Historic Harvard Stadium played host to 11,186 fans on Saturday evening for Boston-based Major League Lacrosse's 2011 All-Star Game. The event celebrated the fans who are making lacrosse grow by leaps and bounds by letting a select few have an unprecedented level of involvement in the game.
Unlike other All-Star games, fans didn't just vote for their All-Stars, but two "Ultimate Fans" got to select the makeup of each team and contribute to the playbook. Teenage lacrosse fans Michael Hatala and Nathan Solomon were selected via the Ultimate MLL Fan Fantasy Contest and made up their teams during a special selection party on Friday night. They stood on the sidelines with the head coaches of the defending league champion Chesapeake Bayhawks and Boston Cannons.
Both Ultimate Fans and normal spectators were treated to an offensive show (easy on the defense, per most All-Star Games), and Team Warrior came out with the 21-20 win over Team Authority (both teams named after league sponsors.) Team Authority's Michael Kimmel, who usually suits up for the Chesapeake Bayhawks, scored nine points in the game with five goals, an All-Star game record. For his output, Kimmel was awarded the game's MVP award. Brad Ross, a midfielder for the Boston Cannons, was one of Team Warrior's several multi-point scorers, with four points.
The game also featured a skills competition at halftime, complete with a "time machine" shot (a youth lacrosse player changing into a pro) and an acrobatic leap over a car during the trick shot competition. The skills competition also put goalies to the test with a "goalie gauntlet" competition. The obstacle course tested the goalies' abilities on the rest of the field - something the goalies didn't have much experience with. Winner Jesse Schwartzman of the Denver Outlaws admitted the lack of preparation to ESPN2:
"I started preparing for this at 12:45 this afternoon, when they showed us what the gauntlet was."