Ryan McNamara Dallas Rattlers Player Spotlight
Boston - The Dallas Rattlers were able to save themselves from a disastrous start to the 2019 MLL season but were still unable to make the playoffs after winning seven of their final nine games of the season. One of the main bright spots for the Rattlers was the play of midfielder Ryan McNamara as the third year player had an electric season and will look to lead Dallas back to the playoffs in the 2020 season.
After showing improvement over his rookie season in 2018, McNamara continued to demonstrate his growth as a player as he finished this season with 45 points on 29 goals, 14 assists and two 2 point goals. A year after being part of the Rattlers team that made it to the MLL Championship Game, the Marquette product continued to advance his game on both ends of the field.
McNamara had plenty of impressive performances during the season including a 17-12 win over the Denver Outlaws on August 17 where he provided his team with three goals and two assists and on August 25 he put up one goal, two 2-point goals and 2 assists in a 14-13 win over the eventual champions, the Chesapeake Bayhawks. He also won the Offensive Player of the Week award for Week 12 as he was able to finish the week with nine points in two games played.
McNamara got his start on the ice, before he found his footing on the field. He grew up looking up to Patrick Kane, playing pond hockey and with NHL dreams while growing up in Minnesota. When he decided he needed more action than his 10-year old baseball team was providing, his hockey coaches suggested lacrosse as a spring sport. McNamara is now the only Minnesota native to currently play field lacrosse professionally. (To read more about McNamara's journey from hockey to lacrosse CLICK HERE).
The Rattlers' star made a substantial lasting impact during his collegiate career at Marquette. He finished as the program's all-time leader in goals (102), points (152), game winning goals (10) and starts (63). He also broke the Golden Eagle's single season record for goals and points as he finished his junior season with 40 goals and 57 points. He was named to the All-Big East First Team, twice, and was a two-time USILA Honorable Mention All-American. His record-setting collegiate career saw him get drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft by the Rattlers.
In his first season with the Rattlers, McNamara finished with 15 points (11 goals and 4 assists) in only seven games played. He took a massive step forward in his sophomore campaign as he was able to increase his point total to 35 points (23 goals, 2 two-point goals, 10 assists) in 14 games played. He also played a minor role in the Rattlers run in the playoffs in the 2018 season as he contributed three points (one goal, two assists) in two games played.
The Rattlers weren't able to recover from a dreadful 0-7 start to the season but will look to build off of the momentum they gained through their excellent finish to the year. The 2019 season didn't go according to plan for Dallas, but they have plenty of reasons to be optimistic for 2020, as McNamara and many other top players from the Rattlers are contracted to return next year.
Across the league, MLL fan's benefitted from a year of growth across the board this year. MLL saw a 16% increase in total attendance year-over-year this season and a broadcast reach of 724 million viewers through expanded national and regional broadcast deals. MLL signed 10 new sponsorship partners and renewed 5 partnership deals due to proven value in Major League Lacrosse. Digitally, MLL generated 194% growth in social traffic, 97% growth in social engagement and 393% growth in web traffic. MLL executed the largest grassroots initiative in league history, crossing sixteen states and seeing 150 thousand lacrosse fans. And the cherry on top of it all, MLL players dazzled fans and broke records. John Grant Jr. broke the all-time points record and extended his current record of most all-time goals, Alex Woodall set the record for the most faceoff wins in a single season by a rookie, while the Atlanta Blaze went on to break long-held team records. With 141 players signed for the 2020 season (62% GDAR players), MLL is positioned for success leading into offseason signings and looking ahead to the twentieth anniversary season.
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