By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
Coach Sean Quirk said on Monday that the Boston Cannons’ focus for the 2018 season is to compete for a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship.
Boston hasn’t won a MLL crown since defeating the Hamilton Nationals in 2011 (the Cannons scored a 10-9 win in Annapolis, Maryland), but Quirk and his team seem optimistic about accomplishing their goal this upcoming season.
“Our number one focus, challenge and goal going into (a new) season is to compete for a MLL championship, “said Quirk during Monday’s Boston Cannons Media Day.
“It is certainly a realistic goal (and) one that we know our staff and players believe they can achieve.”
For Boston to achieve its preseason goal of winning its first MLL crown since 2011, they will need to get off to a strong start. Boston is one of nine teams that competes in the MLL, so early season wins are critical for any squad in the league that hopes to compete for a title in late August.
“It’s critical,” Quirk said of getting off to a good start.
“In any sport (or) any league, but particularly in the MLL because there are nine teams (in the league and) four make the playoffs, so those early games before teams start to get their NLL (National Lacrosse League) guys and their draft pick guys are critical, so those early season wins are important just like any game throughout the season.”
Last season, Boston secured an opening day win over the Florida Launch, but struggled over the next few weeks, dropping close games to the Atlanta Blaze, Chesapeake Bayhawks and Rochester Rattlers (now the Dallas Rattlers) before returning to the win column in its fifth game against the New York Lizards.
Boston did defeat the Denver Outlaws a few weeks after its second win over New York, but never returned to the win column afterward – the squad would drop its final five contests, including a 21-9 setback to Rochester in mid-July.
An opening day win next month against the Charlotte Hounds would certainly be a great way for the Cannons to start a new campaign.
Boston recently began preparations for its upcoming season last weekend at Endicott College, but will reconvene in a few weeks for two more practices before heading to Charlotte on Saturday, April 21st.
“We certainly feel really good going into any new season, but I think that training camp from this past weekend showed that we have a lot of pieces there to certainly compete for a championship and keep getting better,” said Quirk.
Following the team’s opener against the Hounds, the Cannons will visit Atlanta on Saturday, April 28th before welcoming Dallas to Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 5th.