CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Hounds selected University of Virginia midfielder Ryan Conrad with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 Major League Lacrosse Draft.
The two-way midfielder, who took home All-American honors in 2017, helped lead Virginia back to the NCAA tournament in 2018, ending a three-year dry spell. In 2017, Conrad led Virginia with 63 ground balls, the most in the nation by a non-defensive player or faceoff specialist. He garnered All-ACC honors and tallied 17 goals and 11 assists. Prior to tearing his meniscus, ACL and MCL in 2018 missing the majority of the season, Conrad scored four goals, added three assists and scooped up 23 ground balls. This season, the midfielder has tallied nine points on five goals and four assists.
Coach Joe Cummings said he knew about Conrad since his middle school days.
“He’s a guy that can wear lot of hats,” Cummings said. “Leadership comes to mind, and he’s a guy that’s willing to do what the team needs. He has an incredible ability, and we said if he’s there at pick five, we’re going for him.”
The Hounds further bolstered the midfield in the third and fourth rounds, selecting University of Denver LSM Matt Neufeldt and Syracuse LSM Matt Fusco. Charlotte traded the 41st pick in the fifth round to Atlanta in exchange for Ohio State midfielder Johnny Kelly and later selected North Dame attackman Brendan Gleason with the 50th overall pick in the sixth round.
“We wanted to address some of the middle of the field play,” Cummings said. “I think we got two guys that can help us there and both are excellent in the way they play the game.
“And I’m excited about Brendan. He’s having a really good season for Notre Dame, and I think he’s going to have an impact on our team. He’s a guy with a great athletic ability and a high skill level that could come in and move the needle quickly.”
The Hounds open the 2019 season June 2 against the Boston Cannons at 4 p.m.
Round 1 Selection
5: Ryan Conrad, M, Virginia
Round 3 Selection
23: Matt Neufeldt, LSM, Denver
Round 4 Selection
32: Austin Fusco, LSM, Syracuse
Round 5 Selection
41: Trade for Johnny Kelly, M, Atlanta Blaze
Round 6 Selection
50: Brendan Gleason, A, Attack