By Sarah Bartlett-Cahill | 8/30/12 12:00 AM
Following his amazing performance in this weekend’s MLL Championship Games, it comes as no surprise that Chesapeake’s number six, attackman Ben Rubeor, was named the weekend’s Bud Light MVP. However, when we spoke with Rubeor following the weekend’s events, he claimed otherwise. Despite his eight goals in the series, six of which were in Saturday’s Semi-Final game against Boston, Rubeor claims the award came as a shock.
“I thought I played well, I had a pretty good game on Saturday and a good game on Sunday, but I thought we were all playing well. Boston’s a hard team to beat. It was definitely not something I was expecting.”
Rubeor went into the weekend with 16 regular season goals and scored half of those in two postseason games alone. His third quarter performance in Saturday’s semi-final game, in which he scored four goals to close out the quarter, might have been just what the Bayhawks needed to get their momentum going for the 16-10 win over the Cannons. Rubeor attributes his success to practice, but was sure to give credit where credit was due when speaking of his teammates.
“I focused a lot on off-ball movement, but the midfielders must be credited for beating their man and drawing the sides. It was something we had really worked on leading up to the weekend.”
Hard work pays off, as the second-seeded Bayhawks went on to triumph in a 16-6 win over the Outlaws for the Steinfeld Trophy on Sunday.
This is not Rubeor’s first Championship win, as he was a pivotal part of the Bayhawks’ 2010 victory during his first season with the team. Having started his MLL career with the Long Island Lizards in 2008, Rubeor was moved to the Bayhawks in 2009 following player relocation. He came onto the team at a time when the current organization was just starting, and remembers that the 2010 win sort of “snuck up on them”, as the team had finished right around .500. This year however, Rubeor explains that all the parts had come together and the Bayhawks really felt that they could win it.
As far as the coaching staff, Rubeor explains that both Kelly (head coach in 2010), and Cottle (in his first year as head coach) are great guys. He tells us that Kelly was in the locker room on Saturday and Sunday before they took the field, and adds that they are both completely supportive and will always have your back. In that realm, Rubeor boasts that as a Bayhawk, he is part of “the best organization with the best fans.” As a Baltimore native, Rubeor is lucky enough to be able to play in his hometown, which is something that is not lost on him.
“I am thankful every time I step out on the field. I truly feel that I play for the best.”
The 26-year old has a long history of success in lacrosse, having played since a young age. As a four year letter winner at Loyola Blakefield High School, Rubeor was named All-American and received the C. Markland Kelly Award for Maryland’s Best Player. He went on to be a four-year-starter and two-time team captain at the University of Virginia, where his 212 points earned him the title of 6thall-time-leading scorer in UVA History. In addition, Rubeor was named No. 3 Top Lacrosse Player by Inside Lacrosse, was a finalist for the 2007 Tewaarton Trophy, and was a three-time ACC Honor Roll Student and USILA first-team All-American. With MLL, Rubeor holds a career average of 98 points for the regular season, with 67 goals and 30 assists in 52 games. This past season, Rubeor scored at least one goal in all 13 games played, with 16 goals and 4 assists totaling 21 points.
In terms of making the transition from college to the professional level, Rubeor explains that it hasn’t been easy.
“The tempo of the game is very different, especially with the 60 second shot clock. You have to know your time and your role in the offense. You have to get as much out of one minute as you can. But it keeps it fast paced, and although challenging, it’s been a fun challenge.”
Rubeor tells us that even though there’s a lot of work involved, you can find a way to motivate yourself and make it fun. This is the same advice he offers to any aspiring players who might be thinking about a career in MLL.
In that respect, Rubeor’s most recent efforts have been focused on his new initiative, Rubeor Lacrosse, which offers clinics, camps, and private lessons, as well as on his coaching. Rubeor tells us that a little over a year ago he decided to devote his life to not only playing, but coaching lacrosse.
“I want to teach the game at the highest level to as many kids as I can. I want to make a rewarding life and a career out of the sport that I love.”
This past season Rubeor had his first coaching experience with the Maclay School in Tallahassee, Florida. After visiting the school for a clinic, Rubeor found out that they needed someone to coach the offense and accepted a position with the varsity lacrosse team. He went on to coach the boys to a District Championship and even had one of his players commit to a Division I team. He tells us that the feeling of coaching is like nothing he’s ever experienced, and that his time at Maclay fueled his passion to coach.
“I got really close with the boys who were all just really hungry for the game, and for a different perspective on it. It’s one thing to have a direct impact on the game as a player, but as a coach, you go through the week and hope you’ve prepared them well at the end of it. The feeling of being on the sidelines is like no other, and it’s rewarding to think you’ve played a part in their success.”
Although Rubeor will not be returning to Maclay for a second season, he tells us that it was a great experience and that the future for lacrosse in Florida looks bright. When asked about the game’s expanding popularity, Rubeor believes that both the game and MLL are growing. In fact, he goes on to say that the best part of the league is that “the players truly care”.
“The majority of the players are honestly committed to helping the league grow to the point where they think it can get. They care about the league, about the fans, and they give their all in doing so.”
When asked about the rumors circulating a potential new spot as head Men’s Lacrosse coach at St. Mary’s for the fall, Rubeor declined to comment.
Whatever he decides for next season, we here at MLL see a bright future for the sport, the Bayhawks, and for Ben Rubeor.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its thirteenth season in 2013. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Hamilton Nationals, Long Island Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.