ROCHESTER, NY (July 7, 2017): Rattlers face off specialist Drew Simoneau has been selected to his first career MLL All-Star Game. The game is scheduled for Saturday, July 8 th (10 PM EST) at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento.
This year the Nazareth College alumnus has won 54.7 percent of his face-offs while picking up 75 groundballs and adding four points on two goals and two assists. With his numbers slightly up from last year, Simoneau was rather surprised when his name was selected among all the talent throughout the league.
“I’m not going to lie I was a bit shocked when I received the email saying I was selected,” Simoneau said. “Definitely unexpected as there are some very good players in this league. It is a huge honor to be considered one of the best in the league even just being in my second year.”
Joining Simoneau at the All-Star game are teammates
Matt Dunn (Defense, Maryland) and
Kyle Denhoff (Midfield, St. John Fisher).
Simoneau understands that face offs in lacrosse are much more of a team effort opposed to an individual effort.
“So far this season our wing play has stepped up each game and prepared well for each match up at the X,” Simoneau said. “I owe it to our LSMs (Joel, Danseglio, and Stevens) and short stick middies (Near, Lazore, and Moss) to talk through scenarios and make quick adjustments within each game.”
The New Hampshire native says he has grown to love the city of Rochester after playing both collegiate and professional lacrosse here. Simoneau continuing his lacrosse career in Rochester has allowed him to continue to focus on his life outside of lacrosse as well.
“It has been a blessing. For the past two years I was finishing my doctorate degree at Nazareth College in Rochester,” Simoneau said. “This allowed for me to focus on school and not worry about missing classes due to traveling commitments. I have grown to love the city and it has been great to continue to play in front of the same fans that saw me compete in college.”
Simoneau says there are a lot of individuals he can credit with his face off success over the years including a very influential coach while at Nazareth.
“I owe a lot of my skill to one of our assistant coaches from Nazareth College, Francis Donald,” Simoneau said. “Although he was defenseman and didn’t know much about the technicality of the position, he taught me how to study film and adapt to different styles of players.”
Simoneau says that aspiring face-off specialists should focus on their game from top to bottom opposed to honing their skill set on one aspect of the game.
“The biggest thing that gets to me is when young athletes tell me that their coach only has them take face-offs,” Simoneau said. “Specialization, especially with face-offs, should wait until the athlete is in high school. Players need to understand the game as a whole, be able to play multiple positions (offense and defense), and most importantly be athletes.”
Simoneau advises young athletes to soak up as much knowledge as possible while being taught the game.
“Every camp or clinic you attend try and leave with something new that can elevate your game,” Simoneau said.
Simoneau says he will use his competitive spirit to help the Rattlers finish on a positive note following the All-Star break.
“I think one of my biggest assets that helped me get to where I am is my work ethic. I hate to lose, especially when it comes to face-offs,” Simoneau said. “I hope I can continue to help my team and give our offense as many possessions as possible and take the pressure off JG and our defense.”
The Rattlers return home Sunday, July 16
th to take on the Boston Cannons at 5 p.m. at Capelli Sports Stadium. To purchase tickets for the game,
please visit the Rochester Rattlers ticket page.