SPARKS, Md. – A school record four Bison were selected in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, held Wednesday at the US Lacrosse Headquarters.
Will Sands became Bucknell's second-highest draft pick when he was chosen by the Boston Cannons with the first selection of the third round, 19th overall. Later in the evening, Sean O'Brien was taken by the Dallas Rattlers (5th round, 37th overall) while Matt Gilray (5th round, 44th overall) and Connor O'Hara (6th round, 53rd overall) were both selected by the Denver Outlaws.
Sands is the Bison's highest draft pick since there were at least eight teams in the MLL. Chris Cara was chosen 14th by the Long Island Lizards in the 2005 edition, back when there were only six teams in the league. Billy Eisenreich is Bucknell's only other third rounder; he was taken by the Ohio Machine 21st overall in 2012.
Previously, the most Bison selected in a single draft was two. Charlie Streep, who was selected 52nd overall by the Long Island Lizards, was in Eisenreich's draft class.
A total of 13 Bison have become MLL Draft picks since the league was founded in 2001. A least one Bison has heard his name called in six of the past seven drafts.
Sands has rewritten the Bucknell record book during his time in Lewisburg. One of three Bison to eclipse the 200-point threshold, he currently owns 234 points on 102 goals and 132 assists. This season has been his finest to date; he is currently tied for second in the nation in assists (46) and stands seventh in points (66), both of which are career highs. A member of the 2018 Tewaaraton Watch List and an Inside Lacrosse Midseason All-American, he needs three assists to break the single-season school record and is on pace to become only the fourth Bison to reach the 70-point plateau in one campaign.
O'Brien has been one of Bucknell's top scoring threats over the past two seasons and currently owns 91 career points (80g-11a). This season, he boasts 35 goals, which is tied for fifth nationally and two shy of cracking the Bison single-season top 10. Most notably, he netted the golden goal in Bucknell's overtime upset at No. 3 Yale.
Gilray has played close defense, long-stick midfield and short-stick defensive midfield over the course of his career. This year, he has primarily started at defense for the Bison, who have held nine of their opponents under 10 goals. Over the course of his career, Gilray has collected 146 ground balls, which is good for eighth in school history, and caused 44 turnovers.
O'Hara has been a pure goal scorer for Bucknell. He currently boasts 91 points (82g-9a) and surpassed the 30-goal threshold in both 2017 (32) and 2018 (34). Like O'Brien, he has an opportunity to crack the Bison single-season top 10 in goals, as he is three away. O'Hara is the son of Outlaw head coach B.J. O'Brien, who spent 12 seasons as the head coach at Hobart College before moving to the professional ranks.
Sands, O'Brien, Gilray, O'Hara and the Bison play for a share of the Patriot League regular-season title this Friday when they host Lehigh at 7:30 p.m.