Notebook: PPL Park to host 2013 MLL Championship Weekend

PPL Park in Chester, Pa., will host the 2013 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend, sources confirmed to Inside Lacrosse today.

The news comes on the day of the MLL Collegiate Draft in downtown Philadelphia and just days before the league is set to announce a 2013 regular-season game at Kennesaw State near Atlanta, a move that could foreshadow an expansion team there.


PPL Park, about 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia, was a 2012 NCAA quarterfinal site and is the home to the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. It will also host the first Whitman's Sampler Independence Classic on March 9.

The 18,500-capacity venue had rave reviews after the quarterfinal. Duke coach John Danowski said it was a great place to play lacrosse and had an MLL feel.


"It would be really cool if Major League Lacrosse had a facility like that; it would be great -- phenomenal setting, phenomenal place," Danowski said at the time.

Ex-Hopkins star Huntley begins 2nd stint as coach of MLL's Nationals

The MLL's Hamilton Nationals announced that they have hired former Johns Hopkins All-American midfielder Dave Huntley as coach for the 2013 season. It's Huntley's second stint with the franchise; he was its first-ever coach, leading the Nationals to their only league title in their inaugural season and record a 10-14 record in two seasons overall.

In 2009, the Toronto native coached the Nationals to a 7-5 mark during the regular season before defeating the Long Island Lizards and Denver Outlaws at Championship Weekend.

"You rarely get the chance to come back to a team you coached before," he said. "It was an easy decision after seeing what Curt (Styres) has done with the Knighthawks and the direction he wants to take the Nationals. You couldn't ask to work for a better guy. It feels like I never left."

Huntley replaces Regy Thorpe, who decided to not return after two seasons. Instead, Thorpe – who coaches at Syracuse – will focus on bringing his alma mater its first women's Division I national title. 

During his college playing career (1976-79), Huntley won two NCAA Division I national championships at Johns Hopkins. In 1979, he won the McLaughlin Award as the nation's most outstanding college midfielder. At Hopkins, he was a two-time first-team All-American and was eventually enshrined in the Johns Hopkins Sports Hall of Fame. In 1978, Huntley also suited up for Team Canada and was on the inaugural gold medal-winning World Lacrosse Championship team.

He broke into coaching in 1987 with Philadelphia Wings, serving as the team's general manager and coach. He has also held various positions with the Baltimore Thunder, Pittsburgh Crossefire, Washington Power and Colorado Mammoth. Additionally, he worked as an assistant coach at Loyola College and with the Baltimore Bayhawks, with whom he won his first MLL title in 2005.

Owings Mills mini-tournament for D-III powers reportedly in works 

Tentatively scheduled for the weekend of March 15, 2014, in Owings Mills is a mini-tournament featuring national powers Cortland, Tufts, Lynchburg and Stevenson, Lacrosse Magazine reported on its website. During the event, each team would play two predetermined contests.

On a related note, the magazine reported that games between nonregional opponents will be considered among primary criteria for NCAA Division III selection committees — including men's lacrosse — starting in 2014. The current format calls for results against in-region opponents to be examined first by the committee, with nonregional games only a secondary consideration.


Spalding grad Hannon named Atlantic Sun Preseason POY

Jacksonville senior Rachel Hannon (Archbishop Spalding) received Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors as voted by the coaches in the conference, which is sponsoring women's lacrosse for the first time. Hannon was named the 2012 National Lacrosse Conference Co-Player of the Year after she led the nation in draw controls with 131, an NCAA record.

Jacksonville freshman midfielder Kelsey Wigglesworth (Towson) was named a Newcomer to Watch, while the Dolphins were picked first in the coaches' poll. Also chosen to the All-Conference preseason team were Jacksonville junior attacker Ali Hoffman (St. Mary's Ryken) and Detroit senior attacker Lindsey Saunders (Northeast).