Ehrhardt Shines as FIL World Championship MVP


Michael Ehrhardt (#28) helped the U.S. dominate on defense and faceoffs throughout the tournament to earn FIL World Championship MVP honors.

NETANYA, Israel — Ryan Brown poured in 25 goals, the second most ever for a United States player in a Federation of International Lacrosse Men's World Championship. In the championship game, he had a hat trick, including the game-tying goal with less than three minutes to play.

Tom Schreiber, the two-time reigning Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player, scored 21 points (13 goals and eight assists) and came up huge when it mattered most. He had a hat trick in the championship game, including the gold-medal winning goal with just one second remaining in the contest.

They sound like pretty strong tournament most valuable player candidates, right?

Maybe, but both of them gave the wholehearted support to Michael Ehrhardt, the longstick midfielder who became the first defender to earn MVP honors since Hall of Famer Dave Pietramala in 1990.

"He one-hundred percent deserves it," Brown said. "He was our best player, our most valuable player."

"By a mile…or a kilometer. I don’t think it was close," Schreiber said. "Mike Ehrhardt covered me in high school and was always a very tough matchup. How much he’s elevated his game in the last year, and then elevated it again in this tournament, with all the pressure and in the biggest game of our careers, Mike excelled."

A former first team All-American at Maryland, Ehrhardt, a member of the Charlotte Hounds, is the leading scorer among defensive players in the MLL, but that wasn't his role on this team, even though he did have a pair of goals in the semifinal win over Australia.

He was a lock down defensive player, helping the U.S. allow just 5.3 goals per game in its seven victories, and he was a huge factor playing off the wing on faceoffs. Ehrhardt was second on the U.S. team with 26 ground balls, trailing only Greg Gurenlian's 27, and helped the U.S. lead the tournament with a 69 percent winning percentage on faceoffs.

"It’s definitely an incredible honor," Ehrhardt said. "We had a great defensive group, a great rope unit, great close guys. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. This group of defensive guys are like brothers to me."

Ehrhardt was one of four U.S. players to make the all-world team. Ehrhardt and Schreiber were named the outstanding players at their respective positions, defense and midfield, and were joined on the all-world team by Brown and Rob Pannell.

Pannell, who made the all-world team in 2014 and had the assist on Schreiber's game-winning goal, finished the tournament with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists).

All-World Team

A - Rob Pannell, USA
A - Ryan Brown, USA
A - Curtis Dickson, Canada
M - Tom Schreiber, USA
M - Austin Staats, Iroquois Nationals
M - Ben McIntosh, Canada
D - Michael Ehrhardt, USA
D - Graeme Hossack, Canada
D - Ryland Rees, Canada
G - Dillon Ward, Canada

Outstanding Attackman: Curtis Dickson, Canada
Outstanding Midfielder: Tom Schreiber, USA
Outstanding Defender: Michael Ehrhardt, USA
Outstanding Goalie: Dillon Ward, Canada

MVP: Michael Ehrhardt, USA

USA FIL Spirit of the Game Award: Jimmy Butler

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