By Greg Stanton | 6/27/11 3:10 PM
On June 18th, 2011 he recorded a lone assist in his Major League Lacrosse debut versus Boston. A week later the rookie failed to score a point at Hamilton in a 15-14 ovetime loss on June 25th, 2011. In between the first and third MLL games of his career, Rochester Rattlers attackman Grant Catalino scored nine goals in only his second Major League Lacrosse game on June 24th, 2011 against the Hamilton Nationals at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York. Catalino became the fifth player in Major League Lacrosse history to score nine goals in one game. The question for Grant Catalino and the Rochester Rattlers going forward - what is it fair to expect from him for the remainder of 2011 and the rest of his Major League Lacrosse career? Examining the careers of the other four MLL players to score nine goals in a game might give us some insight on what to expect from Catalino this year and in the years to come.
The last player to score nine goals in a Major League Lacrosse game was Ryan Powell. He accomplished the feat on June 16th, 2006 in San Francisco’s 25-20 win over Denver at Invesco Field. Powell’s nine goal game came in his sixth professional season. He went on to play in 10 games and score 34 goals with 24 assists for 58 points in 2006. It was Powell’s last season with twenty or more goals. Over his eight year career Powell scored twenty or more goals in five of his eight seasons, and thirty or more goals in three seasons. He never scored more than 34 goals in a season. Ryan Powell finished ninth all-time in goals with 190 in 82 games.
Matt Millon and Kevin Leveille scored nine-goals with the same team in the same game in 2005. Millon and Leveille became the second and third members of the nine goal fraternity with the Boston Cannons in a 25-13 victory over Baltimore on July 31st, 2005.
Kevin Leveille recorded his nine goal game in his third professional season. He went on to play in 12 games and score 39 goals with 12 assists for 51 points in 2005. He went on to score 27 goals and added four assists for 31 points in 2006. Leveielle scored twenty or more goals in seven straight seasons and topped thirty goals four times. He never scored more than 39 goals. Kevin Leveille finished his career fifth on the all-time list with 230 goals in 86 career games.
Matt Millon scored nine goals against Baltimore in his fifth season. He scored 38 goals and added 18 assists for 56 points in 12 games in 2005. Millon scored between 38 and 45 goals each of his first five years in the league. Millon is the only member of the nine goal club to have historically significant single season records. In 2002 he had the seventh best season in history with 44 goals. One year later he had the fifth best season in MLL history with 45 goals. He scored 40 or more goals his first three years in Major League Lacrosse, thirty or more goals in his first five seasons and twenty or more goals his first six seasons. Matt Millon finished his MLL career third on the all-time list with 239 goals in 80 games.
Tim Goettelmann was the first player in Major League Lacrosse to score nine-goals in one game on August 10, 2003 in a 23-16 Long Island victory over New Jersey. He went on to play in 11 games and score 29 goals with 6 assists for 35 points in 2003, his third season in Major League Lacrosse. The next season he posted 26 goals and 16 assists for 42 points. He scored twenty or more goals each season in all ten Major League Lacrosse seasons he has played through 2010. Goettelmann never scored more than thirty goals in a season. Tim Goettelmann has scored 251 goals in 122 career games. He in Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer and all-time leader in games played. Goettelmann has six goals and two assists in five games in 2011.
In looking at the seasons in which they scored nine goals in a game, Goettelmann, Millon, Leveille, and Powell all went on to score between 29 and 39 goals the season they scored nine goals. None of their goal scoring totals were high enough to crack the single-season top ten list for goals scored. In fact Mark Millon is the only one of the four to ever crack the top ten list with 44 goals in 2003 and 45 goals in 2002. A single-game goal scoring record total has not translated into a historic single-season goal scoring record for the previous nine goal scorers.
While the single season goal totals for the first four members of the nine goals club might not be historically significant, their careers certainly were. Ryan Powell scored nine goals in a game and finished his career with 190 goals (ninth all-time), but he was also a great set-up man with 180 assists (third all-time). The other three goal scorers combined for 23 seasons of twenty or more goals, nine seasons of thirty or more goals and two seasons of forty or more goals. Kevin Leveielle finished with 230 goals (fifth all-time), Matt Millon finished with 239 goals (third all-time) and Tim Goettelmann is the all-time leader in goals scored with 257 goals and counting.
So what can the careers of Catalino’s four predecessors allow us to predict about the future course of Grant Catalino’s career? The first thing it’s important to note is that Grant Catalino is the youngest player to ever score nine goals in a game and it’s not really close. Goettelmann and Leveille both accomplished the feat in their third years and already had established themselves as professionals. The second thing it’s important to note is that Catalino’s four predecessors also played in double digit games the season they scored nine goals in a game. Catalino led the Mayland Terrapins to their first NCAA finals appearance since 1998 this spring, so the maximum number of games that Catalino can play in is nine. While the experiences of Catalino’s predecessors makes it clear that we should not expect a historically significant season of forty-four goals or more, but it should be reasonable to expect twenty goals or more in 2011.
All four of Catalino’s predecessors are all on the MLL’s top-ten list in goals all-time. Will Catalino end up there too? Only time will tell, but it should be fun to watch.