MLL Active Roster First Impressions
The new 14-week Major League Lacrosse season kicks off Saturday, and on Wednesday the league announced the 25-man active rosters for its eight teams.
Keep in mind these rosters do not include NLL players still playing the indoor season (the Hamilton Nationals have the most) and the inevitable number of rookies who will join teams in the coming weeks as their college seasons end and they become available to play in the pro game. The lineups and rosters will change, so I'm not here to break down the best looking team right now. But there are some interesting stories and picks beyond the usual stars. A few quick first impressions...
Owen Smith Jr., Boston Cannons
The lead to a feature story from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald says it all: "When Owen "Kit" Smith went to an open tryout held by the Major League Lacrosse champion Boston Cannons last month, all he wanted was to pick up some pointers for the team he coaches at Hebron Academy."
Well, now Smith is on the Cannons. He's a 6-foot-3, 220-pound midfielder who graduated from Bowdoin College last spring. He became a teacher at Hebron, a small college prep school, and coaches the boys' varsity lacrosse team and boys' hockey B team. A real life "Invincible" story.
Bayhawks' Faceoff Situation
Alex Smith, who had offseason Tommy John elbow surgery, begins the season on the injured list. Pat Muston (UMBC, 2004) and Adam Rand (Stony Brook, 2011) are guys with faceoff experience on the opening weekend roster.
Old School Long Island
The Lizards are brining it back old-school style with inaugural Tewaaraton Award winner Doug Shanahan, veteran Keith Cromwell and the previously retired Brian Langtry (formerly of Denver) all on the 25-player roster.
Recent Division II stars Matt Chadderdon (Le Moyne) and Matt Messina (NYIT) are among those on squads: the Hamilton Nationals and Ohio Machine, respectively.
Former Ohio State Buckeyes attackman Mario Ventiquattro, the son of longtime Carthage (N.Y.) boys head coach Kirk Ventiquattro, who has been battling prostate cancer, is one of seven former Buckeyes to make the Machine.