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Dialed In: Your Lacrosse Fix for Friday, Aug. 11

By Megan Schneider, 08/15/17, 4:45PM EDT

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Good morning. Here’s the latest from around the lacrosse world:

1. The best MLL draft class might be from 2014, when the Ohio Machine picked Princeton midfielder Tom Schreiber first overall, Rochester Rattlers selected Duke attackman Jordan Wolf second and the Florida Launch rounded out the top five with St. John’s attackman Kieran McArdle.

After struggling following the 2013 season, these three teams are now led by their respective first-round draft picks four years later entering the 2017 MLL playoffs on Saturday.

“[A championship is] something I’ve wanted for a while, going back to high school and college and now professional,” McArdle said. “Getting this championship is a huge goal of mine and something I need on my playing resume. To get this right now is once in a lifetime.”

All three were in the top 15 in scoring in 2017 despite none playing more than 10 games.

“All three of us have helped our teams tremendously,” McArdle said. “It’s a real cool feeling to succeed with guys in your draft class.”

2. The NLL is welcoming more American talent as the league’s draft looms. NLL vice president of lacrosse operations, Brian Lemon, has witnessed the “significant uptick.”

Why? The Tom Schreiber effect, NCAA and MLL stardom, the world indoor championship and more.

3. Former Louisville midfielder Alex Rich is latest to transfer in a wave of several of her teammates leaving Kentucky.

Rich now plays for Penn State, Oregon welcomed two new Ducks in two days, former Louisville goalie Brittany Read and midfielder Lexy Biller, and Florida attracted midfielder Emily Petillo in July.

According to a July 20 press release, Louisville also has a new assistant in former Cardinal Faye Brust, who will help coach Kellie Young lead a roster that now lists just 14 active players, excluding incoming freshmen.

4. The Mercer Island (Wash.) boys’ team visited Russiaamid political tensions, but hopes their trip will spark a lacrosse movement in the country.

Mercer Island was the first American lacrosse team to visit Russia and competed against the Russian national team and other local players.

According to Artur Ventsel, a Russian national team player that leads the Moscow Rebels, the visit was more than a cultural exchange. It was an opportunity to kickstart the sport’s growth.

“Walking along Red Square was all key,” Ventsel said. “Mercer Island and the Moscow team, where everybody can see us and they know what the sport of lacrosse is. Now, everybody can see how real lacrosse should be played at the highest level."

  • Denver’s defense boasts an “industrial strength adhesive,” according to Inside Lacrosse.

  • The Ohio Machine chases redemption in the MLL playoffs.

  • The Rattlers preview their game against Denver on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

  • Four Marquette alums are battling for the MLL title, with three of them going head-to-head on Saturday.

  • The nominees for the 2017 Maverik Most Improved Player of the Year are Mark Cokerton (Ohio Machine), Kyle Bernlohr (Ohio Machine) and Kylor Bellistri (Boston Cannons).

  • Princeton coach Chris Sailer will be honored at the US Lacrosse headquarters Oct. 21 as its walking path will be named the Chris Sailer Trail.

  • Did you miss Team USA’s “Mission Log?” Relive each player’s experience through blog entries on their team website.

  • Maryland lacrosse trainer Anthony Benyarko saved a man’s life at the Lake Placid Summit Classic with an AED. The Washington Post said Benyarko was “quick-thinking.”

  • Northville high school senior midfielder Ryan Figueroa, 17, also saved a man, who was 55, who had gone into cardiac arrest, thanks to CPR.

  • Based out of Greenwich Academy (Conn.), the Comets girls lacrosse team returned home with the 14-under title at the 2017 World Cup Youth Lacrosse Festival in Guildford, England.

  • An amateur indoor lacrosse launched in Oregon this month. The Portland River Monsters and the Beaverton Mountaineers are the first teams in the Oregon Regional Box Lacrosse League.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Al Jazeera English produced an extensive episode on the Native American origins of lacrosse on World’s Indigenous Peoples Day.

“When is playing a sport more than just a game?” one of the hosts ponders. The show compares the sport’s representation on social media to its Native meaning of being a medicine game.

Guest speakers include professional lacrosse players Lyle Thompson, Jeremy Thompson and Bill O’Brien, as well as Amber Hill-Donhauser, captain of the Haudenosaunee women’s national team.

On the same day, one of the sport’s stars Paul Rabil posted a creative video of one of his young fans, Adam Hohweiler, playing catch while surfing. 

https://www.facebook.com/PaulRabil/videos/1626364167395165/

WHAT’S ON TAP

  • The MLL playoffs kick off Saturday with Rochester meeting Denver in the first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Twitter, followed by Florida against Ohio at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, also on Twitter. Stay tuned for a full preview from Phil Shore.