BOSTON, Mass. – Four Southern Conference men's lacrosse players were selected in the 2017 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) draft on Sunday. Richmond senior defenseman Brendan Hynes – the 2015 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year – was the first SoCon player to be drafted. Hynes was selected 27th overall by the Charlotte Hounds with the 27th overall, making him the ninth pick in the third round. Richmond senior goalkeeper Benny Pugh was the first player selected in the fifth round by the Florida launch, going 37th overall. Mercer senior defenseman Colin Massa was selected 81st overall by the Denver Outlaws in the ninth round, while High Point senior defenseman Tanner Landstra was drafted 89th overall in the 10th round by the Ohio Machine.
Hynes led the country in caused turnovers with 50, while ranking in the top-40 in the country in ground balls (74). His caused turnovers set a new program record and he was the only player in the country with four or more games of 5+ caused turnovers. The Mahopac, New York, native finished just five caused turnovers short of the NCAA career record and is one of only two players ever to reach 150 career caused turnovers.
Pugh led the country all season long in goals against average (6.10) and save percentage (.661). He played a career-high 924:40 in goal, limiting his opponents to just 94 goals and racking up a program record of 183 saves, which ranked in the top-15 nationally. The Powhatan, Virginia, native finished with 568 career saves, only the third active player to reach 500 career saves.
Massa joins fellow Bears alumnus and current Outlaws goalie Mike Nugent, who was selected in last year's MLL Supplemental Draft and earned a spot on Denver's 25-man roster last month. The duo represent Mercer's two current professional players. A Suwanee, Georgia, native and four-year starter, Massa was named to three all-conference teams in his career (All-Southern Conference Second Team twice and All-Atlantic Sun Second Team once). He rounded out his career among Mercer's all-time leaders in caused turnovers (33, third), ground balls (77, seventh) and caused turnovers per game (0.66, ninth).
Landstra served as a captain during the 2017 season while placing second on the team with 15 caused turnovers to go with 13 ground balls. In his career, Landstra appeared in 59 contests, including 44 starts, and 27 career caused turnovers. The selection of Landstra gives High Point at least one draft pick in three straight seasons joining Pat Farrell, Austin Geisler, Dan Lomas and Matt Thistle.