The Rochester Rattlers opened training camp in Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday, April 14 th. While the opening of training camp gives fans and coaches the opportunity to check out new acquisitions like A Kevin Leveille, or catch up with returning stars like M Matt Stiebel, it also marks the beginning of training camp battles for players who a trying to secure a starting spot or a roster spot with the team in 2012.
Last year’s FO Anthony Kelly is with his hometown Ohio Machine for the 2012 season, so the Rochester Rattlers have an open spot on their roster for a new FOGO this season. The Rattlers addressed their FOGO need during the 2012 MLL Draft, but are still looking for cover at the position until their draftee can report to the team. Tim Fallon and Jim Carroll are two candidates for the job.
Fallon was on the Denver Outlaws roster as a rookie but did not appear in a game last season. He was a three time America East All-Conference selection, and was selected to the first team his junior and senior seasons, with Hartford. He set the school’s single season record in ground balls with 166 and had 404 ground balls for his career. His 0.573 winning percentage at the X was the best mark in the 27-year Division I history of the program. In 2012 he was a USILA All-American Honorable Mention selection when he led the NCAA in ground balls (9.36 per game) and had a 0.622 face-off winning percentage.
Jim Carroll was a four year player with Colgate and was a two-time All-Conference selection. As a senior Carroll played in all sixteen games and went 163 of 286 from the X (0.570%). He scooped 85 ground balls and his 163 face-offs won were the third best mark in school history. As a junior he finished second in the Patriot League with a 0.580 face-off winning percentage. As a sophomore Carroll went 130 of 237 from the X and finished with a career high 63 ground balls.
Last season D Diogo Godoi started all 12 games for the Rochester Rattlers. He scooped 22 ground balls and logged 3:30 in penalty minutes as Godoi teamed up with Tom Guadagnolo and Joe Smith as the Rattlers first line defensive unit. During the offseason Rochester general manager Rob Clark and coach Tim Soudan were very busy in upgrading the defense.
The Rattlers acquired Syracuse University standout D John Lade from the Boston Cannons, and used the number three overall pick in the 2012 MLL Draft on a defenseman. The team is also returning D Tom Guadagnolo and D Joe Smith while Hamilton rookie D Bill Henderson is also on the roster this season.
While Godoi knows he is in a competitive situation in training camp, he looks to have reported in great physical condition. At his best Godoi is an athletic specimen with the quickness to cover smaller attackers and the strength to cover bigger guys as well. His tremendous athletic ability is an asset that the Rattlers coaching staff and management are going to have to carefully consider as roster spots are determined for the 2012 season.
D Tom Montelli is another player who is trying to break into the increasingly crowded and talented defensive unit of the Rattlers. The Rattlers selected Montelli in the fifth round of the 2011 MLL Draft, but he was not able to report after he completed his collegiate commitment at Duke University. Tom Montelli was named a second team USILA All-American this spring with Duke University. In his first year on close defense he led the team with 26 caused turnovers and was second on the team with 52 ground balls. Montelli played the first three years of his career as a long stick midfielder. He scored four goals, scooped 35 ground balls and was second on the team with 22 caused turn overs. He collected 28 ground balls as a sophomore. In 68 career games he scored 8 goals, had one assist and collected 119 ground balls.
Jeff Colburn had a breakout season with the Rochester Rattlers in 2011. Coming into 2011 he had never appeared in a Major League Lacrosse game, but by the end of the season he had seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in eight games. He finished in the top ten in MLL in assists. Colburn ended the 2011 season fifth on the Rattlers in points, and he was widely regarded as one of the most improved middies in the game.
Colburn was one of twelve middies in training camp last weekend. One of the missing middies, Jordan MacIntosh figures to factor into the Rattlers plans in 2012. The Rattlers drafted three more middies in the 2012 MLL Draft who will be reporting to the team after their collegiate seasons.
Stephen Boyle was the Rochester Rattlers number one selection (third overall) in the 2012 MLL Supplemental Draft. He has played in two career MLL games with the Boston Cannons, and he scored two goals and added one assist for three points in those two games. Although Boyle doesn’t have much experience in MLL his collegiate career at Johns Hopkins shows that he is full of potential.
Boyle was a three-time All-American at John’s Hopkins. He led Hopkins in goals (32), assists (23), and points (55) as a senior, and he was named Hopkins Outstanding Attacker his junior and senior seasons. As a junior Boyle was named a USILA Honorable Mention All-American after he scored 21 goals and added 17 assists for 38 points. As a freshman Boyle was also named a USILA Honorable Mention All-American when he scored 23 goals and added 14 assists for 37 points. Boyle finished his Hopkins career with 95 goals and 69 assists for 164 points.
Boyle was the 12
th overall selection in the 2010 MLL Draft by the Boston Cannons.
With the return of Kevin Leveille to Major League Lacrosse, the addition of Jay Card during the off-season, and the return of Rattlers superstar Ned Crotty, the Rattlers look like they have three quality attacking options already in place, but an attacking talent with a pedigree like Stephen Boyle could always help.