6/6/12 5:48 PM
The Rochester Rattlers picked up six new players today in the MLL waiver draft. Players were selected from the MLL Player pool comprised of NCAA seniors
The Rattlers made a post draft trade with the Chesapeake Bayhawks that sent backup goaltender Mike Gabel to the Bayhawks. This trade was in exchange for goalie Rob Fortunato who was selected by Chesapeake in the MLL waiver draft. The Rattlers drafted Rob Fortunato, former goalie for the Virginia Cavaliers who helped led the team to the 2011 Division 1 NCAA Championship. He alsohelped Team Italy go 5-3 and place No. 19 at the 2010 World Championships in Manchester, United Kingdom. Before becoming a Cavalier, Fortunato had an impressive high school career while being named an All-American. Fortunato was listed as the No. 37 recruit in the country by Inside Lacrosse, being named New Jersey Goalie of the Year as a senior when he had a 71 percent save percentage,and holding the school record for saves in his career (1064) and season (292 as a senior).
The Rattlers also drafted another goalie, Ryan Wickham who played for the United States Naval Academy but was originally a high school teammate with Rattler Michael Manley in Penn Yan, where he was also named an All-American. Wickham had a great run playing for Navy with a lot of accomplishments including braking into the top 10 on Navy's career saves list following a 10-save effort against Maryland, becoming the first Navy keeper to make 20 saves in a game since Seth DiNola made 21 saves against Penn State on April 12, 2003. Wickham also became just the 12th player in school history to reach the 300-save milestone, along with being one of 26 players officially named a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee. Ryan was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, while picking up First-Team All-Patriot League kudos and garnering Honorable Mention All-America honors after concluding the year ranked fifth nationally in save percentage (.593) and 11th in goals-against average (8.55).
Midfielder Keith Long from VMI was also drafted to join the Rattlers. Long was ranked No. 28 in NCAA in points per game with 3.08 per contest (40 points in 13 contests). He had four assists against Mercer in 2011 which tied him for third in the single game record book and was also tied for team lead with goals (5) and leads team in assists (6) for a team high 11 points.
Defender Andrew Sellers was selected as another addition to the Rattlers defensive corp. He was a member of the Salisbury 2012 NCAA Division 3 National Championship and helped his team win 25 straight Conference games.
Local players Jacob Ziegler and Andrew Palmer that were drafted today are both from the nearby town of Webster. Ziegler was a defensive player at Jacksonville University and Palmer, also a defender, competed at the United States Naval Academy. Ziegler was one of just three players to start all 15 games his junior year and was named team co-captain before the season. He finished second on the team with 18 caused-turnovers. Palmer was a two-time (2006, `07) Monroe County First-Team All-League selection in lacrosse, along with a two-year captain of the lacrosse team. He set school records for season (165) and career (366) ground balls.
“We wanted to try to add depth at a couple of key positions.” Rattlers assistant general manager Nathan Snyder said. “We were able to pick up a couple of guys who we thought could help us. They will be working their way into the team over the next couple of weeks.”
The Rattlers head to Hamilton this Saturday, June 9 to take on the Nationals at 7:05 pm. Catch all of the Rattlers lacrosse action live on ESPN3.com