The Washington Stealth announced today its 23-man active roster and three-man practice roster for the upcoming 2011 National Lacrosse League season. The Stealth returns 20 players from the championship squad a year ago, including each member of the league’s highest-scoring offense.
Last season, the Stealth offense led the NLL with 211 goals during the regular season. Opposing defenses will see the same faces in 2011 as the Stealth returns right-handed forwards Rhys Duch (33 goals, 53 assists in 2010), Jeff Zywicki (30g, 41a), Luke Wiles (24g, 25a) and Kory Kowalyk (4g, 2a). On the left side, the offense is led by 2010 Champion’s Cup MVP Lewis Ratcliff (46g, 51a), Cam Sedgwick (22g, 36a), Peter Morgan (8g, 14a) and Tom Johnson (9g, 8a). Left-handed forward Joel Dalgarno will start the season on the Injured Reserve list.
At transition, the Stealth returns an athletic group headlined by NLL Transition Player of the Year nominee Paul Rabil (11g, 26a, 84 loose balls in 2010) on the right side. Also returning on the right side is Stealth Captain Jason Bloom (2g, 9a, 111lb), Kyle Hartzell (1g, 1a, 49lb) and face-off specialist Jamison Koesterer, who won 59% of his face-off attempts a year ago. On the left side, the Stealth added second-year player Chet Koneczny, who tallied 2 goals, 12 assists and 79 loose balls for the Orlando Titans last season.
Bolstering the defense was a goal of the Stealth coaching staff during the offseason. They appear to have done that with the additions of left-handed defensemen Jeff Moleski and Chris McElroy, who played with Calgary and Edmonton, respectively, last season. They join lefties Eric Martin and Mike Grimes. On the right side, the Stealth returns Curtis Hodgson, Matt Beers, Chris O’Dougherty and Tyler Codron. Assistant Captain Kyle Sorensen will begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list after offseason knee surgery.
The Stealth returns arguably the best goaltender tandem in the NLL. Ten-year NLL vet Matt Roik and third-year netminder Tyler Richards split time in goal during the 2010 regular season and combined to allow just over eleven goals per game.
The Stealth also named its three-man practice roster. 2010 NLL Entry Draft pick Chris Seidel has been selected as the Stealth’s third goaltender, defenseman Bob Snider, who was acquired through a trade with Philadelphia during the offseason and free agent signing Martin Cummings make up the 2011 practice squad, pending league approval.
The Stealth opens the 2011 season on the road, as they travel to Denver, Colo., to take on the Colorado Mammoth on January 8. The home schedule begins the following evening, as the Calgary Roughnecks visit the Comcast Arena on January 9. Tickets for the 2011 season are available now and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or online at www.stealthlax.com.