BOSTON — Major League Lacrosse announced Wednesday that Hamilton Nationals defenseman Brodie Merrill has been selected as the 2011 Warrior Defensive Player of the Year, according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. The award was based on the votes submitted by the head coaches and general manager of each of the league’s six teams.
It is the sixth straight season that Merrill has won the award, a league record. It also marks the seventh straight season he has been honored with a seasonal honor as he was the 2005 Cascade MLL Rookie of the Year after helping the Baltimore Bayhawks win their second league championship.
Merrill was the runaway winner with 32 points in the voting, more than twice as many points as second-place finishers, Kyle Sweeney and Mitch Belisle of Boston.
With 17 points in 12 games this year, Merrill was the Nationals’ eighth-leading scorer and led all MLL defenders. With 77 ground balls in 12 games, he led the MLL for the third time in his career.
“Brodie Merrill has consistently been a defensive staple for Major League Lacrosse and Warrior is thrilled to present this award to him,” said Dave Dixon, Warrior Chief Marketing Officer. “This is Brodie’s sixth time winning the Defensive Player of the Year title, which is evidence of his unparalleled athleticism. We wish him the best of luck in the upcoming MLL Championship Weekend.”
Merrill had a season-high 13 ground balls in the Nationals’ July 16 victory over the Boston Cannons and also posted 10 ground balls against Long Island on July 1. In addition, he posted a season-high three assists in the Nationals’ July 30 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, earning MLL Defensive Player of the Week honors.
An eight-time selection as the MLL Defensive Player of the Week, Merrill ranks second in MLL history with 524 career ground balls and will enter the 2012 season needing 12 ground balls to become the league’s all-time leader.