The Lizards are still searching for the offensive consistency indicative of the talent on their roster, but Joe Walters provided a glimpse last week of how almost any individual player can take over a single game.
Walters was named Major League Lacrosse’s Player of the Week after a four-goal, two-assist performance in a 13-12 win at home against the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday, getting the Lizards back in the win column after dropping three straight.
Now 3-4, the Lizards are looking for similar contributions on a more frequent basis.
“Whenever you win an award like that, that’s not a personal award that’s a team award. That goes to the whole offense,” said Walters, who by deflecting praise signaled that the offense as a whole came together to set up his opportunities.
The talk of preseason camps was the depth of the offense, with Walters, Rob Pannell, Paul Rabil and several other highlighting a unit with the potential to post gaudy numbers.
The team’s .615 shots-on-goal percentage ranks fifth out of nine squads. Their 195 shots on goal rank last.
“When you have so many guys who are great players, it takes time to get it together,” Walters said. “What’s hard is that we don’t practice every day. We practice once or twice a week. We’ve seen spurts, and we’re starting to play more comfortable together.”
MLL All-Star rosters announced
Rosters for the 2017 MLL All-Star Game were announced by the league Thursday, and the Lizards will be well represented July 8 at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento.
Walters will make his ninth appearance in the game, most among those selected. Rabil will make his eighth appearance, which is second most.
Faceoff specialist Greg Gurenlian will play in his fourth and final All-Star game after announcing before the season that he would retire at the end of the campaign.
Joe Fletcher (defense) and Drew Adams (goalie) were also selected.
Rabil, Gurenlian hit milestones in win over Rochester
Rabil joined exclusive company against the Rattlers, as his fourth-quarter goal gave him 500 points for his career. He joins John Grant, Jr. and Casey Powell as the only players in league history to reach 500.
In his final season in the league, Gurenlian is setting records. He won 12 faceoffs against the Rattlers, including the 2,000th of his career. He is the only player to ever win that many faceoffs in MLL history.
NEXT UP: The Lizards travel for a tilt with the Denver Outlaws at 5 p.m. Saturday. The defending MLL champions, Denver defeated the Lizards in last year’s semifinals, 20-17.