Former UAlbany men’s lacrosse faceoff specialist TD Ierlan was the first overall pick in Monday’s 2020 Major League Lacrosse draft, but is planning to return to Yale in his senior season in 2021, while UAlbany senior goalie Nate Siekierski was selected 41st overall.
Ierlan, who starred at UAlbany in 2017 and 2018 before transferring to Yale, was taken with the No. 1 pick by the New York Lizards in a draft that was conducted virtually, with picks announced on the MLL’s social media accounts.
According to a report from Inside Lacrosse, Ierlan will use the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA to spring athletes after the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and return to Yale next season. The Ivy League had previously said that seniors would not be able to withdraw and re-enroll for athletic reasons, but according to the Inside Lacrosse report, Ierlan is exempt from the Ivy League’s “eight-semester” rule as he has only been on campus at Yale for four semesters since transferring from UAlbany.
MLL teams were able to draft any player who was a senior during the 2020 season that was canceled in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a player who was drafted opts to return to college in 2021 and use the extra year of eligibility granted to all spring athletes by the NCAA, the team that drafted them will retain their rights for one year.
Ierlan is the NCAA’s all-time leader in faceoff wins (1,159), faceoff percentage (75.3%) and groundballs (810).
The Victor native’s two seasons at UAlbany saw him rack up the two most productive faceoff seasons in program history. In his sophomore season of 2018, Ierlan set NCAA single-season records with 359 faceoff wins, 254 groundballs and a 79.1% faceoff winning percentage to help the Great Danes reach the program’s first NCAA Final Four.
After transferring to Yale, Ierlan broke his own single-season faceoff win and groundball records in 2019.
Siekierski, UAlbany’s starting goalie, was drafted in the seventh round by the Denver Outlaws. With his selection, UAlbany has had at least one player selected in 13 of the last 14 MLL Drafts.
Siekierski started all five games for UAlbany in 2020 before the season was canceled. The Parker, Colorado native finished the season with a 2-3 record, a 15.40 goals-against average and a .432 save percentage. In 23 career appearances, Siekierski allowed 12.65 goals per game and recorded a .494 save percentage.
Siekierski was the third goalie selected. Denver chose another America East goalie, Vermont’s Nick Washuta, with the 11th overall pick, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks selected Hobart’s Sam Lucchesi 24th overall.