New York Riptide defenseman John Ranagan learned the news this morning he had been hoping not to receive — the National Lacrosse League’s regular season had been canceled.
The NLL announced in a news release Wednesday that the remainder of its regular season has been canceled due to concerns with COVID-19 pandemic. The league, which had suspended regular-season play on March 12, is keeping open the possibility of a postseason . The Riptide, who went 1-12 this year in their inaugural season in the NLL, had five games remaining including three home contests. The Riptide’s final game was supposed to be in Buffalo on Saturday, April 18.
“I’m not really surprised,” said Ranagan, in a phone interview from Yorktown. “I’m happy the league is keeping the possibility of a postseason available. But with what’s going on in the world, [finishing the regular season] did not seem feasible.”
Riptide head coach and general manager Regy Thorpe echoed Ranagan’s sentiments.
“Obviously our guys are disappointed, and the organization is disappointed,” said Thorpe, by phone from the Syracuse area. “We certainly support and understand what’s going on during this crisis.”
After an 0-5 start, the Riptide won their only game of the season, 13-12, against visiting Georgia on Jan. 18. They dropped their next game, 14-6, to Philadelphia, but the Riptide lost their last six games by an average of 3.67 goals per game.
“We were one of the youngest teams by age and experience, and we were getting used to each other,” Thorpe said. “The chemistry was building every week. Our guys never quit. We learned a lot, and the future is bright for the Riptide.”
That future includes Ranagan, who enjoyed playing in front of family and friends for the first time in his professional career.
“We have a tough mindset and we’re trying to build a great culture with the Riptide,” Ranagan said. “Obviously, this is a weird way to end our first season, but we have a great group of guys in the locker room, our coaching staff and ownership. We’re committed to building a great team.”