeded Long Island Lizards in the second MLL semifinal Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern. The game will be shown in syndication live on Universal Sports, the league also announced.


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