Looking at the Denver Outlaws with their helmets off, one player stands out. He’s fairly tall, listed at 6-foot-2. He also has a mullet and a mustache.
“He reminds me of a guy that we found at the Woodstock festival and turned him into a lacrosse player,” says Tony Seaman, the Outlaws’ head coach and general manager. “I’m surprised he doesn’t play a guitar and sing.”
Playing alongside a legend like John Grant Jr., a Major League Lacrosse MVP candidate like Zach Currier and a Cinderella story Max Adler — as well as past teammates like Matt Bocklet, Eric Law, Matt Kavanagh and Drew Snider — it’s otherwise easy to miss Mikie Schlosser.
Whether his name is in the headlines or not, Schlosser isn’t bothered. All he cares about is earning more wins for Denver.
“I feel like I’ve been under the radar my whole life,” he says. “I think offensively, there’s more than just guys that score goals and get assists. There’s six guys on the field. A good thing we do is we really highlight all six guys on the field when they score, even if you were just occupying a guy or made a few passes here or there. We just take pride in scoring goals and winning, not stats.”
Schlosser could be considered unheralded, but make no mistake about it; his coaches and teammates view him as a critical piece of the Outlaws success.
“He’s one of the captains of our team, so you have that leadership. Everyone believes in him,” Adler says. “He’s just the ultimate team guy. A lot of times, he’s not going to have the goal. He might not even have the assist, but he’ll draw the slide and have the hockey assist. He might come out of the game with no points or one assist, but be our biggest offensive player because he’s drawing the slide, because he busts his ass and gets back on defense and transition. He makes all those little plays, and it won’t show up in the stat sheet.”
Schlosser played four years of varsity lacrosse at Davis Senior High School in Davis, Calif., where he was the team captain for three seasons. He was ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the No. 75 freshman in his class, and after he graduated, he played college lacrosse at Michigan.
The school had a rich history in sports like football and basketball, but it was new to the Division I lacrosse scene. Schlosser’s first season was the Wolverines’ third as a D-I program. He relished in the opportunity to help build the team’s profile, though.
“It was four of the best years of my life. I loved it there,” he says. “I loved the school. I loved the athletic atmosphere, all the guys on the team. It was really cool to be a part of something new. Coming in, there was a little bit of the groundwork laid. We were trying to lay that groundwork. There’s a lot of ups and downs of that, probably more downs than ups, but I loved it.”
While at Michigan, Schlosser never thought about his professional prospects. He says he “never quite got to the level I wanted to” in Ann Arbor. Still, the Outlaws took a chance on him. Denver, known for finding diamonds in the rough, selected Schlosser with the final pick in the sixth round, No. 54 overall in the 2017 MLL draft.
Rookies, especially ones taken in later rounds, can struggle to make an MLL roster during their first season, since they do not have the opportunity to play in training camp to impress the coaches. It’s even tougher when the player is drafted by Denver, a three-time MLL champion with a roster routinely filled with All-Stars.
Schlosser played in one game for the Outlaws in his rookie season; it was the final regular season game of the year, and it was against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Despite losing the game, Schlosser scored a goal, added an assist and left an impression that would stay with the coaches for the next season.
“He played one game for us against Chesapeake that first year and John Grant Jr. said, ‘That guy is going to own this league,’” Seaman says. “He recognized it before any of us did.”
When evaluating Schlosser’s skills, the Denver coaches are not surprised at the contributions he makes on the field.
“He can shoot it both hands,” Seaman says. “Good speed. He does so many things for us, and he’s a hard worker on top of that.”
“Mikie is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” says Bocklet, the decorated long-stick midfielder who retired last year after 11 seasons with the Outlaws and is now an assistant coach. “He has the most positive attitude and energy. It starts with his mullet and goes through his play on the field. He doesn’t get all the love he deserves, but one of the reasons we won the championship last year was his athleticism out on the field, making plays, initiating a lot of the offense.”
In 2018, Schlosser played in all 14 games, scoring 23 goals and adding three assists. He added three goals and an assist in the playoffs, including two goals in the championship game victory over the Dallas Rattlers.
Bocklet shared a story he felt exemplified the type of teammate Schlosser is.
“We were celebrating our championship last year here in Denver,” Bocklet says. “We were having a party on a Wednesday night, and he flew in with literally just his shirt on his back, his jorts, of course, and a toothbrush in his pocket. He showed up in Denver, and he was here for 18 hours just to come in and make sure he got to celebrate with the local guys that one night. That’s the kind of guy he is. He just wants to be a part of it. He wants to be a part of something special.”
One of the reasons the championship was so important to Schlosser was because it was his first, at any level.
“We had a lot of guys who won before, but we also had a lot of guys who had never won anything,” he says. “So, to be around that and to be a part of that, you almost forget about it, but you get chills thinking about it.”
The Outlaws winning championships is certainly special, and Schlosser played a big role in the 2018 title. He also realizes, though, that his role in something special extends beyond the playing field and into the stands.
“It’s really cool, because a lot of kids from nontraditional areas come out. There were kids from Montana and Wyoming last week because this is the closest lacrosse they can get. It’s so cool to get people like that out here,” Schlosser says. “I think lacrosse now is starting to hit a turning point where you’re seeing kids from all over the country. You don’t have to be from a hotbed area, which is awesome. It’s what it’s all about. I think it’s going to help take this sport to the next level. The more kids playing the game, the better. The more kids playing in nontraditional areas, the more you’re going to have guys who really fall in love with it and take it to the next level. It’s pretty awesome.”
Schlosser cares about winning games, and in 2019, Denver continues to do just that. Through the first six weeks of the season, the team sits in first place with a 5-1 record and a four-game winning streak.
It’s possible Schlosser’s time being unheralded is almost up, however. Individually, he ranks sixth on the team in points with six goals and four assists. In an acknowledgement of what he brings to the table, Schlosser was elected to compete his first MLL All-Star Game, the league announced Tuesday.
For Schlosser, the recognition is nice, but he’s happy getting wins and being with his teammates.
“You do this, and at the end of the day, it’s for the love of the game,” he says. “You get together every weekend. Every weekend, you’re reminded how fortunate you are to be able to play and then be able to hang out with a bunch of your best friends. You really can’t beat that experience every weekend.”
Source: New feed