In a season full of transition and change for the New England Black Wolves, one thing has stayed consistent – stellar play from Kevin Crowley.
The right hander is in the midst of the best season of his career, which comes on the heels of two consecutive years with 85 or more points. Now in his seventh season in the NLL, Crowley eclipsed 500 career points on March 16th against Toronto. He is currently on pace for a career-best 50 goals.
“I don’t feel like I’m doing anything differently,” Crowley explained. “I was really working on my shot in the offseason, coming off of playing box this summer, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I think it kept my stick skills sharp, sharper than just playing field lacrosse would have done. Playing in the Mann Cup (for New Westminster) and then rolling right into the season, your stick stays sharper that way and I think I’m benefiting from that right now.”
Perhaps even more impressive than his total offensive output are two streaks that Crowley is currently maintaining. He’s had a hat trick in the last four games, has six in the last seven games, and has nine in 13 games played this season. The forward has also scored at least one goal in 32 consecutive games since being held scoreless on April 30, 2016 at Buffalo.
The 6-foot-4 Crowley has done a little bit of everything for the Black Wolves this season. He is on pace for 73 loose balls and has been active on all parts of the floor for New England. That has not gone un-noticed by the coaching staff.
“He’s been the one player who’s played up to his potential and status all year,” Black Wolves head coach Glenn Clark said. “He’s been scoring, he’s playing hard minutes, he’s shutting down transition and playing defense. He’s been the consistent force for our group throughout the year.”
Heading into the season, much was made of the changes on the defensive side of the ball for the Black Wolves. However, it has been the offense that has seen significant turnover during the season, with the additions of Stephan Leblanc, Johnny Powless and Callum Crawford in the last three months.
Even with all of the upheaval, Crowley is confident in the group.
“I like all of the moves we’ve made, I like the guys we’ve brought in,” he said. “They are a strong, veteran group of guys who understand what it takes to be a professional lacrosse player, to be a professional athlete. As veterans, they’ve established themselves. It’s good to be part of a veteran group that wants to win.”
Crowley has two game-winning goals this season, including the overtime goal in Toronto that gave New England an 8-7 victory on March 11th. Although the team has struggled in the last two games, he believes in where the Black Wolves are headed.
“First and foremost, we need to get out of this slump,” Crowley said. “I think the saying ‘You’re never as good as you think you are when you win and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose,’ is so true for us. Obviously the last two outings weren’t great for us, but I’m still confident in our group, Hopefully this is the bottom valley for our team, and from here on out we’ll be able to build and be playing our best lacrosse at the end of the season when the playoffs are coming around.”