By Kevin Stone/@kstone06
It's been 12 days since the Boston Cannons won the Major League Lacrosse championship for the second time in franchise history. The special season continues even after the games are done as the MLL announced nominees this week for its end of the year awards.
Boston's second title (2011 as well) was quite an impressive one given the circumstances surrounding the week-long season and postseason. Despite two teams bowing out of the final four due to Covid-19, the Cannons showed incredible mental toughness.
HEAD COACH SEAN QUIRK - COACH OF THE YEAR
A big part of that mental toughness came from head coach Sean Quirk. Quirk had his team locked in during their time in the bubble and it showed. Quirk is a nominee for the COY award along with Denver's Tony Seaman and Connecticut's Bill Warder.
You would think that an MLL title in a pandemic makes Quirk a lock for the award, but not necessarily. Warder led an expansion team this season with the CT Hammerheads and they looked pretty impressive at times. Seamen had Denver in the final four before they forfeited the semifinal game due to COVID issues. I wouldn't be surprised if Warder gets the award, but Quirk is obviously as deserving as either of the other guys.
NICK MARROCCO - GOALIE OF THE YEAR
The Cannons don't win their title without the play of Marrocco. Sean Sconone (Connecticut) snd Brian Phipps (Chesapeake Bayhawks) are the other two nominees.
Both Sconone ( 22 saves vs. Boston in regular-season meeting) and Phipps were outstanding when they took on the Cannons. CT took down Boston in their regular-season matchup solely because of Sconone. Sconone is also a UMASS product so there would be some local flare for him as well. However, Marrocco came up clutch in the biggest moments.
Two fourth-quarter saves against legend John Grant Jr. basically clinched the title for the Cannons. Marrocco is a captain and just completed his third year with Boston, leading on and off the field. All three goalies were fantastic but this one should be a no brainer, it's Marrocco hands down.
BRYCE WASSERMAN - MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Wasserman isn't just a nominee, he was named the MLL MVP just minutes after the title game ended. He was a force on offense for the Cannons. Wasserman also joins a ridiculously impressive list of former MLL MVP's with names like Lyle Thompson, Rob Pannell, Casey Powell, Grant Jr., and Garry Gait.
Wasserman also shared a unique story on ESPN just minutes after the title game, making this award that much more impressive.
"2011 I came to Maryland for my first recruiting tournament," he explained. "Zero goals, zero assists. I remember sitting with my dad at the BWI airport crying my eyes out because I didn't think that I was going to be good enough to play at the highest level in college or the pros. From that day on no one in the sport has outworked me. This is the culmination right here. I can't wait to go back to back to that airport covered in champagne."
MORE TO COME
The MLL plans on continuing to announce its other award nominees throughout the rest of August. There is still the Defensive Player of the Year, the Powell Offensive Player of the Year, and the Cascade Man of the Year awards to be announced.
Don't be surprised if the MLL champs have a few more names involved in those awards too.