BOSTON (August 4, 2015) – Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, has named Joe Fletcher of the New York Lizards, the 2015 Warrior Defensive Player of the Year, as voted by MLL Head Coaches and General Managers.
Upon being notified that he would be this year’s recipient, Fletcher had this to say: “This award is a great and humbling honor. I wasn’t really expecting that. Our defense has played as a unit and it’s really been a team effort no matter which way you look at it.”
Playing on a first place Lizards team alongside Paul Rabil, Rob Pannell and recently named, Goalie of the Year, Drew Adams, can certainly seem like it has its benefits in the eyes of voters. But those who know the game, know that Fletcher is far from sitting back and reaping the rewards of those around him. Fletcher was a huge component to a Lizards team that allowed a League best 167 goals against.
Fletcher is a lock-down style defender that has stepped into his role as the enforcer for the Lizards. In his sophomore season in the League, Fletcher appeared in all 14 regular season games for the Lizards in the 2015 season and racked up a career-high 60 ground balls trailing only to Greg Gurenlian (faceoff specialist, 175 GBs).
One could argue that when the Lizards offense has to practice against one of the best, week-to-week, it can only make them better offensively.
The Lizards defender, who was First Team All-American out of Loyola as well as the only collegiate player to be on the 2014 30 man Team USA roster, was drafted third overall in the 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft by New York.
Fletcher plays as though the six foot pole is nothing more than an extension of his body. In turn, the defender has made the most appearances on the “Long Stick Middies Plays of the Week” earning the Weekly Top 3 segment five times for not only his ability to take the ball away, but for his transition up field as well.
Fletcher will be looking to bring home the Steinfeld Cup this weekend as the Lizards take on their fellow in state rivals, the Rochester Rattlers. The Lizards hope to raise the Steinfeld Cup for the first time in 12 years.
Finishing just two points behind Fletcher in the voting was Loyola alumn and Boston Cannons long-stick middie, Scott Ratliff, with 34 points total. Tucker Durkin from the Florida Launch also had made a strong case in the voting.
Warrior Defensive Player of the Year Voting Results
The 2015 “Warrior Defensive Player of the Year” is determined based on the total number of points each player receives. Every vote is assigned a point total, with first place receiving five points, second place receiving three points and third place receiving one point.
First place = 5 points
Second place = 3 points
Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Warrior is recognized as a premier manufacturer of innovative, high performance, cutting-edge equipment, footwear and apparel for lacrosse and hockey athletes of all ages and abilities. Founded in 1992 by former champion lacrosse player David Morrow, Warrior is dedicated to a core set of principles: technical superiority, grassroots marketing, original and creative youthful expression and strong partnerships with retailers and suppliers. For more information please visit www.warrior.com.
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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