Lacrosse: Irish in the MLL

Major League Lacrosse is in its late season break while many of its players are representing their home countries in the FIL World Championships in Netanya, Israel.  ND-Atl 2.0 gives his update on the Irish alumni in the league, who are all having a great season, and speaks with Notre Dame defensive great Eddy Glazener on life at a professional lacrosse player.

Notre Dame lacrosse has played at the top of the NCAA long enough that there are now many players who continue playing the sport at the professional level.  Including among them are many first and second round draft picks like Landis, Perkovic, Kavanagh, Epple and Sexton. The MLL is not the NFL or NBA.  Players who continue their lacrosse careers are not going to make a fortune playing, they do so more for the love of the game.

Sergio Perkovic, Boston Cannons

The Boston Cannons are struggling as a team, but Sergio is having a good season has recovered well from injuries that hampered his 2017 debut.  Perkovic has 10 goals and 3 assists in 8 games, including a 4-goals performance when the Cannons visited Atlanta early in the season.  He was also selected as an MLL All-Star and was selected as last week’s MLL offensive player of the week.

Matt Landis, New York Lizards

Matt Landis was traded to New York in the offseason and remains one of the top defenders in the country, with 28 ground balls and an assist in 8 games.  Matt was selected as a MLL All-Star and has a fantastic games against Team USA.  Why he didn’t get a better look for a spot on Team USA is a mystery to us.

Eddy Glazener, Atlanta Blaze

Eddy Glazener was traded to our local Atlanta Blaze this year where he is having a great season anchoring the defense alongside players like Scott Ratliff, the huge Callum Robinson, and former college rival, Marquette’s Liam Byrnes.  He has played in nine games this year with 17 ground balls and 3 caused turnovers while helping keep the defense organized.

Eddy is originally from California, and like most players on the Blaze, travels from out of town to play games and practice. He was kind enough to answer a few questions:

Do you like Atlanta and is it hard traveling from the west coast for games?

I actually live in NYC now, so traveling is really easy. Not to mention, it is totally worth it to get out and play. 

Do you get to spend time with your former Irish teammates when they come to Atlanta for games?

Yes, Matt Landis was my best friend at school, and still is. When we play NY, it’s always a great opportunity to see him, and we obviously support each other. I also have a ton of friends across the country, all of whom have come to watch me play. 
At Notre Dame you were famous for how well you could communicate on defense.  How do you work on communication in the MLL and the Blaze when you don’t have a chance to practice as much as you did in college?
I learned a lot about communicating when I was at ND. There’s always more to defense than just 1v1 defense, and definitely learned that while in college. While we don’t get to practice as much as college, I do have access to various film resources, and can always get a preview of what offenses various teams like to run. 
Is it harder to stay ready for games in MLL than in college when you are usually so far from your team, and do you still ask your Notre Dame coaches for tips?
I still stay in touch with coach Corrigan, Byrne, and Karweck. They were great coaches and mentors, and care about my performance in the league. Coach Byrne was our defense coach and taught me an incredible amount about everything there is to know about defensive schemes. 

Eddy and the Blaze have four more games left this season to get a spot in the playoffs, including a final home game against Denver where we’ll hopefully get to see him defend Matt Kavanagh

Garret Epple, Chesapeake Bayhawks

Epple was a physical defender at Notre Dame, a style that has suited him well in the MLL.  He was traded from Atlanta to Chesapeake, where he been an integral part of the playoff-bound Bayhawks with 25 ground balls in 9 games.

And he is still smushing offensive players.

 

Matt Kavanagh, Denver Outlaws

We’ll come out and say it, Kavanagh’s exclusion from Team USA is a huge disappointment and raised quite a few eyebrows.  Matt has been a relentless scorer for the Outlaws with 29 goals and 13 assists in 10 games, placing him in the tope 10 in goals and points.  He played for Team USA in the All-Star game as an alternate.

 

Nick Ossello, Denver Outlaws

Ossello continues his role as a two-way player for the Outlaws, playing in 6 games this year.  He remains a master of the bull dodge, and he is also now an assistant coach at Air Force.

John Sexton, Dallas Rattlers

After taking care of business in Spain against Europe’s best teams, John made his debut in Atlanta and now has played two games for the Rattlers, with 6 ground balls and a 2-pt goal already.  This may surprise a lot of readers, but Sexton has been playing close D for Dallas as opposed to his usual LSM.

Jack Near, Dallas Rattlers

Jack remained with the Rattlers after their move to Dallas and is enjoying another good season in his 2-way midfield role.  In 10 games he has 5 goals, a 2-pt goal, 2 assists and 11 ground balls.

Scotty Rodgers, Ohio Machine

The Big Rig has been in a backup playing, role in Ohio.  In the games that he has been in, he has been brilliant, including last week against Florida.

Carlson Milikin, Ohio Machine

Carlson played in 3 games at SSDM early in the season before getting injured.  We hope he recovers soon, injuries have taken up so much of his otherwise fantastic career.

John Crawley, Charlotte Hounds

OK, he’s not a former Notre Dame lacrosse player, but last years graduate assistant coach returned to the Hounds and is having another great season.  Coach Crawley has 9 goals and 7 assists in 7 games.

Shane Doss, Florida Launch

The former Irish goalie returned to lacrosse this year with a backup role in Fort Lauderdale.  He hasn’t seen the field yet, but we are glad he is still in the game.

 

… and our World Championship update

Kavanagh, Landis, Perkovic, and Epple were all invited to try out for Team USA.  None made the final roster, with Matt Kavanagh’s exclusion being very controversial.  However, the World Championship won’t be without the any Fighting Irish players, as Alex Hurdle is playing for the Phillipines, former captain Connor Kelly for Ireland, and incoming freshman Jose Boyer for Puerto Rico.  Please try and catch some of their games on the ESPN networks and ESPN+.

#GoIrish

 

 

 

 

By |2018-07-16T17:41:12+00:00July 16th, 2018|18S Reads, Lacrosse|0 Comments

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