New York Lizards Choose Key Players in 2020 Major League Lacrosse Draft Class
New Hyde Park, NY - The New York Lizards, New York's only Major League Lacrosse Team, today announced it selected TD Ierlan (Yale/Victor, NY), the current NCAA face-off record holder, as one of nine selections in the Major League Lacrosse Draft sponsored by Cascade Lacrosse, held on Monday, May 4, 2020. Other picks included Colin Burke (Utah/Lloyd Harbor, NY), Charlie Trense (Notre Dame/Atlanta, GA), Tommy Wright (Penn State/Garden City, NY), Sean New (Holy Cross/Bedford, NY), Rock Stewart (Williams College/Darien, CT), Connor Waldron (Holy Cross/Darien, CT), Terrence Haggerty (SUNY Cortland/Centerport, NY), and Andrew Petit (Lehigh/Wilmington, DE).
In Ierlan, the Lizards get a 5-9 175-pound Tewaaraton Award Finalist (college lacrosse equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) with a tremendous resume. Ierlan played two seasons for the University of Albany before transferring to Yale. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA is allowing seniors an extra year of eligibility so Ierlan is going to return to Yale for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Victor, New York native owns a number of NCAA records including a single-season face-off winning percentage of .791 with Albany in 2018, a perfect 29 for 29 performance on draws playing for Yale against Harvard in 2019, 1,159 career face-offs won and a single-season record of 393 face-offs won in 2019.
Even though Ierlan won't be turning pro until 2021, grabbing Ierlan now is an important pick for the future.
"He's a game-changer," said O'Hara. "When he was at Albany, they were hovering around the championship weekend and then he gets to Yale and in two years at Yale he helps lead them to the championship and the final game the next so he has an immediate impact on the team he's with."
Ierlan owns NCAA records with 810 career ground balls and the single-season mark of 293 in 2019. He led Victor High School to the New York State Championship in 2015 and 2016 and three Section V titles to go along with 161 career wrestling wins.
Before the draft, the Lizards swung a deal with the Philadelphia Barrage sending midfielder Kevin Crowley and a 4th round pick to Philly in exchange for the 3rd overall pick in the draft. With that selection, the Lizards took Utah graduate student Colin Burke. The former Cold Spring Harbor star on Long Island played for Fairfield College and was the 2016 Colonial Athletic Conference co-player of the year. He ranks 5th in Stags history with 144 career points.
"Colin is a very skilled, quick, and versatile offensive player," said O'Hara. "He plays attack and midfield. He's really good with either hand. We like him. We had him on our board last year and he decided he was going to go to graduate school. We were fortunate to get him."
The Lloyd Harbor, New York native led Cold Spring Harbor to the 2015 New York State Championship and was an All-Suffolk County and All-Long Island selection.
With the trade, the Lizards wound up with three of the first seven picks in the draft. With their second-round selection, the Lizards took Notre Dame long stick midfielder Charlie Trense with the seventh overall pick.
"Charlie is a big rugged guy," said O'Hara. "He was an outstanding high school football player. Coming out of that Notre Dame program, he's got great fundamentals and lacrosse IQ. He's also a really physical player. We've seen a lot of film on him and he plays with an edge."
In the third round, the Lizards selected Penn State defenseman Tommy Wright with the 13th pick in the draft. He played lacrosse and football at Garden City High School on Long Island. He helped the Trojans to two New York State titles and was the Nassau County long stick midfielder of the year in 2014 and 2015.
"He's really good between the lines and great on the face-off wing," said O'Hara. "He's great in transition and real athletic and great between the restraining lines."
The Lizards made another defensive selection in the fourth round taking Sean New from Holy Cross with the 22nd overall pick. New, from Bedford, New York in Westchester County, was a team captain for the Crusaders and was having a terrific season with 11 forced turnovers and 17 ground balls in seven games before the 2020 campaign was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Holy Cross has had some really good success on the defensive end of the field the last couple of years and he was one of the leaders on that defensive group. We're excited to have him."
In the 5th round, the Lizards could smell what the Rock was cooking as they used the 30th overall pick to take Williams College defenseman Rock Stewart from Darien, Connecticut.
"I asked him what his real name was and he said Rock," said O'Hara with a chuckle. "He was a first team All-American division three player on a really good Williams College team. It's a big leap but there's been any number of division three guys that have made the transition from that level to the pros."
The Lizards went back to Holy Cross for their 6th round pick taking midfielder Connor Waldron from Darien, Connecticut 31st overall and then in the 7th round, the Lizards used the 37th overall pick to take SUNY Cortland attackman Terrence Haggerty 37th overall. The Centerport, New York native was a three-year starter for Harborfields High School on Long Island leading the team in goals and points. With their final pick in the draft, the Lizards took Lehigh attackman Andrew Pettit.
"He's an excellent player," said O'Hara. "I was surprised that he was still there. He can make some noise. He's very good."
Pettit is from Wilmington, Delaware and played his high school lacrosse at Tower Hill School.
Now that the draft has taken place, the attention now turns to finding more talent by way of players that were not taken in the draft. Starting on Wednesday, May 6, teams can put in claims for undrafted players and those players will be awarded to teams based on the waiver order. With the number one waiver position, the Lizards would be awarded any player that they put in a claim for.
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