DURHAM, N.C.—The past month has been a wild ride for four former Blue Devils playing for the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse as they cap off the 2014 season Saturday in the MLL Championship in Kennesaw, Ga.
The Rattlers will face off against the Denver Outlaws Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m., at Fifth Third Bank Stadium with the winner taking home the Steinfeld Trophy. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
David Lawson, Michael Manley, Justin Turri and Jordan Wolf have been instrumental in leading the Rattlers to the MLL regular season crown and to the championship game. Individual honors were bestowed upon Justin Turri and Michael Manley for their outstanding play and Wolf came in as a rookie and provided an extra spark to the already talented offense. Turri, Wolf and Lawson were the top three scorers for the Rattlers, while Manley anchored the defense.
Turri was named the Warrior Most Improved Player of the Year after leading the Rattlers in scoring with 19 goals, including two two-pointers, and 13 assists for 34 points. That was a 19-point improvement from 2013 and 10 more points than he had in his first 22 games as a professional. Turri added a goal and an assist in the MLL semifinal win over Ohio.
Manley, on the strength of his best MLL season so far in his three-year professional career, was voted the Brine Defensive Player of the Year. Starting 14 games, the former Blue Devil posted six goals, two two-point goals, one assist, and 37 groundballs and proved to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league.
The former All-American was twice named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Week for his strong defensive performance. In Week 2, he earned the title in the Rattlers’ close 8-7 win over Boston. In the victory, Manley helped to keep the Cannons to single-digit scoring, and assisted teammate Kevin Leveille on a go-ahead goal. Week 5’s honor came after Manley managed to hold off top scorers Casey Powell and Kevin Crowley (keeping them to a combined six points), in Rochester’s 18-11 victory over the Florida Launch.
Lawson heads into the final game of the year ranked third on the team in scoring behind Turri and Wolf. The 2013 Duke graduate owns 23 goals and nine assists for 32 points. He posted a pair of goals in Rochester’s comeback win in the MLL semifinal.
Joining the Rattlers after leading the Blue Devils to the 2014 NCAA title, Wolf heads into the championship game with 21 goals and 12 assists in just seven games. He tallied a season-high five in a 13-9 win over Charlotte and had three goals and two assists in the semifinal comeback against Ohio. Wolf was named the Cascade Rookie of the Week three times in just his seven games.