DURHAM, N.C.—The 2018 Major League Lacrosse playoffs get underway this weekend and nine former Blue Devils will be vying to lift the Steinfeld Trophy in just over a week. The semifinals will be played at the home sites of the top two seeds this weekend and the championship game will be Aug. 18 in Charleston, S.C.
The Dallas Ratters, home to four former Blue Devils, secured the top seed after Ned Crotty launched in a two-pointer for the comeback victory in the season finale. The Rattlers will host the New York Lizards, home to two Blue Devils, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m., (ET). Earning the second seed is Chesapeake, featuring three former Duke All-Americans, with a 9-5 overall record. The Bayhawks host the Denver Outlaws Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Joining Crotty on the Rattlers is star attackman Jordan Wolf, defenseman Michael Manley and Zack Greer. Wolf is fifth in the league in points per game at 4.25 with 31 goals and 20 assists for 51 points in his 12 outings. His 20 assists are fifth, 51 points ninth and 31 goals 10th in the league. The 51 points are 10 fewer than he had in 14 games in 2015. Wolf recently was nominated for Coca-Cola Most Valuable Player and Warrior Offensive Player of the Year.
Manley, playing in seven games has a goal and 17 ground balls in helping to anchor a defense that sports the league’s second lowest goals against average of 12.50. Greer has suited up in just three games and has three goals and an assist.
On the other side of the ball for the Lizards will be Brendan Fowler and Tommy Zenker. Fowler, battling injuries, hasn’t played since early June and owns a .479 faceoff percentage (105-of-219) and has 41 ground balls. He also has a goal and an assist and recently was named to the U.S. Indoor Lacrosse 46-Player Training Roster.
Zenker helps anchor the defense as a short-stick middie. The Long Island native has played in 12 games and has picked up nine ground balls and six caused turnovers.
Myles Jones headlines the offense for the Bayhawks with 38 points from 22 goals and 15 assists. He most recently had a goal and four assists in the setback to New York last weekend. Matt Danowski, having played just six games this season, has 17 points from seven goals and 10 assists. He is coming off of a gold-medal performance at the FIL World Championships for the United States.
CJ Costabile has suited up for 13 games and has four goals, including one two-pointer, and three assists for eight points as a pole. He also has taken 25 faceoffs, winning nine and has picked up 28 ground balls.
Major League Lacrosse will hold its 18th MLL Championship at the MUSC Health Stadium on Daniel Island. Tickets are available for purchase now. Faceoff is set for Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.