New York Lizards’ defenseman Joe Fletcher is the winner of the 2015 MLL Warrior Defensive Player of the Year Award. Fletcher was a key cog in the Lizards’ defensive unit that posted some of the best numbers in the league this season.
“This award is a great and humbling honor. I wasn’t really expecting it,” said Fletcher. “Our defense has played as a unit and it’s really been a team effort no matter which way you look at it. I’ve had a lot of fun with this team.”
In just his second MLL season, Fletcher has established himself league wide as one of the top all-around defenders. Assigned to the opposition’s best attackman every game, Fletcher consistently caused turnovers, picked up crucial ground balls, and started numerous transition offenses. Fletcher’s 60 ground balls on the season are good for second best on the Lizards’ roster and eighth overall in the league.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for a player to get this great accolade,” said Lizards Head Coach, Joe Spallina. “In my opinion, Joe Fletcher is the best defenseman in the world. He plays tremendous team defense while always drawing the top assignments from the opposing team.”
In his young career, Fletcher has garnered a number of honors. A graduate of Loyola University, he was a first-team All-American twice, winning the USILA Schmeisser Award as the top defender in men’s DI during his senior season in 2014. He also started every game for the National Championship Loyola team in 2012. “Fletch” was the only active collegiate player to be named to the Team-USA 30-man training roster for the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.
Fletcher will look to lead the Lizards to a MLL Championship this Saturday, August 8th as the team takes on the Rochester Rattlers. The game will be played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA, with the opening faceoff 7 p.m. Tickets to the game can be bought at MajorLeagueLacrosse.com/Championship-Game .
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