The Lizards have taken many forms over the last half-decade, but whether the team has been an offensive juggernaut or defense-first squad, the one constant has been Drew Adams.
The goalie has missed just one start since becoming the team's full-time starter in 2010, and has posted the second-best goals against average in Major League Lacrosse history (11.75 per game).
"A lot of guys in this league have played for multiple teams, but I've been fortunate to play on the Lizards this whole time," said Adams, who was drafted out of Penn State in 2009 and is fifth all-time in MLL in both goalie minutes played and saves.
"I think there's a lot of value in that," he added. "I've seen how teams in the past have interacted and I think I can bring a little bit of knowledge to the guys that are in their first and second years, and show what the expectations are for being a Lizard."
Adams is fifth in the league in save percentage this season (55.1%) and has been part of a defense that has allowed the fewest goals per game, but he is also quick to spread credit to his teammates.
"I'm not seeing as many shots as I have in years past so far and that's really a testament to our team as a whole," he said, and only two goalies have played at least 100 minutes this season and seen fewer shots on goal per game than Adams (23.0). "Greg [Gurenlian] is obviously getting us a lot of extra possessions, our offense is taking care of what they need to on that end, and our defense is just tough to get by."
Still, Adams has proven his value when called upon this season, and this was perhaps best exemplified in the team's win over Boston earlier this month. In the contest, Adams faced a season-high 28 shots on goal, but only allowed 11 goals in a four-point win, good for a 60.7% save percentage.
He has remained a key part of the 6-0 Lizards' success, and said it would be "amazing" to see this success culminate in his first championship as a professional and the team's first since 2003.
"There would be nothing better," he said. "Winning the championship is the ultimate reward for everyone's sacrifice and hard work, not only this year, but throughout the years."
Up next:The Lizards travel to Charlotte to face the 1-5 Hounds on Saturday at 7 p.m.