Paul Rabil leads the MLL in points and is one of three Philadelphia Wings among the outdoor summer league's top five scorers. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
With the Major League Lacrosse playoff race heating up, National Lacrosse League players continue to make a difference in the outdoor summer league. Four NLL players including Paul Rabil, Kevin Crowley and Brendan Mundorf from the Philadelphia Wings, and Rochester Knighthawks forward Joe Walters, all currently sit among the top five in MLL scoring.
Rabil, who leads the MLL with 49 points (33+16), had two goals for the Boston Cannons (5-7) in their 17-12 loss to the second-place Hamilton Nationals (9-3) as Crowley, tied for second in league scoring, and Walters tied for fourth in the MLL in points, both scored in the win. Wings transition player Jordan Hall scored twice for Hamilton while Wings teammate Kevin Buchanan had two goals for Boston. Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson and Edmonton Rush transition player Jeremy Thompson both netted goals in the win while Wings transition player Brodie Merrill notched two assists to go with a game-high five ground balls. Merrill ranks fourth in the league and first among non-faceoffmen with 74 ground balls on the season.
Mundorf and the undefeated Denver Outlaws (12-0) kept their perfect season alive with a 14-12 win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (7-5), whom were led by four goals from Wings forward Drew Westervelt (ninth in MLL scoring) in the losing effort. Mundorf, tied for fourth in league scoring with 41 points (23+18), was held off the scoresheet but Rush forward Zack Greer found the net for Denver. Colorado Mammoth forward Casey Powell had two points (1+1) for Chesapeake in his second game of the year after scoring a hat trick in his season debut while Mammoth teammate John Grant, Jr. had an assist in the loss.
The Charlotte Hounds (6-6) beat the last-place Ohio Machine (1-11) by a score of 13-10. Logan Schuss, the projected first overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft, had a game-high three goals and four points for the Machine and now has 23 goals in nine games. Minnesota Swarm transition player Kiel Matisz scored twice for Ohio while Wings transition player Kyle Hartzell added a goal.
The Rochester Rattlers (5-7) got two points out of two Wings players in Joel White (1+1) and Ned Crotty (0+2) and edged the New York Lizards (3-9) with a 13-12 decision despite three goals each from David Earl (Swarm) and NLL Draft prospect Rob Pannell for the Lizards. Pannell, the 2013 Teewaraton Award winner as the best player in collegiate lacrosse, is tied for 12th in MLL scoring with 33 points (20+13) in just eight games played. With his current scoring pace extrapolated to 12 games, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer would lead the MLL in points. Despite limited box lacrosse experience, Pannell's potential and elite level of field play certainly makes him someone to keep an eye on headed into this fall's 2013 NLL Entry Draft.