Greg Cattrano: Hall of Fame Goalie, Hall of Fame Competitor

By Adam Lamberti | Aug 3, 2023

While the Long Island Lizards celebrated the inaugural Major League Lacrosse championship in 2001, Baltimore Bayhawks goalie Greg Cattrano made a pledge to himself after the defeat.

“After the 2001 season, it was kind of a heartbreaker for me,” Cattrano said. “I kind of made some changes in my life and moved out to California. And I just did the lacrosse thing. I was like, ‘This is going to be the greatest season I’ve ever had in my life’.”

It turned out to be the greatest season of Cattrano’s life. 

Not only did he win the Goaltender of the Year award for the 2nd straight year, he was also named regular season MVP, only one of two goalies to ever win the award, with Blaze Riorden being the other in 2021.

Only one thing could spoil Cattrano’s historic season - the Long Island Lizards, whom they would face again in the 2002 Championship game.

“Even though the league was in its infancy, it was all about all the players that we had versus they had,” said Bayhawks teammate Mark Millon. “It was me and Gary [Gait] and Cattrano and then it's Pat McCabe and Casey Powell, there was like all these sick rivalries, so we wanted that bad.”

It showed on the field. The Bayhawks dominated in a 21-13 win, capturing the title, and putting the cherry on top of a historic season for Cattrano.

“I still have that feeling to this day, just walking around the field after the game being like, ‘I can't believe what this team just accomplished’,” Cattrano said. “I had found out about the MVP a couple of days before the championship. That was nice, right? But all I cared about was the championship.”

Humbleness aside, to become an MVP as a goalie, you have to be good. Really, really good. And Cattrano was.

“He had incredible fundamentals, he had really good size, incredible quickness and basically no weaknesses,” Millon said. “He’s always in the right position. Whether it's from outside, from inside, low, high, around the hips. He just had no weaknesses.”

But what set Cattrano apart from other goalies was his competitiveness.

“He told me kind of a cool story that he always looks down at the other end and see what the other goalie is doing,” Millon said. “If the other goalie has ten, twelve saves, he's like, ‘I got to make ten, twelve saves’. He had this innate ability, this competitiveness, to elevate his game in games.”

Perhaps that’s why Cattrano always seemed to play better when the lights got brighter.

He was named game MVP of the 2004 Championship game after making 19 saves, his second MLL championship, this time with the Philadelphia Barrage. He had 14 saves in the 2001 semifinal against the Boston Cannons and was named Player of the Game. In 2005, this time on the Lizards, Cattrano helped his team upset the Cannons in the semifinals, even stifling his former teammate Millon a few times.

“I made like three saves against him and I stuffed him a few times,” Cattrano said. “I think I said sorry to him, I kind of felt bad because he was such a good friend.”

Retiring in 2006, Cattrano wishes he could have kept playing a few more years, but he packed a bunch into those years - 3x Goalie of the Year, 2x MLL Champion, 1x MVP. And now one Hall of Fame jacket.