July 27, 2006
Baltimore, Md. - Former Greyhound Mike Battista retired from Major League Lacrosse last week and will be honored at halftime of the Baltimore Bayhawks-Boston Cannons MLL game on Saturday, August 5. Battista, a two-time All-America at Loyola, has been with the Cannons since the organizations' inaugural season in 2001.
A native of Newton, Mass., Battista drew immediate favor from his hometown fans when he registered the first goal in Cannons' history. In the 62 games that have followed, he has compiled 100 goals, 12 two-point goals and 15 assists. Arguably the most popular player on the roster, Battista was named team captain prior to this season.
Unfortunately for Battista post-concussion syndrome prematurely ended his professional career on July 20. He suffered the third concussion of his MLL career on June 10 against the Los Angeles Riptide and announced his retirement 10 days later.
"This was a very difficult decision to make," said Battista in the Cannons' release. "I love playing for the Cannons and in front of the great fans of Boston. But after consulting with my doctor I determined it was in my best interest to stop playing so I can fully heal from my previous concussions."
Battista is one of 12 Loyola first-team All-Americans, playing midfield for the Greyhounds from 1997 to 2000. He was a first-team All-America selection in 2000 after taking second-team honors in 1998. Battista finished with 72 career goals at Evergreen and helped Loyola reach four NCAA Tournaments and the Final Four during his four years.
"Mike Battista was a two-way middie that followed in the footsteps of Mark Frye and still excelled," says Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. "His senior year at Loyola, he was as good as any midfielder ever to play here."
In six seasons with Boston, Battista has climbed to fourth on the franchise's all-time scoring list and third on their two-point goals list. Before his injury this season, Battista scored a pair of two-point goals and added 13 points to put the Cannons atop the Eastern Conference standings.
"Mike is a great team captain and has proven himself at the professional lacrosse level," adds Toomey. "I'm glad to see he's getting the recognition he deserves."
The halftime ceremony honoring Battista will take place at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University. The game between Boston and Baltimore is slated for 7 p.m.