Features | 2/22/2013 9:26:52 AM | Alex Beilman
Buffalo Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo will be the first to tell you how long it takes him to get settled in over the course of the season. This season, after struggling in his first six games, Cosmo made 54 saves en route to a 10-6 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks.
It’s easy to understand why Cosmo has an unsettled feeling year after year. He has been a member of five different franchises, including two that had to cease operations, and was a top three selection in two different dispersal drafts.
Cosmo began his career with the Toronto Rock. He began as a backup but would go on to play in all 16 games from 2002-2004 before being traded to the San Jose (now Washington) Stealth. It was in there that Cosmo began making a name for himself as a starting goaltender.
San Jose, however, was too far for Cosmo. As his family stayed in Mississauga, Ontario during the season, he felt the back-and-forth travel was too difficult.
“I had to fly back and fourth and it was pretty daunting on the body,” Cosmo said.
Cosmo requested a trade and he was traded prior to the 2009 season to the Chicago Shamrox, who would end up ceasing operations before the season began. He was selected first overall by the Boston Blazers in the dispersal draft.
It was in Boston that Cosmo became an even better goaltender. In 2009 he posted a career-best 9.50 goals against average was named as a reserve to the All-Star team. However, the Blazers had to unfortunately announce that they, too, had to suspend operations prior to the 2012 season. Cosmo was selected third overall by the Minnesota Sawrm.
“I thought we had a great thing going in Boston,” Cosmo said. “Then it was announced to me [in 2012] that we folded up shop and Minnesota graciously picked me up in the dispersal draft.”
This time, Cosmo was forced to sit out. He has just welcomed his first son into the world and did not want to have to deal with the weekly travel that would be required to play in Minnesota.
“It was pretty difficult. It was tough not competing,” Cosmo said. “It was something I had been doing for 11 or 12 years at that point but I knew it was something that would benefit me and my family, and family comes first for me.”
It was half way through the 2012 season that Minnesota was able to help Cosmo, trading him to the Buffalo Bandits for two-first round picks. Cosmo quickly found himself taking over the starting role in Buffalo, going 3-3 with a 12.47 goals against average in 10 games in the 2012 season.
“Lucky enough, Buffalo came around and picked me up in a trade,” Cosmo said. “I’ve loved it ever since I settled in.”
Cosmo was tagged as a franchise player by the Bandits following the 2012 season, and was able to agree to a one-year deal with the Bandits in November. Expectations were high for Cosmo.
True to his self-admitted form, Cosmo did not have a stellar first part of the season. It was finally in the aforementioned game against Rochester that his game finally clicked. The performance earned NLL
Defensive Player of the Week honors. He would like to think that being able to be with his family helped him recover this season.
“I have a two-and-a-half year old and a two-month old,” Cosmo said. “My wife and my oldest have been awesome, and he’s even getting involved with the Bandits and with lacrosse. Two weekends ago, I lost and I didn’t play so well. When I came home I told him I lost he said ‘Dad it’s ok. I still love you.’ It resets your mindset as to what’s important in life, but still feel blessed and honored to be playing professional lacrosse.”
Cosmo also admits that being able to be so close to his team during the same helps make them sort of a second family to him.
“It’s also about practice and building a family and relationship within the Bandits organization,” Cosmo said. “The sense of camaraderie in this organization is incredible.”
Another plus for Cosmo playing for the Bandits is playing in “Banditland.” He can recall having to play against the Bandits, and is happy to have the fans behind him, rather than against him, when he suits up for a game in Buffalo.
“The passion carries through onto the floor. It seems like there’s a sixth or seventh man on the court,” Cosmo said. “I was very pleased when I came here. I am so happy to be in Buffalo.”
Cosmo admitted that Buffalo was one of two places he wants to finish his career, and seems to be favoring Buffalo since arriving here a year and a half ago.
“The very first game I watched was a Buffalo Bandit game,” Cosmo said. “I really am enjoying it and I like everything Buffalo brings to lacrosse. To me, it’s the home of professional lacrosse.”