Photo by Rich Barnes | USA Lacrosse Magazine

Atlas Lacrosse Club selects Cornell defenseman Gavin Adler with No. 1 pick

By Lauren Merola

May 9, 2023

With the first-overall pick in the 2023 College Draft, Atlas coach and general manager Mike Pressler selected Cornell defenseman Gavin Adler on Tuesday.

Adler started all 14 games for Big Red in 2023 and all 19 games in 2022. So far this season, he grabbed 59 ground balls and caused 21 turnovers en route to a unanimous first-team All-Ivy League selection. Adler and Cornell face Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

In 2022, Adler caused 34 turnovers, tying Cornell’s single-season record in the category. That same season, Adler posted a career-high 75 groundballs.

Adler is a 5-foot-8, 180-pound defender from Hewlett, N.Y. While smaller in stature, Adler has incredible strength and balance, allowing him to stay upright and foot-for-foot with any opposer. He can get in front of the quicker attackman or shut down the dodging midfielder.

“Underestimate him due to his size, and he will eat you up and spit you out,” ESPN lacrosse analyst Paul Carcaterra said of Adler.

Adler joins a defense currently led by captain Tucker Durkin and accompanied by Michael Rexrode and Cade van Raaphorst. While the unit isn’t in full rebuild mode, it was in need of a boost. Atlas ranked sixth in caused turnovers (61) and was middle of the road in scores against (119) in 2022. Atlas did rank first in ground balls with 322, but nearly 25 percent of those were thanks to faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste.

With the addition of Adler, Atlas has a fresh cover guy who can jump on an attacker of any size, speed or skill.

Atlas opens up the 2023 season against the Redwoods on June 3 in Albany, N.Y.

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