The Rochester Rattlers have been looking east down I-90 over the past year in an effort to re-build the 2008 MLL Champions. After Rattlers Owner and General Manager Rob Clark announced that the Chicago Machine would be moving to Rochester for the 2011 Major League Lacrosse season last November, he began to look to Syracuse University for quality lacrosse players that could help him build a roster.
In the 2011 MLL Draft Clark selected defenseman Joel White (second overall), middie Jovan Miller (eighth overall), and goalie John Galloway (twentieth overall) in the first four rounds. All three players went on to make quality contributions with the franchise in its first year back in Rochester. The trio joined attackman Greg Niewieroski who was selected by the team in the 2011 MLL Supplemental Draft and defenseman Tom Guadagnolo who was claimed from the player pool shortly after the 2011 NCAA season ended.
This off-season Clark, Rattlers head coach Tim Soudan and new assistant general manager Nate Snyder have been busy collecting more pieces from the Orange. They have acquired defenseman John Lade and attackman Dan Hardy via trade. They also selected middie Brendan Loftus in the 2012 MLL Supplemental Draft.
The eight Syracuse Orange currently on the roster are hoping to be joined by a ninth alum in 2012 as the Rattlers retained the rights to attackman Mike Leveille. Leveille did not play in MLL in 2011.
Seven Syracuse University seniors are eligable for the 2012 MLL Draft. If past events are any indication of the future, then at least one of them will be with the Rattlers in 2012.
#21 - Tim Desko
5’10” 191 lbs.
Tim Desko has been a consistent goal scorer for the Orange over his first three years on campus. Last season Desko earned Second Team All-Big East honors after he scored sixteen goals and three assists for nineteen points in only ten games. Desko missed the last seven games of the season due to an injury, but he was second on the team in goals and third on the team in points at the time of his injury. After being red-shirted in 2008, he scored thirteen goals as a freshman and twelve goals as a sophomore. In 2012 Desko is looking to pick up where he left off before his injury sidelined him in 2011.
#19 – Kevin Drew
6’2” 192 lbs.
In his first three years on campus Kevin Drew has played as a short stick defensive midfielder and helped anchor one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. In 2011 Drew earned Second Team All-Big East honors after playing all seventeen games in midfield. He helped anchor a defense that gave up 6.94 goals per game which was third best in the nation. He scooped thirty-three ground balls and caused eleven turnovers – the only short stick player to cause double-digit turnovers for the Orange. Drew also chipped in three goals and one assist. As a sophomore Drew played defensive middie on a team that led the nation with 7.4 goals allowed per game. As a freshman he played on an Orange defense that allowed 7.39 goals per game which was fourth in the nation. Drew has scored ten goals and scooped fifty-three ground balls from his defensive midfield position.
#14 – Tommy Palasek
5’10” 165 lbs.
Tommy Palasek transferred to Syracuse after spending the first two years of his collegiate career with Johns Hopkins. Last season Palasek stepped in for an injured Tim Desko and had the most prolific scoring season of his collegiate career. He scored seventeen goals and added eighteen assists for thirty-five points. He finished first on the team in assists and third on the team in points. In two seasons with Johns Hopkins Palasek played in twenty-eight games and scored fourteen goals with eleven assists for twenty-five points.
#30 - Bobby Eilers
6’5” 215 pounds
Bobby Eilers finally broke into the Syracuse Orange set-up after paying his dues as a back-up for his first two years on campus. Eilers started his junior campaign as a defensive middie before making a huge contribution in fifteen games on the midfield second rotation. Eilers led all Orange reserve middies with eight goals. As an underclassman Eilers played twelve games, scooped six ground balls and caused two turnovers.
#6 – Joe Moore
5’11” 176 lbs
Joe Moore has played as a short stick defensive middie and a long stick midfielder with the Orange. Last season Moore played in seventeen games as a short stick defensive midfielder and helped anchor a defense that only gave up 6.90 goals per game (third in NCAA). He collected thirteen ground balls and caused seven turnovers. As a sophomore Moore played on a defense that led the nation giving up 7.40 goals per game. In his thirteen games he scooped seven ground balls and caused one turnover. As a freshman Moore played in fourteen games as a long stick midfielder.
#17 – Collin Donahue
5’9” 181 lbs.
Collin Donahue transferred from Rutgers prior to the 2010 season, and had to sit out the 2010 season due to the transfer rule. In 2011 Donahue played in eleven games as a reserve attackman. He scored three goals and added seven assists. Five of Donahue’s seven assists were in league play. He posted his first points with the Orange when he recorded a goal and an assist versus Albany. Donahue played seventeen games at Rutgers and scored seven goals with four assists for eleven points.
#47 – Gairet Myers
Long Stick Middie
6’1” 190 lbs
Gairet Myers has played as a long stick midfielder for three years with the Orange. Each of those three seasons Syracuse has had one of the top defenses in the country. In 2011 the Orange were third best in the NCAA with a 6.94 goals against average. In 2010 the Orange led the nation when they only gave up 7.4 goals per game. As a freshmen the Orange were fourth in the nation giving up 7.39 goals per game.