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Bayhawks’ Co-Goalie of the Year Amato (@LaSalle_Sports, Immaculata coach) signs 3-year deal

Saturday, 22nd September 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, Pro, Posted 9/22/18
From Press Release

Niko Amato (La Salle grad, Immaculata head coach) has committed to being a Chesapeake Bayhawk for at least three more seasons, the team announced Friday. The starting goalie, who has been with the organization for the past four seasons, started in all but one game last season in route to becoming one of the best goalies in the league. Amato’s breakout season helped the Bayhawks defense become one of the most feared units in Major League Lacrosse and helped keep the Bayhawks in a lot of close games this season.

Amato, also a NetNation and Duke’s Lacrosse Club coach and 2008 Player of the Year for the state champion Explorers, was drafted by the Florida Launch with the 29th overall pick in the 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft where he played one season with the team starting one game as a rookie. Following that season Amato was acquired by the Bayhawks before the start of the 2015 MLL Season, returning back to the state in which he had so much success.

The once four-year starter at the University of Maryland, spent three years primarily as a back-up goalie for the Bayhawks, he replaced then injured goalie Brian Phipps in the Bayhawks second game of the 2018 season and never looked back. Amato went on to have his best season as a professional recording 168 saves (including a career high 20-save game), a .537 save percentage and posting a record of 8-5. Spectacular saves that left opponents looking to the sky and his great communication in the cage, as well as his stats, led to him being named Co-Brine Goalie of the Year in 2018 alongside Outlaws’ John Galloway.

“Niko is a rising star in the league and just had his best season as a professional last year,” said former Terp and current Bayhawks Head Coach Dave Cottle. “We are excited to see him continue developing as a player and leader on our team.”

As a Chesapeake Bayhawks Amato has recorded 13 wins and made 268 saves in his young career. He has been named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Week three times in his career, once in Week 13 of the 2017 season and twice this past season in Week 7 and 9. This past season Amato’s energy in cage sparked great team defense leading to the Bayhawks finishing as the number one defense in the league only letting in 174 goals.

“I signed with the Bayhawks because I grew up a fan of the MLL. To me, the Bayhawks are a distinguished, first-class organization,” stated Amato. “The day I became a Bayhawks, right before Christmas in 2014, was the most exciting opportunity in my lacrosse career. I came into the locker room as a young player who learned a lot in practice and enjoyed competing with veteran hall of fame caliber of players. As a competitor I want to win a championship, and the team we have right now can get that done.”

Before entering the league the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, native Amato stared in cage after sitting out a season as a redshirt behind then Terps starter Phipps. In his four year career, Amato won 48 games, made 625 saves (3 rd goalie in program history to record 600+ saves), posted a .568 save percentage and held opposing offenses to a 7-goal per game average. Niko became a three time All-American, won the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, the 2014 Ensign C. Mackland Kelly, Jr. Award (given to the best goalie in college lacrosse), and was the first goalie to be named to the All-ACC team four times.

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