July 18, 2002

Two Cornell Laxers Taken in 2002 MLL Draft

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Drafts are for Cornell hockey players, sometimes a baseball or soccer player, but a lacrosse player?

Although lacrosse has been one of the fastest growing college sports, especially among East Coast schools, lacrosse players did not have the opportunity to play in a professional league like other college athletes. The thought of an outdoor professional lacrosse league was just a dream, an illusion that existed only in the minds of lax brats, and professional bodybuilders. It seemed about as realistic as ballroom dancing becoming an Olympic sport, until two years ago.

In its second season, Major League Lacrosse is drawing more fans, more exposure, and more Cornell players. Justin Cynar ’02 and Galen Beers ’02 were picked up in the collegiate draft on June 1, and other teammates may be added to the player pool. Coaches are also excited about 2003 graduates as eyes are already on Ryan McClay, the first-team All-American defender.

The 2002 Collegiate draft, however, saw Baltimore select Cynar in the second round. He was the first goalie chosen. Beers was chosen in the third round by Boston.

After some midseason rearranging, Cynar was traded to Bridgeport (1-7), while Beers became a free agent, dropping off of Boston’s roster. As a free agent any team can pick him up throughout the rest of the season into next year.

A second-team All-American selection after posting a 6.98 goals against average in 2002, Cynar may see playing time immediately with the Barrage.

Chris Romano, Public Relations Director for the Bridgeport Barrage, explained that the team’s record, as well as last year’s dismal finish, could work to Cynar’s advantage.

“I think his biggest strength right now is that we’re 1-7, we were 3-11 last year. We need to build at the goalie position, get somebody fresh in goal. We can kind of gamble at this point, and that’s why he might get some time.”

Romano predicts that he will be placed on the active roster soon.

The trade for Cynar and Billy St. George, a defenseman from Syracuse, clearly shows that the Barrage is looking to the future.

“I think the organization feels that we picked up great talent,” explained Romano. “Going with the youth movement, we want to stockpile some players that will make a difference in the time to come for the Barrage.”

On being drafted Cynar couldn’t have been happier.

“I was very excited about it. The MLL wasn’t something I was thinking about while I was in college. It was awesome playing in the combine and getting drafted.”

The experience has really been a dream come true for him.

In an attempt to compare college lacrosse and the MLL Cynar explained, “It is 10 times better. The guys are ridiculous. Playing with Gary Gait and Mark Millon, the guys I only heard about, it’s sick!”

When Cynar does finally suit up he might find a familiar foe inside the other crease.

Keith Cynar, an All-American at Harvard, is a goalie for the Boston Cannons. The Cynars join a handful of other brother combinations including the legendary Gaits and Powells.

The younger Cynar is excited about the possibility of refueling the sibling rivalry.

“I’m hoping for that, I think it would be awesome and that much more exciting.”

Originally drafted to join Keith Cynar on the Cannons’ roster was Beers. A third-team All-American, he scored 19 goals as a midfielder and ended his career with 70 points on 56 goals and 14 assists.

David Gross, the General Manager of the Cannons was excited about Beers’ play, which could mean that he will be picked up again next year. Gross however did admit that the draft choice was made with the future in mind.

“He is a great athlete. The kid is a very good midfielder and can help in the long term. He has great speed, good vision, and posses a hard shot.”

He later added, “Galen is not in the plans until next year, [the draft] was more of a long term thought.”

Of being drafted Beers was excited, but kept the opportunity in perspective.

“It’s not something that I had as a goal, nothing I thought possible, but it is a great honor to have it. My take on this: I had four years at Cornell, the best four years of my life, this is a bonus. I’m not striving to make this a career, it’s just an opportunity to keep playing and make a little money. A lot of things can happen to you in a season.”

A season that is already half way over. However, both hope to make the Red proud in future season when Cynar and Beers will have an opportunity to garner some playing time.

Archived article by Kristen Haunss