Men's Lacrosse

Chesapeake Bayhawks selected former SU faceoff specialist Ben Williams in the 5th round of the MLL draft

Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

Ben Williams leaves SU as the career leader in groundballs (325) and faceoffs won (618)

The Chesapeake Bayhawks selected former Syracuse two-time Tewaaraton Award nominee Ben Williams with the No. 2 pick in the fifth round (No. 38 overall) of the 2017 Major League Lacrosse Draft. Former teammates Nick Mariano (No. 4 overall) and Sergio Salcido (No. 8 overall) each was selected earlier in the draft.

An SU player has been drafted every year since the first MLL Draft in 2001. Syracuse was the only team in this year’s draft with two players to go in the first round.

Williams, a 5-foot-11, 192-pound faceoff specialist, played three seasons at SU after transferring from Holy Cross. He won 53.9 percent of his faceoffs in his senior year, 2017, the worst mark of his career at Syracuse. As a sophomore in 2015, his 67.4-percent mark ranked second nationally. As a junior in 2016, his 62.2-percent mark ranked 10th in the country.

An early-season injury slowed his ability to win faceoffs at a consistent rate. Williams had several strong games (Siena, Albany, St. John’s, Cornell, North Carolina and Colgate). He also struggled at times, including a 1-of-12 performance in the NCAA tournament against Yale and 4-of-18 showing against Duke in March. Still, he earned All-ACC honors for his plus-50-percent faceoff winning percentage.

In 2016, four Syracuse players — Dylan Donahue, Brandon Mullins, Warren Hill and Tim Barber — were drafted.

The 2017 Orange, ranked No. 1 in the country for three straight weeks, fell last Sunday to Towson in the NCAA quarterfinals. SU failed to reach the Final Four for the fourth straight year and finished the season 13-3.

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