Hounds add to defense, midfield early in MLL draft

CorrespondentJanuary 10, 2014 

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    HOUNDS 2014 MLL DRAFT PICKS

    The players the Charlotte Hounds chose in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse collegiate draft, held Friday night in Philadelphia:

    FIRST ROUND

    7. Michael Ehrhardt, defender, Maryland: 6-foot-5 All-American gives Hounds a physical presence on back line.

    SECOND ROUND

    9. Pat Laconi, midfielder, Loyola: A defensive player (24 ground balls, 20 TOs last year) who can also score.

    11. Mike Chanenchuk, midfielder, Maryland: Another player who can help with the Hounds' transition game.

    14. Brendan Fowler, face-off specialist, Duke: MVP of NCAA championships could improve face-off play for Hounds.

    15. Thomas DeNapoli, attack/midfielder, Towson: Hybrid player has versatility to help Hounds at two offensive roles.

    THIRD ROUND

    18. Josh Dionne, attack, Duke: Proven scorer (91 career goals) could strengthen Hounds' second line offense.

    23. Justin Ward, attack, Loyola: Former teammate of Hounds' Mike Sawyer had 27 goals, 35 assists last season.

    FOURTH ROUND

    31. Henry Lobb, defender, Duke: Close-in defender could be a big help for Hounds' defense.

    SIXTH ROUND

    47. Zack Losco, midfielder, Penn: Two-way player; could he be the next Jake Tripucka?

    SEVENTH ROUND

    55. Chris Hipps, defender, Duke: Another close-in defender, probably makes practice squad.

    EIGHTH ROUND

    63. Kevin O'Neill, midfielder, Villanova: Hounds' final pick could find making final roster tough.

    – BILL KISER

The Charlotte Hounds looked to add to its defense and improve its play in the middle of the field with their early selections in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse college draft Friday night in Philadelphia.

The Hounds – who made the MLL playoffs for the first time last season and knocked off then-undefeated Denver in the semifinals – took Maryland defender Michael Ehrhardt with the No. 7 overall pick.

Princeton midfielder Tom Schreiber, a national player of the year finalist in 2013, was taken No. 1 overall by the Ohio Machine.

Defending NCAA champion Duke had two players taken in the first round – attacker Jordan Wolf by the Rochester Rattlers with the No. 2 pick, and defender Luke Duprey by the New York Lizards at No. 4.

The remaining first-round picks were Loyola defender Joe Fletcher at No. 3 by the Lizards, St. Johns’s attacker Kieran McArdle at No. 5 by the Florida Launch, Denver midfielder Jeremy Noble at No. 6 by the Denver Outlaws, and Virginia defender Scott McWilliams at No. 8 by the Boston Cannons.

Ehrhardt, at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, had 53 ground balls and forced 15 turnovers for a Terrapins defense that was ninth in the nation in goals allowed at 8.21 per game.

In the second round, where Charlotte had four of its league-high 11 draft picks, the Hounds took two players – Loyola midfielder Pat Laconi and Maryland midfielder Mike Chanenchuk – that can help improve its transition game.

The Hounds also took Duke faceoff specialist Brendan Fowler, the MVP of last year’s NCAA championship and Loyola attack/midfielder Thomas DeNapoli.

In the third round, Charlotte added to its offense by taking two proven scorers – attackers Josh Dionne of Duke and Justin Ward of Loyola, a former teammate of current Hounds player Mike Sawyer.

Charlotte also drafted Duke defender Henry Lobb in the fourth round, Penn midfielder Zack Losco in the sixth round, Duke defender Chris Hipps in the seventh round and Villanova midfielder Kevin O’Neill in the eighth round.

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