During last Friday evening’s Major League Lacrosse amateur draft, the Hamilton Nationals made senior midfielder and All-American Chris LaPierre the second-straight No. 2 overall pick to hail from Virginia. Senior Matt White went No. 28 overall to the Charlotte Hounds, and the New York Lizards retained their rights to senior Charlie Streep after selecting him as No. 52 in last year’s draft.
A year after the Ohio Machine drafted former Virginia attacker Steele Stanwick as No. 2, LaPierre became the Cavaliers’ 16th all-time first round pick, which ties the program with Syracuse for the most nationwide.
Given the menacing defensive threat LaPierre has posed throughout his career, it is hardly surprising major league scouts hold him in such esteem. A former all-state football player and one of the nation’s top lacrosse prospects in high school, LaPierre has twice earned All-ACC and USILA All-American honors. The Medford, N.J. native led Virginia in ground balls each of the past few seasons, an unusual feat for a midfielder not specializing in face-offs.
White, meanwhile, has transformed into a sharpshooting staple of the Cavalier attack. He is best known for a scintillating 2011 NCAA tournament performance in which he scored eight goals and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team while propelling the Cavaliers to a national title. White has also tallied 55 goals and 36 assists in his career. He will likely assume a more integral role in Virginia’s offense this season after the departures of Stanwick, Chris Bocklet and Colin Briggs.
Streep — who transferred to Virginia from Bucknell in fall 2012 — will don Virginia orange and navy for the first time this spring after missing the 2012 season with injury. He totalled 76 career goals and 28 career assists for Bucknell, earning honorable mention All-American recognition for his last full season with the Bison in 2011. To capitalize on his remaining year of eligibility, Streep enrolled as a graduate student in the Education School.
Although the MLL draft occurs before the college lacrosse season, drafted athletes are permitted one final year of eligibility of collegiate play before reporting to their teams.