Rochester Rattlers goalie John Galloway affectionately refers to the group in front of him as The Forest. Led by 2016 co-Defensive Players of the Year Joel White and Mike Manley, The Forest finished first in defensive efficiency (12.4 points allowed per 45 possessions) last summer.

John LoCascio (1.8 caused turnovers per game), White (1.5 CTPG) and John Lade (1.5 CTPG) are some of the best takeaway defenders in the league. Only the Ohio Machine allowed a slimmer assist-to-turnover ratio (0.34) than the Rattlers (0.40).

Much¬†of the Rattlers’ defensive success is due to their cohesiveness. Galloway played with White, Lade and newly acquired short-stick defensive midfielder Kevin Drew at Syracuse; he coached Manley at Duke.

Galloway¬†and The Forest adopt two opponent-specific defensive rules per game to keep things simple. Those rules work — opponents shot a league-worst 24.1% off the dodge against the Rattlers. If you want to find an open shot, you have to thread a skip pass through The Forest of long-sticks.

TeamDef. RatingOpponent Assisted Sh%Opponent Unassisted Sh%Opponent 6v6 Sh%Fast Break Goals Allowed
Atlanta Blaze 14.79 30.69 30.36 30.11 2.79
Boston Cannons 13.04 33.13 24.44 24.83 3.07
Charlotte Hounds 13.91 35.48 25.88 30.77 2.21
Chesapeake Bayhawks 13.41 31.53 26.27 27.79 2.50
Denver Outlaws 14.95 35.13 27.54 28.25 3.07
Florida Launch 14.49 34.22 26.95 29.61 2.50
New York Lizards 15.95 40.88 25.66 30.61 3.07
Ohio Machine 13.09 31.40 30.04 27.52 1.86
Rochester Rattlers 12.39 33.45 24.04 26.03 2.43
TeamDef. RatingOpponent Assisted Sh%Opponent Unassisted Sh%Opponent 6v6 Sh%Fast Break Goals Allowed