WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – With the 19th pick in the 2020 Major League Lacrosse Draft the Philadelphia Barrage made Brendan Hoffman a senior midfielder and captain for George McCormack's Williams Ephs the first player from Williams College to be drafted by Major League Lacrosse.
Eleven picks later the New York Lizards selected senior captain and long stick middie Rock Stewart in round five.
Since the NCAA ended all spring sports play on March 13th due to the coronavirus pandemic all current senior lacrosse players were granted another year of eligibility. Hoffman, the 2020 NCAA DIII Player of the Year honoree by US Lacrosse magazine was looking to pursue a graduate year of eligibility at an NCAA DI school next spring until he received a phone call this morning.
A former club lacrosse coach who knew Hoffman called him earlier today to tell him he was going to be drafted by the Barrage. Prior to that phone call Hoffman was looking at some different options. "I was considering some DI options to play another year of collegiate lacrosse as a grad student and now I'm not sure what I'm going to do other than finish up my degree at Williams and then I'll have to see if going DI or going to the MLL now is my best option. It's all pretty exciting, but I will need to take some more time to make the right decision for me."
A preseason injury this spring limited Hoffman to just a cameo appearance in one game and he scored on his only shot to give him 102 career goals and 28 career assists and a total of 130 career points. His junior season was his most prolific as he scored 55 goals and registered 19 assists. Standing 6' 6" Hoffman is a force to be reckoned with. "We are very proud of Brendan and are excited to follow his career going forward," said Eph head coach George McCormack. "Brendan's strong work ethic and skill set will serve him well."
Stewart a four-year letterman for the Ephs on defense and a captain this spring was named a Maverik Media First Team All-American this spring despite the fact the Ephs only played but four games due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stewart started all four games in the abbreviated 2020 season, scoring one goal and assisting on another. He caused six turnovers and collected 22 ground balls. "We are all very happy and proud that Rock was drafted by the MLL," noted McCormack. "He was our MVP this year and it's great that he'll have an opportunity to play some more at the highest level."
"This is a dream come true," said Stewart. "I am so humbled and appreciative to have this opportunity. I want to thank the Williams community and specifically coaches George McCormack, Connor Samuelson, Bruce Cohen and Devin Samuelson and my teammates. There is no way I would have gotten this chance without any one of them. Roll Ephs!"
In his career in the Purple Valley Stewart played in 59 games, scored 14 goals, and assisted on five for 19 career points. Stewart has picked up 223 ground balls and caused 75 turnovers. Stewart's 223 ground balls moved him into third place all-time in the Eph record book.
Last spring Stewart set the Eph single season record for caused turnovers when he accrued 37 and his 75 career caused turnovers ranks him second all-time at Williams.
Last season both Hoffman and Stewart earned U.S. Intercollegiate All-America honors with Hoffman named to the First Team and Stewart to the Third Team. In addition, both were named First Team All-NESCAC in 2019.