For the second consecutive year, New York Lizards’ faceoff specialist Greg “Beast” Gurenlian has been awarded the FOAthlete of the Year Award presented by The Faceoff Academy for his dominant performance at the faceoff ‘X’.
Gurenlian had a record setting season in 2015, during which he set records for single-season faceoff wins, faceoff percentage, and ground balls. With a 73 percent faceoff win percentage on the season, Gurenlian shattered his own previous record of 64 percent for the highest single-season faceoff win percentage in MLL history. “Beast” also recorded 167 total ground balls and four points (one goal and three assists) on the season, doing a little bit of everything to propel the Lizards to the top overall seed heading into the 2015 playoffs.
“When the FOA made this award, the idea was to give face-off athletes their own category that way it wouldn’t infringe upon any defensive athletes,” said Gurenlian. “It’s a huge honor but this is really going to our entire face-off unit. DeNap, Hartzell and Unterstein have been so great so I thank them for this.”
When asked about Gurenlian’s distinction and performance, Lizards’ Head Coach Joe Spallina commented, “There was never a player more deserving of an award; he is such a hard working, focused professional that not only impacts the MLL but the entire faceoff community. He is a pro’s pro!”
Along with the FOAthlete of the Year Award, Gurenlian is also the recipient of the 2015 Sportsmanship Player of the Year Award. He, along with fellow Lizard Jerry Ragonese and Chris Mattes, is a founder of the Faceoff Academy—a series of clinics and camps that provides aspiring players with elite instruction on every component of the art of the faceoff.
A Penn State graduate, Gurenlian will take the field again with the Lizards this Saturday, August 1st as the team takes on the Boston Cannons in the first round of the MLL playoffs. The game will be played at James M. Shuart Stadium, with the opening faceoff coming at 6:30p.m. Tickets to the game can be bought at NYLizards.com/Playoffs or by calling 1-855-NYLIZARDS.
The winner of that game will go on to play in the MLL Championship game on Saturday, August 8th in Kennesaw, GA at 7:00p.m.