August 13, 2014 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
BOSTON (Aug. 13, 2014) - Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, has recognized Justin Turri for his 2014 performance with the Rochester Rattlers, awarding him with Warrior Most Improved Player honors as voted on by the League's coaches and general managers.
"It's definitely an honor to receive this award. I think it's a product of the opportunity I have been given with coach Soudan and the Rattlers," Turri said. "I consider myself lucky to be with this team and play with the guys I play with."
The Rochester Rattlers have been one of the most surprising teams in the league this season. Their shooting accuracy and consistency on the field earned them the No. 1 seed coming into the playoffs. In 2012 and 2013, the Rattlers were one win shy of claiming a final spot in Championship Weekend. Their biggest issues came on the offensive side, as the team failed to reach double digits throughout multiple games.
We've seen an incredible shift in the Rattlers play this year, with a huge contribution coming from the rookies. However, players like Jordan Wolf, Mark Cockerton, and Miles Thompson aren't the only reason the Rattlers have found success. Turri truly came out of his shell and made his presence known leading the team in points (34) and ranking among the top 25 scorers in the league.
Turri spent a couple of years shifting around the MLL before settling with the Rattlers. Rochester is the third team Turri has played for since the Charlotte Hounds drafted him in 2012. Throughout his three years as a professional, Turri has filled the role of an attackman, offensive midfielder and defensive midfielder.
"I think the change of scenery has helped me improve my game. I also think that moving from a defensive role to an attacking one has definitely helped me play within my natural role," Turri said.
To give you an idea of his significant leap forward, he only tallied 24 points (13g, two 2pt, 9a) in 22 games over his first two seasons. Compare that with his impressive 34 points (19g, two 2pt, 13a) in 14 games this season alone. Turri is a player the Rattlers can rely on and his improvement is obvious when you look at the numbers.
When asked about his dominant midfielder, Coach Soudan said he fit right into their system. "He was very comfortable in the role we asked him to play," he added. "I believe it is what made him thrive. This is a very well-deserved award."
Before entering the MLL, Turri was a four-year starting midfielder at Duke University. In 2010, he won a NCAA national title with the Blue Devils. Over this past season, he was a volunteer assistant coach at Providence College. As of July, Turri accepted an assistant coaching position with the Black Knights of Army lacrosse.
Turri and the Rochester Rattlers will host the Ohio Machine next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET at Wegman's Stadium.
On the upcoming match, Turri said, "we want to go out and play our game for 60 minutes. I think the couple of times we played against Ohio in the regular season, we had some lapses. But we want to go into the semifinal with no regrets and hopefully come away with a W."
The two teams will go head to head for a chance to play in the MLL Championship Game taking place August 23 at Third Fifth Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA.
2014 Warrior Most Improved Player Voting Results The Warrior Most Improved Player is determined based on the total number of points each player receives. Every vote is assigned a point total, with first place receiving five points, second place receiving three points and third place receiving one point.
Most Improved 1st Place Votes 2nd Place Votes 3rd Place Votes Total
Justin Turri Rochester 6 5 2 47
Marcus Holman Ohio 3 0 2 17
Will Manny Boston 0 4 0 12
Eric Law Denver 2 0 1 11
Brent Adams Boston 2 0 0 10
JoJo Marasco New York 2 0 0 10
John Haus Charlotte 0 2 2 8
Mike Manley Rochester 0 2 1 7
Stephen Berger Boston 0 2 0 6
Bobby Dattilo Ohio 0 0 2 2
Will Koshansky Rochester 0 0 2 2
Dillon Roy Denver 0 0 2 2