June 23, 2017 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Georgia Swarm
(Duluth, GA) - The National Lacrosse League (NLL) named Georgia Swarm assistant captain Jason Noble the 2017 NLL Defensive Player of the Year on Friday, June 23.
In his fourth year in the NLL and with the Swarm, Noble collected 57 loose balls, caused 11 turnovers, and recorded a goal and four assists in 18 regular season games. The Cornell University alum collected 17 loose balls and caused two turnovers while recording an assist in Georgia's postseason sweep of the Toronto Rock and two-time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush.
"It's more of a team award than any personal award," Noble said. "If you talk to (Swarm GM and Owner) John Arlotta, with the success comes the accolades. Our defense did a great job, especially in the last half without turning it off. I don't think I would have got this without our other defenseman or our goalie ... When I look at the award, I look at it as the team being recognized defensively for our strong performance."
"We're very happy for Jason to be recognized," head coach Ed Comeau said. "We believe that there are lots of big name players around the league, there's a lot of good defenders. Jason does what he does very quietly, going about his business, oftentimes guards the other team's marquee player. If you ask a lot of those guys around the league, Jason Noble is not a guy they want to see. He plays aggressive."
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, the Orangeville, Ontario native is known for playing aggressive defense, pressing star players much larger than him and preventing quality shots whenever he can. With the addition of Mike Poulin between the pipes and John Ranagan during the offseason, Noble helped lead the young Swarm defense featuring three 2016 NLL Draft picks.
"He plays much bigger than what his physical stature is," Comeau said, "but is a huge leader for us in the defensive zone, playing a lot of situations for us and really helping us win a championship. There's no question he was a huge part of that."
The speedy defenseman's one goal in 2017 came against the Buffalo Bandits in Georgia's 20-7 road victory, an unassisted transition goal in the third quarter of the contest.
In his career, Noble has played in 71 regular season games, all with the Swarm. He has 16 points (3G, 13A), collected 260 loose balls to go along with 61 caused turnovers. In five career postseason games, Noble has an assist, 22 loose balls and caused four turnovers. The 25-year-old was selected No. 2 overall by the Swarm in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
Noble came in first for NLL Defensive Player of the Year voting ahead of the Graeme Hossack (Rochester) and the Steve Priolo (Buffalo).