Manley is MLL Defensive Player of the Year

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
MIchael Manley

Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced today that Rochester Rattlers defenseman Michael Manley of Penn Yan has been named 2014 Brine Defensive Player of the Year, as voted by MLL coaches and general managers.

Many of the games in the 2014 season came down to only one or two goals, proving how important a strong defensive player is. Earning eight first place votes and a total of 54 points, Manley’s selection as the Defensive Player of the Year was a majority decision. Behind Manley in voting were Boston’s Brodie Merrill and last year’s recipient, Denver’s Lee Zink, each with 21 points.

See highlights of Manley's season here.

“I can’t thank my teammates enough. While this is a great honor, individual accolades don’t mean too much to me, as I would rather have the opportunity to celebrate a championship win with my teammates,” said Manley. “I am very lucky to have Goalie of the Year, John Galloway, behind me and I attribute this success to my teammates, guys like John Lade, Mike Lazore, Will Koshansky and arguably two of the best LSMs in the league, John LoCascio and Joel White.”

Starting in all 14 games for the Rattlers, statistically, Manley had his best MLL season so far in his three-year professional career. Posting six goals, two two-point goals, one assist, and 37 groundballs, Manley proved to be one of the most versatile defenders in the league.

The Duke University product was twice named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Week for his strong defensive performance. In Week 2, he earned the title in the Rattlers’ close 8-7 win over Boston. In the victory, Manley helped to keep the Cannons to single-digit scoring, and assisted teammate Kevin Leveille on a go-ahead goal. Week 5’s honor came after Manley managed to hold off top scorers Casey Powell and Kevin Crowley (keeping them to a combined six points), in Rochester’s 18-11 victory over the Florida Launch.

“Michael stepped up his game this season,” said Rattlers’ Head Coach Tim Soudan. “He is a true leader on the field and always likes the challenge of shutting down the top attackmen in the league—something he did very well this year.”

With the Rattlers continuing in the post season, Manley’s tough defense will be necessary as they chase the Steinfeld Trophy, on Saturday Aug. 23, against the Denver Outlaws.

“I am going to be bench pressing every day this week, as I will most likely have John Grant, Jr. leaning on me the whole game, and he’s a great player,” said Manley. “I think we came out a little too excited last week, but we play our best when we’re having fun. We communicate very well and sometimes we will have full conversations while playing. It’s been a long time coming for Rochester and I’m very excited to be in Atlanta this weekend. There’s plenty of championship experience on our team, both at the collegiate level and at the pro level, so it’s safe to say we will bring a championship mentality to the game Saturday.”

You can watch Manley and the Rochester Rattlers take on the Denver Outlaws at the 2014 MLL Championship Game Saturday, Aug.t 23 at 7 p.m., at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. Watch the game live on CBS Sports Network.

Find out more about Manley and MLL here.