By Jessica Braveman | 7/3/14 10:50 AM
The 2014 Major League Lacrosse Rookie Class has picked up steam in the second half of the season after finally adjusting to the fast-paced style of the MLL. They’ve been contributing factors in team wins and have continuously improved their game. Here is a look at the rookies who have already started, and those who are predicted to join their teams in the coming weeks:
The Ohio Machine lost 19-13 to the New York Lizards Saturday night at James M. Shuart Stadium. Rookie midfielder Tom Schreiber tallied one goal and led the team in assists with two. Midfielder Rob Guida made his rookie debut for the Machine this past weekend. The former Johns Hopkins co-captain had one groundball in his first professional game. Another rookie who took the field for the first time, was former Bucknell defender Jackson Place, who snagged two ground balls and put up an impressive fight against the Lizards attack.
The Rochester rookies have had a seamless transition into the MLL. Their consistent contributions have given the Rattlers an advantage week after week. Miles Thompson has accumulated nine points this season, with one goal and one assist against Denver last weekend. Defenseman John LoCasio has 30 groundballs in six games. Mark Cockerton had an outstanding performance gainst Denver with a career high of six goals, which earned him Coca-Cola Player of the Game and the Week 9 Cascade Rookie of the Week. However, there is one rookie in particular that has grabbed everyone’s attention with 16 points in only three games—Jordan Wolf. The former Duke attackman is giving the league something to talk about. His speed and versatility on the field is exhilarating to watch. He’s proving himself to be an elite player with his ability to shoot and feed with exceptional accuracy.
This past weekend’s game against Ohio only featured one rookie. Joe Fletcher picked up four groundballs and played strong defense against a surging Machine offense that was desperate to make a comeback.
While the Launch list six rookies on their roster, Kieran McArdle continues to distinguish himself from the rest by being a consistent scoring threat for the team. In last week’s loss, to Chesapeake, he recorded three goals and one assist, good for his third career hat trick. Had McArdle been able to start with the team in Week 1, he likely would sit within the league’s top ten point scorers—although sitting at 12th place with 25 points in seven games is certainly impressive. Matt Harris, Chris LaPierre, Ryan Creighton and Tyler Knarr also dressed for the game, but saw limited time on the field.
Brent Hiken had the most outstanding performance out of the Denver rookies this past weekend. Winning six out of nine faceoffs and scooping up three groundballs, Hiken had an impressive showing for the new Outlaw’s second game in the league.
After his career-high five-point performance, it’s time to pay attention to Justin Ward, arguably the most valuable rookie in the MLL. Ward is a crucial component to the Charlotte success, as he leads the Hounds in scoring, despite playing in just five games. He is a playmaker and distributor, and has benefited from fellow rookie Mike Chanenchuck, the other Hounds first-year sensation. Chanenchuck also tied his career-high against Boston, with two goals and two assists. Both of his goals were assisted by Ward. Midfielder Thomas DeNapoli added one assist and Pat Laconi played well in transition. Brendan Fowler played in this second career game and won two-of-four faceoffs. Michael Ehrdardt and Henry Lobb were instrumental at defense containing the potent Boston offense.
This week proved to be a quiet one in the Cannons’ rookie world. Austin Kaut continues to dress and serve as the backing goaltender, but has seen limited time in net behind Jordan Burke. Against the Charlotte Hounds he subbed in 15 minutes while Burke was evaluated after a heavy hit. Rob Emery played in Boston’s 15-12 loss and fired three shots on goal, but none were able to find the back of the net.
Rookie Brandon Benn had an impressive outing for the Bayhawks. In his third game with Chesapeake, Benn scored two goals to assist the team in an important win over Florida, his most in any game so far.
Be sure to check back next week for the latest information on the MLL’s 2014 Rookie Class.