Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/6/15
From Press Release
Major League Lacrosse announced today that New York Lizards Greg Gurenlian (Springfield-Delco, Penn State) has been named the 2015 Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player, as voted by MLL Head Coaches and General Managers.
Gurenlian, a 12-season veteran midfielder and faceoff specialist for New York, earned eight first place “Most Valuable Player” votes for his dominant play and more specifically his incredible impact on the Lizards’ possession game. Gurenlian’s Regular Season MLL record breaking 73.1% win percentage on the season (280 of 383), had an undeniable impact on both aspects of the Lizards’ game. A win percentage that was more than 16% higher than the next closest faceoff specialist. In the 2015 MLL season, Gurenlian was more than faceoff specialist. He was an offensive catalyst and a defensive asset.
In a season where Gurenlian’s 280 faceoff wins broke the MLL single season record (surpassing the previous record of 248 held by Alex Smith), Gurenlian would argue his work isn’t done. Upon hearing he would be awarded the 2015 Coca-Cola MVP award, Gurenlian ever so humbly said, “You can’t win this award on your own. I’m the beneficiary of a team that scores a ton of goals. I have the best defense in the league behind me and a coach that lets me go out and play my game the way I know how to. It’s the perfect storm.”
Although Gurenlian’s faceoff skills are what he’s most often recognized for, it’s also his sportsmanship, competitiveness, and dedication to the game that is praised by peers, coaches, and fans. With the work ethic and passion Gurenlian displays on a yearly basis and the results of his hard work this season, it’s obvious why Head Coaches and GM felt he was the most valued teammate in the League.
Gurenlian’s leadership throughout the season seemed to be exactly what a talent heavy New York Lizards squad needed. The New York Lizards were a wire to wire number one, who finished with a regular season record of 10-4 and are now primed for chance to win the 2015 MLL Championship. A feat that has evaded Gurenlian throughout his twelve year career.
The 2015 MVP race was one that some MLL Analysts thought could’ve gone any way. The 2015 Warrior Offensive Player of the Year, Jordan Wolf (Lower Merion), finished closely behind Gurenlian in the race for the title. Fellow New York Lizard teammate, Paul Rabil finished in third place. A top three who will all be competing for the MLL Championship Game on Saturday.
Greg Gurenlian has had himself a busy postseason that was full of accolades; MLL/US Lacrosse Sportsmanship Award, FOAthlete of the Year and now the Coca-Cola MVP Award. On Saturday August 8th, in Kennesaw, Georgia, Gurenlian will have a chance to bring home the most important piece of postseason hardware, by leading his team to their first Steinfeld Cup in 12 years.
2015 Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player Voting Results
The 2015 Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player 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.