Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/15/08
Philadelphia forward Athan Iannucci, who shattered the league’s single-season scoring record with 71 goals, was named the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Reebok Most Valuable Player for the 2008 season.
Iannucci is only the second Wings player to win the award. Lacrosse great Gary Gait won three straight MVP awards as a member of the Wings between 1995 and 1997.
“Winning the MVP award is a great honor,” Iannucci said. “I owe my success this season to all of my teammates and coaches who made me a better player out on the field.
Iannucci broke Gait’s record of 61 and also received the NLL’s Player of the Month Award three times (January, February, April), a league first. Iannucci won the league’s scoring race (100 points) and led all forwards in loose balls (138).
Iannucci, who was named to the NLL’s First-Team All-Pro squad, was selected to his first All-Star Game in 2008 and was the Wings only starter in the game.
In only his second season, Iannucci is already moving up many of the Wings All-Time lists. He is sixth on the Wings All-Time goal scoring list (98) and tenth in Wings history in overall scoring with 147 points (98 goals, 49 assists).
Iannucci was drafted by the Wings in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft, and finished his rookie season with 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists) and was third overall in scoring for the Wings.
Before joining the Wings, Iannucci was a standout at Hofstra University where he was the second-leading scorer in 2006 with 80 points (62 goals, 18 assists) in 19 games.
The Wings finished 10-6 and tied with three other teams atop the Eastern Division, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2002. They fell to the Buffalo Bandits, 14-12, in the first round.
“I am excited about the future of this team,” Iannucci said. “We are a young, talented group and we plan to build on the success we had this season.”
The Wings also placed transition player Geoff Snider on the All-Pro Second Team. Snider, the MVP of the 2008 NLL All-Star Game, broke the Wings’ single-season loose ball record by collecting 244.
Snider also matched the single season record for face-off wins with 318, tying teammate Peter Jacobs who won the same number of face-offs during the 2005 season. Snider led the NLL with 103 penalty minutes in 2008, a new NLL single season record.