May 19, 2009

Thomson, Dougherty Earn MLL Awards

from press release

Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Monday its weekly award winners for the week ending May 17, 2008, according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. Toronto Nationals attackman Merrick Thomson has been named as the first Offensive Player of the Week for the 2009 season, while Long Island Lizards goalie Brian Dougherty was honored as the League's Defensive Player of the Week.

Thomson scored a game-high seven goals, including five in the second half to lead the Toronto Nationals to a come-from-behind 17-16 victory over the Washington Bayhawks on Friday evening. Trailing by three goals in the second half, Thomson netted four goals in the third quarter and one goal in the fourth, keeping the Nationals within reach of the Bayhawks and before Jordan Levine netted the game-winner for Toronto with 2:21 remaining.

It is the second time that Thomson has been named Offensive Player of the Week in his career; the first time was in Week 8 of the 2008 season. Thomson, who played for the New Jersey Pride last season, was named the Warrior Most Improved Player of the Year in 2008.

Dougherty helped Long Island begin their season with 9-8 victory over the Boston Cannons on Saturday evening. With 12 saves on the evening, including 9 in the first half, Dougherty's stellar performance was instrumental in the Lizards victory, a game that was tied with two previous games as the second lowest scoring game in MLL history.
Dougherty, who has earned the Defensive Player of the Week award five times now, in addition to four wins as Goalkeeper of the Week, finished Saturday's game with .631 save percentage.
One notable change to the weekly honors this season is the discontinuation of the Goalie of the Week award. Goalies will be eligible to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors, as was the case prior to the 2007 MLL season.
The Rookie of the Week will be announced weekly starting the week of June 1.
This coming Friday, May 22, Thomson and the Nationals will host the Chicago Machine in their home-opener debut, at BMO Field. Dougherty and the Lizards will face the Washington Bayhawks this Thursday, May 21. 

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