BOSTON - Major league Lacrosse has recognized Drew Snider for his 2013 performance with the Denver Outlaws, awarding him with Most Improved Player honors as voted on by the league's coaches and general managers.
"This award means a lot to me," said Snider. "We're having an awesome season and the credit goes to my teammates, my supportive coaching staff and this wonderful organization. I couldn't be happier."
Snider earned six first-place votes, two more than former Maryland teammate Ryan Young (Charlotte) who tallied four. Kevin Cunningham, Ben Rubeor, and Jeremy Thompson were all competition as well, each receiving a pair of votes.
A second-year midfielder, Snider made a strong case for Most Improved Player, not because he performed poorly in his rookie season, but because he has played outstanding lacrosse in 2013.
"Snider is the prototypical player in this league," said 2013 MLL Coach of the Year Jim Stagnitta, "He has such a diverse skill set and he will continue to get better. We've asked him to do several things this season especially in the last few games when we asked him to play a little more defense. We gave him a bigger role to play and are very pleased with his versatility and performance."
Snider has been a key contributor to this season's undefeated Denver Outlaws, posting 46 points and 31 goals. In his 2012 rookie season, Snider played in ten games, slashing 12 points on 11 goals and an assist. Going nearly unnoticed last season, 2013 has been a very welcomed change for Snider, who finished the season seventh in points and sixth in goals.
In looking at the numbers, it is clear that Snider has improved vastly and become a player that the Outlaws could rely on. It could have been very difficult for Snider to find his place amongst a midfield and attack that includes Chris Bocklet, Brendan Mundorf, and Jeremy Sieverts, but Snider has managed to become the ultimate teammate and stand out amongst the best offense in the league.
Snider's .344 shot percentage is amongst the highest of the top 25 leading scorers. Eleventh in the league in shots on goal, Snider puts pressure on the opposing defense and goaltenders, keeping them at bay while he contributes to Denver's perfect season.
The Outlaws have allowed Snider to thrive amongst some of the most talented players in the league, providing him with the tools he needs to stay open and make the shots he needs to help his team. He has contributed at least one point in all 14 games this season, peaking with back-to-back weeks of six points, a personal career high for Snider. He has also scored at least three goals in six games this season, including a game-winning goal.
The Maryland alum quickly became the second highest scorer on the Outlaws' roster this season, and has remained consistent, something essential to a strong midfield. Snider proves to be a two-way player, tied for fourth in groundballs on his team with 30. Amongst the top 25 leading scorers, Snider's 30 groundballs are the most. He is a well-rounded athlete that understands how to play the field.
In only his second MLL season, Snider has undoubtedly made an impact, helping his team along to an undefeated season, and earning a spot amongst the league's top scorers.
In addition to Snider and Young, former Terps Dan Burns (Chesapeake) and Brett Schmidt (Charlotte) also received votes.
Snider is the second Terp to win the MLL’s Most Improved Player of the Year award in as many seasons as Sieverts, a 2009 Maryland graduate, won the award in 2012.
(Major League Lacrosse press release contributed to this release.)