BROWNELL TAKES A BIG STEP
Features | 1/2/2014 2:01:55 AM | Alex Pagliano

At the close of last season’s training camp, Kevin Brownell may have been an afterthought to some. After all, the Buffalo Bandits rookie from Robert Morris University was a third-round selection and the fourth transition player picked by the team in that year’s draft.

But Brownell worked hard in camp and earned a spot on the team's reserve roster, a chance that gave him an opportunity to learn from some of the more veteran players on the team.

Now, he’s reaping the benefits of that experience. Brownell is on the active roster and scored two goals in the team’s opening night loss to the Philadelphia Wings on Dec. 28.

Bandits coach Troy Cordingley singled out Brownell’s effort after the game. He called Brownell the team’s “best player” that night.

Brownell had shown glimpses of what he could offer during the 2013 season. Over seven games, he added eight points (2+6), including a career-high five points on a goal and four assists against Washington on Apr. 21. The rookie had carved his niche as someone who could not only bring the ball up the floor and find teammates, but also find the back of the mesh.

"I was on the practice roster to the start the season," he said. "Being on the practice roster gave me an opportunity to learn from some of the veteran players on the team and pick up some things along the way. I just tried to progress over the course of the year with an emphasis on this season."

The culmination of his hard work earned him a spot on the active roster this season; one that was well-deserved, according to Cordingley.

"Kevin Brownell was a pleasant surprise," he said. "I watched him play lacrosse in Canada and he was a real solid player. Now, he's starting to show a lot of confidence in playing in this league. He's a very smart player. We were happy with him."

One of Brownell’s two goals against Philadelphia caught the eyes of the coach and fans alike.

"The goal that he scored in the second quarter in transition where he went into the corner and [grabbed] the loose ball and then had a guy chase him as he pulled away to score was nice," Cordingley said.

That end-to-end goal cut the Wings’ lead to two just before halftime.

"I knew the team needed a spark," Brownell said. "I was just trying to play my role out there tonight. We have a lot of new guys trying to fit into a new system, so things seem scrambled at times. But I tried to put a lot of effort into the little things out there and it worked out. On the goal, I just [grabbed] the loose ball and then saw the opportunity to just take off."

Looking ahead, the Bandits have an added week of practice to prepare for the Toronto Rock at First Niagara Center on Jan. 10. The bonus week, according to Brownell, comes at an opportune time.

"I think our [offensive struggles] came from a lot of things,” he said. “A lot of new players on the roster that have not played with each other yet. Going into practice this week, we'll hopefully get back to basics and try to work on those things four our game against Toronto. I'm very confident in the guys that we have in our room. This loss is just a minor setback. The sky is the limit for us."

VS.  Rochester Knighthawks
TV: The Lacrosse Network | RADIO: ESPN 1520/WGWE 105.9 FM
 April 26, 2014 - 07:30 PM 1 2 3 4 F
 Rochester Knighthawks 0 0 0 0 0
 Buffalo Bandits 0 0 0 0 0