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MLL and US Lacrosse partner up to showcase the League’s player and team that exemplify the “Compete With Class” message

US Lacrosse and Major League Lacrosse have named New York Lizards midfielder, Greg Gurenlian as the winner of the 2015 USL/MLL Sportsmanship Player of the Year Award, as well as the Rochester Rattlers as the winner of the League’s 2015 USL/MLL Team Sportsmanship Award. Both selections were based on voting conducted among the League’s game officials.

2015, marks the second annual presentation of the USL/MLL Sportsmanship Awards, which are a partnership between Major League Lacrosse and US Lacrosse to promote good sportsmanship in the sport of lacrosse. The award was implemented to highlight the player that exemplifies sportsmanship on field as professional lacrosse players. The USL/MLL Sportsmanship Award is more than the class the player demonstrates to his peers but also the larger responsibility of being a great role model for younger players.

“Greg exemplifies the attitude and behavior that serve as great model for players of all ages,” said Rick Lake, Men’s Game Senior Manager at US Lacrosse. “As a member of Team USA, Greg has always demonstrated a great respect for the game, and it’s no surprise that he brings that same commitment to the MLL and the New York Lizards. He’s a great ambassador for lacrosse both on and off the field.”

Gurenlian, a Penn State University alum, and All-Star midfielder for the New York Lizards, is most known for his skills as a faceoff specialist for the Lizards and Team USA. As a nine-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, some of Gurenlian’s most notable accolades have been; “2014 MLL FaceOff Man of the Year”, MLL All-Pro, most faceoff wins in an MLL season, MLL record holder for highest win percentage in a season, Most ground balls in an MLL season, NY Lizards career faceoff wins leader and career groundballs leader. The award going to a faceoff specialist is also particularly interesting with the amount of interaction they have with the officials who are deciding the award.

“This is a huge honor. People always ask me ‘Is so-and-so a good guy?’ Well everyone in this league is a good guy. The true professionals, though, we don’t just take this role as athletes, we are also role models,” said Gurenlian upon being informed he was the 2015 recipient of the award. “This is a huge honor. We teach our kids at a young age about sportsmanship, that no matter how hard you hit, you help the guy up. We have to act accordingly and to be recognized as someone who does this, especially as a coach, means a lot to me.”

Off the field, Greg Gurenlian is the Co-Founder & Coach of The FaceOff Academy, President of Tribe7 Lacrosse, Co-Founder of FOANutrition.com, Professional Strength & Conditioning Coach, USAW Certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach and a US Lacrosse Convention Speaker.

“US Lacrosse would like to congratulate the Rochester Rattlers for winning the Sportsmanship Team of the Year Award for the second straight year. It’s clearly evident that Coach Tim Soudan, his staff and their players place a high priority on honoring the game and demonstrating the true spirit of lacrosse,” said Rick Lake.

The USL/MLL Team Sportsmanship Award has for a second straight year has been awarded to the Rochester Rattlers. “Competing with class is something I picked up early on in my coaching career and is something we stress with our players” said Rattlers Head Coach Tim Soudan. “We have a team that carries out those values each and every week, and we always preach about being a family and I am very proud of this group and honored we received this award.”

“It’s such an honor to receive the USL/MLL Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row,” said Rattlers Chief, Operating Officer Brad Ford. “I think it goes to show that when you play the game right and treat everyone involved fairly and with respect for them and the game itself, it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

You can catch Greg Gurenlian as well as the 2015 USL/MLL Team Sportsmanship Award winning Rochester Rattlers next Saturday as Gurenlian’s New York Lizards take on the Boston Cannons and the Rochester Rattlers battle the Ohio Machine in semifinal matchups that will determine the 2015 MLL Championship Game on Saturday, August 8 at 7 p.m., at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University. Tickets for the Championship Game can be purchased HERE.

US Lacrosse and Major League Lacrosse encourage all lacrosse participants take the pledge to compete with class and honor the game. To read more about this sportsmanship initiative, please visit uslacrosse.org/competewithclass.

About US Lacrosse

US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 450,000 members in 67 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport. Bookmark, like and follow US Lacrosse at uslacrosse.org, fb.com/uslacrosse and @uslacrosse respectively.

About Major League Lacrosse

Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June 2001 and has embarked on its fifteenth season. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Florida Launch, New York Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.

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