Lehigh men’s lacrosse has a long history of former players who get drafted to play in Major League Lacrosse.
Lehigh seniors Dan Taylor, Lukas Mikelinich and Matt Poillon are the three members of the team who have joined this club.
Poillon, a goalie, and Mikelinich, on defense, were drafted by the Long Island Lizards in the fourth and seventh rounds respectively, while Taylor, on attack, was drafted in the fifth round by the Denver Outlaws.
“It was just an awesome feeling seeing my name on the board on draft day,” Poillon said.
It is extra special for Poillon because he hails from Long Island, so he will be playing in front of a home crowd.
“I’ve always watched them play,” he said. “I’ve always been a huge, huge fan. To be able to represent Lehigh in a place where I grew up is going to be something that I’ve always really dreamt of.”
While it is an impressive accomplishment to be drafted to the MLL, Poillon said he sees many more challenges ahead to be an impact player. The Lizards already have a talented goalie in Drew Adams that Poillon would have to outplay in practice to overtake his spot.
He believes that his experience at Lehigh has prepared him to become a solid player for the Lizards.
“I’ve been lucky to play for what I consider the best team in the country under the best head coach and the best assistant coaches,” Poillon said. “My teammates are always competitive. They always push you to get better and the coaches have set me up to become a successful player.”
With lacrosse rapidly getting more and more popular especially with kids, it is conceivable to see MLL become a more popular league by the time Poillon is finished with his lacrosse career. Poillon could see this popularity to grow within the next 10 to 15 years, when the kids starts going to college and being drafted. However, he has doubts that he will still be around playing for that.
As for Taylor, he earned his spot in the fifth round of the draft with his outstanding performances in his junior and senior years. In his junior season, he led his team and the Patriot League with 76 points from 47 goals and 29 assists. This year, Taylor led his team and the Patriot League again with 77 points from 41 goals and 36 assists. The next closest point-getter was Bucknell University’s David Dickson with 45 points. He finished off his career being named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year.
Mikelinich took over Lehigh’s defense his sophomore year, earning All-Patriot League honors that year. He continued to be a dominant force for one of the nation’s best defenses for his final two years.