Charlotte Chooses Duke, UNC Players With First Two Picks
BALTIMORE, MD (Jan. 23, 2015) — Major League Lacrosse on Friday night held its 2015 Collegiate Draft, and with the third overall pick the Charlotte Hounds selected Will Haus, a defensive midfielder out of Duke University. Haus has the potential to significantly improve the Hounds’ transition game, an area in which the team struggled in 2014.
In three seasons with the Blue Devils, Haus has recorded 21 goals, 11 assists, 129 groundballs and caused 20 turnovers. He is a two-time USILA honorable mention All-American and was named to the 2014 NCAA All-Tournament team. Haus played a key role in helping Duke win back-to-back National Championships in 2013 and 2014. He is the younger brother to current Hounds midfielder John Haus.
“We went into this Draft with a number of options and ultimately went with best available early,” said Hounds General Manager Wade Leaphart. “Haus fits well with our mindset and style of play.” Head Coach Mike Cerino added, “The entire staff is excited to be adding a top tier talent with a championship pedigree in Will Haus. He will be a tremendous addition to our young roster.”
Prior to the start of the Draft’s second round, the Hounds and Chesapeake Bayhawks executed a trade. The Hounds dealt their 14th and 16th overall picks to the Bayhawks in exchange for the 9th overall pick. With that selection, the Hounds grabbed Joey Sankey, an attackman out of the University of North Carolina. In three seasons with the Tar Heels, Sankey has tallied 91 goals and 66 assists while adding 101 groundballs and 17 caused turnovers. He was a 2013 and 2014 Third Team All-American selection and currently ranks 15th nationally in active career points per game (3.20).
“We got aggressive to ensure we got Sankey,” said Leaphart. “Lefty attack has been a sore spot for us and he’s tenacious — like a Plott Hound.”
The Hounds used their third-round pick (19th overall) to select Kip Orban out of Princeton University. The physical midfielder checks in at 6’2″, 200lbs and has tallied at least one goal in 26 straight games with the Tigers, as well as at least one point in 28 straight games. Over three collegiate seasons, Orban has scored 56 goals and added 18 assists. He is only the second player to serve as the team’s lone captain in the last 35 years.
With their fourth round selection, the Hounds grabbed Bryant University faceoff specialist Kevin Massa at 26th overall. He has gone 877-1,279 at the X over three collegiate seasons for an impressive faceoff win percentage of 68.6%. Massa collected a number of accolades during the 2014 season, including USILA First Team All-American honors, NEILA New England Player of the Year, NEC Player of the Year, NEILA All-New England First Team, All-NEC First Team, NEC Tournament MVP, NEC All-Tournament Team and also was a Tewaaraton Award Semifinalist.
The Hounds rounded out their draft by selecting University of Virginia midfielder Tyler German (fifth round, 31st overall), Drexel midfielder Ryan Belka (sixth round, 39th overall) and Johns Hopkins defenseman John Kelly (eighth round, 53rd overall). Prior to the seventh round, the Hounds traded their 46th overall pick to the New York Lizards in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2016 Collegiate Draft.
Leaphart summed up the Hounds’ draft by saying, “We added depth at midfield, faceoff and defense. It was a great draft for the Hounds.” Cerino complimented Leaphart’s Draft-day decisions. “Wade did a great job getting the Hounds ready to target certain positions and I feel we are poised to make a run back to the MLL playoffs,” he said. “We really added some quality people and lacrosse players to our roster.”
Friday’s Collegiate Draft, the 15th in MLL history, headlined the 2015 US Lacrosse National Convention at the Hilton Baltimore hotel. The Florida Launch held the first and second overall picks in this year’s draft. They opened the program by selection reigning Tewaaraton Award winner Lyle Thompson, an attackman out of the University at Albany, and Connor Buczek, a midfielder from Cornell University.
All drafted players will be added to a team’s Collegiate Inactive Roster, and they can be activated once their NCAA season are complete. The Hounds will open the 2015 season at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte on Sunday, April 12.
See the entire 2015 MLL Collegiate Draft results.
About Charlotte Hounds
In January 2011, Major League Lacrosse announced a league expansion for the 2012 season that included Columbus, OH and Charlotte, NC. The Hounds began play in April 2012 at historic American Legion Memorial Stadium. In their first season, the Hounds averaged 5,700 in attendance and finished with a 5-9 record as an expansion team. Based on first year success, the Hounds were awarded the 2013 MLL All-Star Game. In 2013, the Hounds finished 7-7 in the regular season, claiming the fourth and final MLL playoff spot. In the semifinals, the Hounds knocked off the previously undefeated Denver Outlaws 17-14 to advance to the Championship game, losing to the defending Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks, 10-9.
For more information, please visit http://www.charlottehounds.com
Jillian Fay | @jillfay
#ReleaseTheHounds | @CharlotteMLL