By Jackie Loson | 10/9/13 11:00 AM
The Rochester Rattlers completed the 2013 season with a 6-8 record, and an overall fifth place finish in the League standings. This marks the second consecutive year that the Rattlers have ended their season one win shy of claiming the final spot in Championship Weekend.
Rochester began the season 3-3, putting together their only back-to-back wins of the year in Weeks Five and Six. On par with the rest of the group, the Rattlers separated themselves in Week Seven with a loss to then winless Ohio, part of a two game slide for Coach Soudan's club. The group was unable to claw their way back up the standings, posting a 3-5 record in the latter part of the season, and bid good luck to those teams headed into playoffs.
The Rattlers' biggest issues came on the offensive side of the field, unable to bury shots and continuously turning the ball over. On six separate occasions the team failed to reach double digits, ultimately finishing sixth in the League in scoring with an average 10.86 goals per-game. Rochester's success came when scoring 13 or more goals, posting five of their six wins when doing so. The Rattlers were also 5-2 when tallying the first goal of the game.
Strong rookie play, and an anchored defensive unit led this squad in their moments of proficiency. Midfielder John Ranagan (Johns Hopkins University) entered the League in Week Five and immediately made an impact. Ranagan has posted at least one point in the last nine games played, and finished the season with 18 goals and one assist, with his 19 total points tied for fifth on Rochester's leaderboard. Fellow rookie Dave Lawson (Duke University) has given Rochester an all-around threat. The midfielder has registered at least one goal in all eight games played, and ended the season averaging 3.25 goals per-game in the final four contests. Lawson finished the year with 18 goals, five assists, with his 23 total points third among teammates.
Fourth in the League with a 12.21 goals-against average, the Rochester defense often kept their team in the game. Led by goaltender John Galloway, the team went 6-7 with him between the pipes. Galloway ranked in the top five in all three major goalie categories (goals-against average, save percentage, and total saves), and earned Warrior Defensive Player of the Week on two separate occasions (back-to-back in Weeks Five and Six). Joel White led the back end with 63 groundballs, and accompanied a solid core group of long-pole defenders.
2014 could look bright for the Rochester Rattlers as they contain many positive pieces of the puzzle. Coach Soudan will look to put those together, and bring this team into the post-season.