It promises to be an exciting evening of lacrosse – if you’re new to the sport, this would be a great introduction!
This year, 30 MLL All-Stars will compete against Team USA, which will be headed overseas in a few weeks to compete at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Netanya, Israel.
Team USA edged the MLL All-Stars four years ago in this same contest before finishing second at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships, which were held in Denver, Colorado.
Some of the players headlining the MLL All-Star team include Davey Emala (Ohio Machine), Scott Ratliff (Atlanta Blaze) and Will Manny (New York Lizards).
MLL Commissioner Alexander Brown certainly seems excited for the upcoming contest – in fact, he told us last week that he “thinks it’s going to be a great game.”
“We’ve got two highly competitive teams that are going to be going up against each other and a number of interesting storylines associated with the game. I think it is going to be a great night for lacrosse,” said Brown.
“Boston has had a lot of success with this game and I think the weather is going to cooperate with us. There is nothing like getting to see the absolute best in any sport on the field in any one time, especially in a competitive environment, and I think that is going to bode well for our game.
“If you’re a sports fan, it is worth coming out to see (this game on Thursday) because it is a very reasonable ticket and there will be a lot of things around the game, so it should be very much a festival atmosphere, so I would encourage fans to make their way to Harvard Stadium.”
Noontime Sports will be at this year’s MLL All-Star Game – you can follow our in-game coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_Lax.
For more information on Thursday’s MLL All-Star Game, as well as ticket information – HOP HERE!
The MLL All-Stars faced-off against Team USA four years ago prior to the Americans finishing first at the World Lacrosse Championship, which was held in Denver, Colorado. This year’s championship will take place in Israel.
Team USA edged the MLL All-Stars, 10-9, thanks to Rob Pannell‘s game-winning goal with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Rice (Atlanta Blaze) and Will Manny (New York Lizards) headlined the MLL All-Star roster, while the Boston Cannons will be represented by Will Sands, Brandon Mullins and Sergio Perkovic.
Joe Walters of the New York Lizards was also named to this year’s MLL All-Star roster – this will be his ninth appearance in the league’s All-Star Game, while Kyle Harrison and Brian Karalunas, who play for the Ohio Machine, will be appearing in the contest for the seventh time, respectively.
“We are thrilled to invite 30 of the best players in the world to represent MLL in this year’s All-Star Game,” MLL Commissioner Alexander Brown said in a statement earlier today.
“Not only will the best players in the world be on display, but this grudge match has historically proved to be one of the most exciting events our game has to offer. For any lacrosse fan, this game is one that they will not want to miss!”
The Boston Cannons are eager to commence their 2017 campaign, but also get off to a fast start. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reid Smith/Boston Cannons)
By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
After finishing last season in a seven-way tie for first place, the Boston Cannons, who did not qualify for the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) postseason due to tie-breakers, will attempt to earn a spot in this summer’s postseason as they begin their 2017 campaign this Sunday, April 23rd when they visit the Florida Launch.
Boston, which recently concluded its two-week training camp, will be led by captains Will Manny, Max Seibald, Josh Hawkins and Justin Turri. Manny led all players last season in points (50), while Hawkins enjoyed his best season as pro with a career-best 11 goals and 14 points.
All four will certainly be counted on this Sunday when the Cannons take on a squad they defeated last year in their season finale at Harvard Stadium.
Boston and Florida have met three times in the past two seasons with the Cannons claiming all three contests.
Last season, the Cannons overcame a three-goal deficit at the break to defeat the Launch, 11-10. The win bumped Boston’s record to 8-6 overall, however, due to other outcomes that particular day, the Cannons were eliminated from the 2016 MLL playoffs.
In addition to the team’s four captains, Boston will lean heavily on veterans Mitch Belisle, Kevin Buchanan and Brodie Merrill, along with last season’s NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis. Additionally, look for the 2016 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Rob Haus to step-up this season, too.
Florida, which finished its 2016 slate 3-8 overall, will look to bounce back this season. They will be led by Kieran McArdleand Connor Buczek.
The Launch should also receive a boost this season from Jason Crane, who was acquired earlier this week, according to the team’s website. Crane, who competed for the Chesapeake Bayhawks, could certainly be an important leader for the team’s backline.
And one of those teams happened to be the Boston Cannons, which captured four of their final five contests, including a come-from behind season finale win over the Florida Launch.
Yet, despite an exciting 11-10 win over the Launch last August, tie-breakers among the league’s nine teams ousted the Cannons from the 2016 MLL playoffs, providing head coach Sean Quirk and his team with some motivation heading into the 2017 season.
“The parody is absolutely ridiculous in the league,” Quirk said earlier this week during his team’s Media Day at the New Balance Headquarters in Boston. “Anyone can win on any given day, (but) I think how we prepare for that (first game) is going to be critical.”
Getting off to a hot start will be critical for the Cannons, who look to return to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. And to avoid any end of season tiebreakers, earning early season wins will help the local squad position themselves for a chance to contend for the Steinfeld Cup.
“We really hit our stride last year probably mid-way (or) maybe a little bit after that (point in the season), but we finished really strong,” said Quirk, who will be entering his second season with the Cannons.
“We beat New York at home, we finished beating the Florida Launch at home … so we put ourselves in every position to make the playoffs, but we didn’t do that early on in the season … so our goal is we have to be prepared better than we were last year early on to have success.”
Boston began positioning themselves for a successful 2017 campaign by recently inking Brodie Merrill, John Uppgren, Mike Begley and Joe Nardella to new contracts, while welcoming back John Tucker as an assistant coach.
Tucker, who began the 2016 season as the Atlanta Blaze’s first-ever head coach, spent a trio of seasons in Boston (2013-15) and was tabbed the squad’s head coach midway through the 2015 season.
The Cannons also acquired Matt Landis from the Florida Launch last month – he will be one of many defenders on Boston’s backline that will attempt to lock-down the league’s top attack.
Boston’s Josh Hawkins will be one of the key players to watch this season at the midfield. (PHOTO CREDIT: Reid Smith/Boston Cannons)
Boston will welcome back a slew of key players from last season, including Will Manny, Josh Hawkins, Kevin Buchanan, David Emala and Tyler Fiorito, who will be spotted between the pipes this season. Manny paced the squad with 50 points last season, while Max Seibald led the unit with a quartet of two-point goals.
Hawkins enjoyed his best season a pro, netting career-best in goals (11), points (14) and ground balls (51). He is one of many Cannons eager to return to the field in a few weeks when Boston visits Florida in their season-opener, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 23.
“Every game is a playoff game,” said Hawkins, when asked about his team’s outlook for the upcoming season. “That’s how it is … it’s always playoff games for us.”
Following a visit to Florida, Boston will head to Atlanta on Saturday, April 29th before entertaining Chesapeake on Saturday, May 6 at Harvard Stadium. Roughly one month after the Cannons’ home opener, Boston will welcome the defending champion Denver Outlaws on Saturday, June 3rd.
Boston will close out its season at home with back-to-back games against Florida (July 29th) and Atlanta (August 5th). Following their season-final against the Blaze, the Cannons hope to return to the field the following week for a playoff game.
“You have to approach every game with a winning mentality,” said Buchannan. “We just have to find a way to win week-in and week-out.”
For more on the Boston Cannons, visit their website at BostonCannons.com and make sure to follow them on Twitter (@BostonCannons) and become a fan on Facebook, too.
Competing at Gillette Stadium – their brand new home for the 2015 season –the Boston Cannons scored an opening-day victory, defeating Denver, 16-13, on Sunday afternoon.
Max Seibald – an alum of Cornell University lacrosse – paced the Cannons with a hat trick, while David Emala, Will Manny (UMass), Rob Emery, Brent Adams and Martin Bowes tallied two goals apiece. Jordan Burke picked up his initial win between the pipes, turning away 12 of 25 shots.
Max Seibald – a Cornell Big Red men’s lacrosse alum – recorded a hat trick this afternoon in the Boston Cannons’ season-opener. (Photo Credit: Lax.com)
Maryland University alum – Drew Snider – led the Outlaws with a hat trick, while pitching in two assists and scooping four ground balls.
Boston and Denver combined for seven goals in the opening quarter, but it was Manny’s tally midway through the frame that provided the Cannons with a 4-3 advantage.
Seibald initiated a 3-0 run in the second, helping Boston head into intermission with an 8-5 lead.
The Cannons tallied five points in the third quarter, including a pair of unassisted two-point goals from Emery and Josh Amidon at 2:33 and 2:53, respectively. Bowes netted the final goal of the stanza at 12:05, extending Boston’s advantage to 13-9.
Denver attempted to close the gap in fourth with three consecutive goals, but Seibald clinched the opening-day victory with back-to-back tallies before Manny buried a feed from David Emala.
With the win, Boston finds itself in a three-way tie for first place with New York and Rochester. New York opened the season with a 14-8 win over Ohio, while Rochester edged Charlotte, 10-9.