University of Delaware Senior Co-Captain James Connelly Selected in 2014 Major League Lacrosse Draft by Denver
Connelly, a defender from Royersford, Pa. (Malvern Prep), was the 43rd overall pick and one of 64 college seniors selected over the eight rounds. All players may sign contracts with Major League Lacrosse after their 2014 college season is over.
Delaware has now had at least one player selected in the MLL Draft every year since 2009. Last season, former Blue Hen midfielder Dom Sebastiani was picked by Chesapeake in the fourth round.
A fifth-year defenseman, Connelly was one of the team’s top defensemen a year ago. He started each of the final 11 games of the season and recorded two assists, 18 groundballs, and 11 caused turnovers. For his career, he has appeared in 27 career games and registered 34 groundballs and 20 caused turnovers. He is a marketing major at Delaware.
“Our staff is excited about the opportunity for James to play in the MLL for Denver,” said Delaware head coach Bob Shillinglaw. “James is a tough, physical, one-on-one defender and is perfect for the type of defense required to play in Major League Lacrosse. As one of our two captains (joining Garrett Johnson), he has done a great job leading the team this past fall and the beginning of our 2014 pre-season. I know Denver will appreciate his physical skills along with his maturity and leadership qualities.”
Connelly was one of five student-athletes from Colonial Athletic Association schools selected in the draft and was joined by attackman/midfielder Thomas DeNapoli of Towson (1st round pick by Charlotte); goalkeeper Austin Kaut of Penn State (2nd round by Boston); midfielder Tom Lacrosse of Penn State (7th round by Rochester); and defender Ben McIntosh of Drexel (7th round by Denver).
In addition to Connelly, Denver also selected midfielder Jeremy Noble of Denver (No. 6/1st Round); faceoff specialist Brent Hiken of Stevenson (16th/2nd); defender Ty Souders of Lehigh (22nd/3rd); midfielder Colin Dunster of Bryant (30th/3rd); goalkeeper Jamie Faus of Denver (38th/4th); midfielder Nick Fernandez of Princeton (46th/5th); midfielder Terry Ellis of Denver (54th/6th); and McIntosh.
Duke, the 2013 national champions, had a draft-high six athletes selected in the draft. The Ohio Machine selected Princeton midfielder Tom Schreiber with the first overall pick.
The Blue Hens will begin the regular season Feb. 1 vs. High Point at Delaware Stadium. The game will mark the opening of the 2014 season for all collegiate teams and will mark the earliest start in UD history. Delaware will be looking to bounce back from a 5-10 record in 2013 in a hard-luck season that saw the Blue Hens lose five games by a single goal.
In addition to hosting nine regular season games in 2014, Delaware will serve as the host of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals May 17-18 at the Delaware Stadium.