Toronto Nationals Select Seven In MLL Collegiate Draft

First round pick (6th overall) brings Syracuse University defender to Toronto

TORONTO – The Toronto Nationals selected Syracuse University defender Sid Smith with their first round pick (6th overall) during the ninth annual Major League Lacrosse (MLL) 2009 College Draft held in Hoboken, NJ last night.

The Nationals were looking to select a starting defender, which they achieved with Smith. Being the first defenseman picked up in the draft, Nationals President & GM Stuart Brown says Smith is a “perfect pick” and will fit in with the Nationals defensive lineup this season.

Smith, who started all 36 games in his two years at Syracuse, is known for making big plays in crucial games and targeting the opposing team’s top attackmen. He was named a second-team All-American this year after leading the Syracuse defence to the national championship title.

A local player from Ohsweken, ON, it is believed Smith will make an immediate impact for the team and solidify the defence alongside Brodie Merrill and Joe Cinosky.

“Sid is a Big Game player who seems to be able to make those big plays when his team needs it,” Brown stated. “He exemplifies the character that we have established as being the foundation of our Franchise.”

As a rookie, Smith was named to the 2006 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team, and received USILA Honourable Mention All-American. Captaining the 2007 Six Nations Arrows Express, Smith won the Minto Cup title and was named Ontario Junior ‘A’ Defender of the Year and playoff MVP.

The Nationals selected University of Massachusetts goaltender Doc Schneider with their second pick (13th overall) in the draft.

Calling Long Island, NY home, Schneider’s tough and fearless style of play will “compliment Brett Queener and Rob Scherr very well giving our goaltending a real solid look for years to come,” said Brown.

“Schneider started all four years at UMASS which is pretty unbelievable for a goaltender. He led his team to an NCAA Tournament as a Freshman in 2006 and has been a big game player ever since” Brown added. “(This) speaks volumes about his maturity and ability to play in pressure situations.”

Among the Nationals total seven draft picks were Duke University midfielder Brad Ross (2nd round, 15th overall) and defenders Mike Timms (3rd round, 25th overall) and Chris Schnogar (5th round, 42nd overall) who will each add depth to the midfield and defence of the team.

“Brad (Ross) is a terrific two-way middie who had a great career at Duke,” said Nationals head coach Dave Huntley. “The up-tempo style he played at Duke should allow him to fit smoothly into our style at the Nationals.”

Brown says the University of Virginia defender Mike Timms moves “well off the wing” and could be a great player for the Nationals in the future and coach Huntley says Chris Schnogar, from the University of Albany has notable speed and stick work.

“Coach Marr’s Albany guys have had great success at the pro level and we think Chris can continue on that path,” Huntley added.

Attackers Corey Small (3rd round, 22nd overall) and Garrett Billings (4th round, 32nd overall) were also picked up by the Nationals to complete their 2009 selections.

Both Canadians, Small from St. Catharines, ON and Billings, a Langley, BC native will provide extra power at the attack position.

“To be able to pick up two players like Corey Small and Garrett Billings as late as we did speaks volumes about the depth of this years draft,” said Brown. “Both players could be starters on some teams in this league, for us they will provide strength at the attack position.”

Third overall pick in the draft went to the Long Island Lizards who selected Bryant University attacker and local Whitby native, Zach Greer. This season, Greer, a three-time All American tallied 42 goals and 26 assists and led Bryant to a 10-5 season in their first year as Division I team.

Greer may be positioned on the roster that is about to face the Nationals this weekend when Toronto hosts the Long Island Lizards tomorrow night, Friday May 29th at BMO Field. Game time scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Visit http://www.majorleaguelacrosse.com for a full recap on the MLL 2009 Collegiate Draft and all the results.

For more information, please contact:

Terri Workman
Public Relations-Toronto Nationals Lacrosse
tworkman@nationalslacrosse.com
416-596-0676, ext. 226

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