New York Lizards

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New York Lizards
New York Lizards logo.png
SportLacrosse
Founded2001
LeagueMLL
Based inHempstead, New York
StadiumShuart Stadium
ColorsGreen, White, Black
     
OwnerMedallion Sports Group
ChairmanJeffrey Rudnick
Head coachBJ O'Hara
General managerJoe Spallina
Championships3 (2001, 2003, 2015)
Division titles3 (2001, 2002, 2003)
Local mediaNew York Newsday
FormerlyLong Island Lizards
2001–2012
Websitenylizards.com

The New York Lizards, originally the Long Island Lizards, are a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) team based in Hempstead, New York, located on Long Island. They are original members of the MLL. They lost the league's inaugural game on June 7, 2001 to the Baltimore Bayhawks (now Chesapeake Bayhawks), 16–13.

History[edit]

In the MLL's inaugural season in 2001, the Long Island Lizards split their home games between Hofstra Stadium, now James M. Shuart Stadium, and EAB Park (now Bethpage Ballpark). For the 2002 season, they used Hofstra Stadium as their home field. As of 2003, the Lizards played all home contests at Mitchel Athletic Complex, in Uniondale, New York until 2008. The team will return to James M. Shuart Stadium for their home games in 2009.[1] The Lizards have won American Division championships in 2001, 2002, and 2003, and Major League Lacrosse titles in 2001, 2003 and 2015. The team made the playoffs in 2005 as a wildcard despite a losing record. The team's name and logo are based on the Italian wall lizard, a small reptile that was imported to Long Island (which has no native lizards) in the 1960s and which populate areas of the team's hometown of Hempstead in Nassau County. On December 14, 2012 the Lizards changed their name to the New York Lizards.[2]

Prior to the 2015 season, the Lizards made a trade with the Boston Cannons for Paul Rabil. In exchange for Paul Rabil and Mike Stone, the Cannons received Max Seibald, Brian Karalunas and three draft picks. That season, the Lizards won their third Steinfeld Cup and first in 12 years by defeating their instate rival Rochester Rattlers 15–12.[3] The Lizards won the game at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia before a Steinfeld Cup-record 8,674 fans.

Prior to the 2019 season, Rabil and his brother Michael formed the Premier Lacrosse League, which would compete directly with Major League Lacrosse. With the launch of the PLL, 140 players from Major League Lacrosse migrated to the upstart league.[4] In the Lizards' first season after the pro lacrosse landscape changed vastly, they lost a franchise worst 11 games in 2019, and posted their second-worst winning percentage (.313). After two MLL teams and one went on a hiatus (Charlotte), New York finished last out of six teams that season. After Rob Pannell finished out his contract that season, he too bolted for the PLL. So in 2020, a season shorted and compacted into a week-long, quarantined tournament thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lizards joined the 2006 Chicago Machine as the only two teams in league history to post a winless season; albeit the 2020 Lizards' 0–5 record was not as bad as the Machine's 0–12 season. Additionally, the Lizards led in all five games and only finished with a -8 goal differential (-11 score differential).

Rivalry[edit]

Chesapeake Bayhawks

The Lizards' main rival is the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Between them they hold 8 of the 15 MLL league championships awarded through the 2015 season. The two teams have played in the championship game five times, with Chesapeake winning 3 of those 5.

Boston Cannons

The Lizards have found a new rival in the Boston Cannons after they traded their All Star Mid Fielder Paul Rabil to New York in January 2015. That season the Lizards faced the Cannons in the MLL semi-finals and the game resulted in a dramatic overtime victory for the Lizards(16-15). The tension of that game continued into the 2016 MLL season when the Cannons came to James M. Shuart Stadium, which resulted in another intense over-time victory for the Lizards(13-12).

General managers[edit]

  • Joe Spallina is the former head coach and current general manager of the New York Lizards.

Coaching staff[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

  • Head coach – BJ O'Hara
  • Assistant coach – Ted Garber
  • Assistant coach – Mike Gongas

All-time head coaches[edit]

# Name Term Regular season Playoffs
GC W L W% GC W L W%
1 John Detommaso 20012004 51 33 18 .647 6 5 1 .833
2 Jim Mule 20052011 84 37 47 .440 5 2 3 .400
3 Joe Spallina 20122018 98 54 44 .551 6 2 4 .333
4 B.J. O'Hara 2019 21 5 16 .238 - - - -

Current roster[edit]

2020 New York Lizards
Number Name Nationality Position Height Weight College
1 Sean O'Brien United States M 5 ft 10 in 180 lbs Bucknell
4 Dylan Molloy (C) United States A 6 ft 1 in 220 lbs Brown
5 Nicky Galasso United States M 6 ft 0 in 185 lbs Syracuse
6 Mark Andrejack United States FO 5 ft 7 in 175 lbs Adelphi
7 Andrew Pettit United States A 5 ft 11 in 195 lbs Lehigh
11 Justin Reh United States M 6 ft 1 in 185 lbs Albany
12 Brian Corrigan United States G 5 ft 11 in 205 lbs Marist
14 Austin Kaut (C) United States G 5 ft 10 in 200 lbs Penn State
15 Steven Romano United States M 6 ft 2 in 200 lbs Hofstra
16 Nick Aponte United States A 6 ft 0 in 190 lbs Penn State
17 Thomas O'Connell Puerto Rico SSDM 6 ft 2 in 195 lbs Maryland
18 Mike Mayer United States D 6 ft 5 in 215 lbs Georgetown
19 Bobby Duvnjak Croatia D 6 ft 3 in 205 lbs Harvard
20 Danny Dolan United States G 6 ft 1 in 180 lbs Maryland
22 Brendan Kearns United States A 6 ft 1 in 195 lbs Providence
23 Ian Kirby United States A 6 ft 1 in 170 lbs Adelphi
31 Andrew Bracy United States FO 5 ft 11 in 196 lbs Norwich
34 Mark Ellis United States SSDM 5 ft 10 in 188 lbs Hofstra
39 Tommy Wright United States D 6 ft 0 in 190 lbs Penn State
42 Colin Burke United States M 6 ft 0 in 175 lbs Utah
44 Decker Curran United States M 6 ft 3 in 200 lbs Michigan
71 Peter Welch United States D 6 ft 2 in 205 lbs Duke
77 Ben Randall United States D 6 ft 3 in 210 lbs Ohio State
88 Connor O'Hara United States A 6 ft 0 in 175 lbs Bucknell
90 Jack Carrigan United States D 6 ft 3 in 220 lbs Loyola
92 Alex Spring (C) United States D 5 ft 11 in 185 lbs Bucknell


(C)- captain

MLL Award Winners[edit]