By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/12/13
One by one, the names of the top seniors in college lacrosse were listed – and a fair share of them are Philly products or are playing in Philly colleges.
Indeed, Friday night’s Major League Lacrosse draft held at the Marriott’s Liberty Ballroom featured a strong contingent of players with Philly ties – right from the start.
After Colgate attackman and Tewaaraton Trophy winner Peter Baum was selected first by the Ohio Machine, the Hamilton Nationals selected Virginia midfielder Chris LaPierre of Shawnee High in ever-improving South Jersey.
The next pick, for the Charlotte Hounds, was Johns Hopkins defenseman Tucker Durkin, the La Salle grad who helped his Explorers win two state championships and earned Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year in 2009.
That’s two of the top three players from the Delaware Valley. It didn’t stop there.
Downingtown East was well represented as Charlotte selected Maryland attackman and former Cougar Owen Blye (24th pick) in the third round and then picked up another former Cougar, Bryant defenseman Mason Poli, three choices later.
“It’s nice to see a handful of Philly guys getting drafted by the MLL,” said Downingtown West coach Tom Slate, who coached Blye and Poli at Downingtown East where they won a state title in 2007. “They are truly the best of the best being a player in the MLL.”
Slate should know top talent. He was formerly head coach of two MLL teams (San Francisco and Denver) and is now coach of the professional Reading Rockets.
“Tucker Durkin is everything that (La Salle assistant) Coach (Tony) Resch was as a player and what he stands for as a coach,” said Slate. “Owen Blye and Mason Poli were two of my staples at Downingtown East and a main part of the reason why we won the State title in 2007.”
Also, the Chesapeake Bayhawks selected Delaware midfielder and Moorestown High grad Dominic Sebastiani with the 32nd pick (Round 4). That gave South Jersey two of the top 32 picks, something unheard of in past years.
Also from Philly, Ohio took Lynchburg defenseman Joe Lisicky (Unionville) with the 41st pick as well as UMass midfielder Colin Fleming (St. Joseph’s Prep) with the 49th selection. Lisicky was named Preseason Player of the Year by Lacrosse Magazine.
The New York Lizards picked a hometown college player in Hofstra defenseman Mark Mullen (Germantown Academy) with the 56th pick. Mullen Mullen, an iron-man for the Pride over the past three seasons, anchored a Hofstra close defense in 2012 that allowed an average of 8.53 goals per game. Mullen is also a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient and a three-year Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll member.
Philly colleges also saw players picked. Delaware had Sebastiani chosen and Lehigh had three picked in the top 46 selections. Attackman Dante Fantoni was picked 39th overall by the Denver Outlaws while midfielder Noah Molnar went 45th to the Rochester Rattlers and attackman David DiMaria 46th to the Boston Cannons.
Meanwhile, Drexel midfielder Aaron Prosser was chosen 36th by Denver and Villanova midfielder Nick Doherty was picked 58th by Hamilton.