This year Soudan took over as head coach for a struggling 0–6 Rochester Rattlers team and has since carried them to 2–7 in a last-ditch effort to make the playoffs. In order to do so, the Rattlers have to win out. First by beating the 4-5 Lizards, then the 5-4 Bayhawks then finally the top seated Cannons. But after beating the previously top seated Outlaws twice in a row, anything seems possible for Soudan and his Rattlers.
What would it mean to you to bring this team into the playoffs after such a rocky start?Tim Soudan: It would mean a lot to the guys they have worked hard and could have won a couple more games. This is a great group of guys and it would be great to make the playoffs. It would feel great - being able to create a culture and the excitement to get these guys over the hump and to the ultimate goal in this league- Playing on Championship Weekend!
Does it feel different fighting for a championship as a coach rather than as a player?TS: Sure as a player you feel like you can control more of what goes on. As a coach you are counting on everyone else to get it done.
You guys have to win out to keep yourselves eligible for the playoffs. How is the team dealing with having their backs against the wall?TS: We have a simple concept right now, we strive to win the little battles and focus simple on the next play. We talk about breaking the game into small 4 min segments and win each of those 4 min periods! And every game is a playoff game.
What do you think will be the key to success from here on out?TS: We need to continue to get better and to continue to play with passion and desire and play for each other out there on the field.
On a different note, you have watched the sport grow professionally on a very personal level, from playing in the first year of the league to coaching today, how has the game changed in the past ten years?TS: The game seems very similar to the game of 8 years ago. You have guys out there playing because they love the game - I like the addition of the fourth long pole. The thing that seems so different is on average the players continue to get bigger, strong and faster.
Championship Weekend Seats Now Available - The MLL will host the 2011 Sports Authority Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. Lower Level Sideline Weekend Packages are just $30. To purchase seats, please call the MLL directly at 617-787-6638.