1/3/11 3:40 PM
New this year, the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft will take place before the lacrosse season, rather than in May, between the college and professional seasons. On January 21, MLL coaches and front office staff will gather in Baltimore to draft players entering their senior seasons. The Cannons have the fourth pick and eight total selections. Choosing players before their last year at college creates a number of question marks for coaches, including potential injuries, less than impressive senior campaigns or guys who aren’t in the draft but have breakout seasons. On the plus side, our fans can follow future Cannons throughout the NCAA season, getting a look at the MLL season ahead.
With the draft less than three weeks away, we wanted to find out a little more about this year’s top prospects. Based on Inside Lacrosse’s pre-season All-Americans, here is a closer look at key seniors, and how they might fit in as a Cannon.
First, we get to know the attackmen.
Billy Bitter, UNC
Bitter has a few things that might make him attractive to the Cannons. First, he’s a standout Tar Heel at Coach Daye’s alma mater. As a sophomore, Bitter was named a first team All-American and the Inside Lacrosse National Breakthrough Player of the Year as he led the team in goals, assists and points. As a junior, while his point total slowed due to being such a target for opposing defense, he was a key to making things happen on offense and earned ACC Player of the Year honors. Plus, we think he might be comfortable here -- while he grew up in Long Island, his family now lives in Stowe, Vermont, perfect for off-season skiing.
Listen to Bitter’s take on lacrosse in this podcast with Inside Lacrosse last April.
Grant Catalino, Maryland
Catalino made himself known immediately upon joining Maryland, scoring four goals in his college debut over Georgetown. Since then, he’s amassed 88 goals and 55 assists for 143 points. Last year he was named to the All ACC Team, ACC Tournament Team and was a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee. Catalino should be an offensive front-runner in the draft, with the team that chooses him looking for a big senior season.
Stephen Keogh, Syracuse
One of the many Canadians to make IL’s pre season All American list, Keogh led the Orangemen last season with 31 goals. He also tied for first in the Big East with 2.07 goals per game and was named Big East Player of the Week twice. Plus, Keogh is not stranger to winning championships in New England: he spent his last two years of high school at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, winning the Northern New England Lacrosse League title both years.
Jeremy Boltus, Army
Coach Alerbici calls Boltus the “quarterback of the Army attack,” and so far he’s proven his leadership skills. As a sophomore, he led the team with 35 assists and was second in goals and points, with 26 and 51 respectively. Last season, Boltus proved his place in two huge moments. First were the three goals – including the game winner - and an assist to top rival Navy, 7-6, in front of almost 21,000 fans at M&T Stadium in Baltimore. Then, in perhaps the biggest upset of the year, Boltus threw the perfect pass to sophomore Devin Lynch for the game winner vs Syracuse, giving Army their first NCAA tournament win since 1993. Highlights from that game below.
Jack McBride, Princeton
A senior tri-captain for the Tigers, McBride has been a leader for the last few years. In both his sophomore and junior seasons, he led the team with 35 goals and was named 1st Team All Ivy and a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee. He set the school record for goals per game with six – on six shots – vs Penn last season. Not to mention, he’s a world champion, winning with the U19 team in Vancouver in 2008.
Jay Card and Jamie Lincoln, Hofstra
Card made a splash as soon as he crossed the border from Ontario. As a freshman, he was named CAA Rookie of the Year, was a three-time CAA Player of the Week – the same number of game winning goals he scored that season – and was second on the team with 27 goals and 39 points. The next season he led the team with 35 goals and 44 points, led the CAA with 2.33 goals per game and was named CAA Player of the Year. And if three game winners as a freshman wasn’t dramatic enough, he scored seven of them as a sophomore. As a junior he was second on the team in points, posting a notable game against Army, scoring five goals and eight assists in the 17-2 rout.
Lincoln began his career at Denver, where as a freshman he led the team with 48 goals and 52 points, scoring in every game. When Lincoln lost eligibility at Denver and was looking for a new team, it was Card who reached out to convince his fellow Canadian and former high school opponent to consider Hofstra. The Hofstra Pride were glad he came, none more than Card. In 2010, the two combined for more than 100 points, both earning All America Honorable Mentions. At this pace, both Card and Lincoln are on track to continue the trend of Canadians taking to the field in MLL.
Read more about the Canadian duo in this article from Inside Lacrosse.
Ryan Young, Maryland
Another impressive Terp, Young has the numbers to prove his impact as an unselfish, aggressive attackman. In addition to his 115 career points, with 46 goals and 69 assists, he has 92 ground balls in his three seasons at Maryland. Last year, he was on the Tewaaraton watch list, named to the All ACC Team and was an All America Honorable Mention. His combination of scoring and scooping ground balls make him a good pick for an MLL team looking to add a young playmaker.
Tom Compitello, Stony Brook
No stranger to making big plays, Compitello was featured as an ESPN Top Play for a diving goal against Denver last season (watch below). He started every game as a junior, scoring at least one point in each game and ringing up a hat trick in six. He was named to the America East First Team and was an All America Honorable Mention. If he continues to step up and make the big plays, Compitello is on his way to MLL stardom.
Think we left someone out? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your addition to our Facebook page. Check back here in the coming days and weeks for a look at middies, defensemen and goalies.