Paul Rabil #99 of the New York Lizards passes in...

Paul Rabil #99 of the New York Lizards passes in front of Rob Guida #27 Rochester Rattlers in the first half of a game at James M. Shuart Stadium on April 26, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Jeff Zelevansky

Winning has followed Paul Rabil wherever he has gone.

If the start of the 2015 Major League Lacrosse season is any indication, this pattern could continue in New York.

Rabil, a midfielder acquired by the Lizards from the Boston Cannons in a January trade, leads MLL in goals (eight) and points (21), proving his worth for the 4-0 Lizards, the league's only unbeaten team going into Friday's game against Boston.

"I knew from the moment I stepped into this squad what they had to offer," said Rabil, a two-time MLL MVP and seven-time all-star who led the league in assists last season and set the league's single-season points record with 72 in 2012. He has won championships in college with Johns Hopkins, the National Lacrosse League with the Washington Stealth, and MLL, with Boston, where he played from 2008-14.

"This is a championship contending team regularly,[with] guys I have played with on Team USA and guys I have played against and know have that competitive spirit and what it takes to win," he said of the Lizards.

The 29-year-old Gaithersburg, Maryland, native joins a strong Lizards offense, that also features attack Smithtown West product Rob Pannell, who was second in the league in points last season with 56 (two more than Rabil, who tied for third).

"We're great complements to each other," Rabil said of Pannell, who has 17 points this season. "We can both go to the net and score and we both look to feed every time we dodge. In terms of the respect and attention that he demands, it takes a lot of pressure off me that I've had in the past in Boston [as] the focal point of that offense. I couldn't be happier for the opportunity to play with someone like Rob."

The Lizards lead the league in scoring this season with 14.5 goals per game, and are second in both shooting percentage (29.2 percent) and shot-on-goal percentage (68.4 percent).

"With the amount of on-ball dodgers and off-ball cutters we have, we've all taken a backseat to each other," Rabil said. "We're dodging and moving the ball and not settling for the first shot, but the best shot."

This offense should give the Lizards a good shot to win their first championship since 2003.

"It's certainly our goal, we won't shy away from that," Rabil said. "We're off to the start we wanted but it's a long season. You constantly have to be looking for ways to improve and get better."

In terms of getting better, the acquisition of Rabil has proved to be a great step.

Up next

The Lizards host the 1-2 Cannons at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

More lacrosse

Newsday Logo

ONE-DAYSALEUnlimited Digital Access25¢ for 5 6 months