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Jake Richard signs with Waterdogs, adding to high-volume SSDM unit

By Wyatt Miller | Mar 5, 2024

 The Philadelphia Waterdogs have signed SSDM Jake Richard to a one-year deal. The 30-year-old has played professional lacrosse since 2016, spending two years with the New York Lizards in the MLL before joining the PLL’s Atlas in 2019. Richard, a Westchester, PA native, will now play for his hometown team in their first season representing Philadelphia.

The move reunites one of the best defensive duos in Marquette history – Richard and Liam Byrnes. The pair played all 61 of their college games together from 2013-2016, ranking fourth in program history. Richard played all 20 regular season games for the Atlas over the past two seasons and has appeared in all but six games since joining the league in 2019. 

That consistency is something Philadelphia needs after being one of the most injured teams in the league last season. Plus, the former All-Star will add some veteran presence to a high-volume short stick group filled with three 27-year-olds and one 24-year-old (Jake Higgins). 

The Waterdogs were the only team to dress four short-stick defensive midfielders consistently last season. Higgins, Christian Scarpello, Charlie Hayes and Matt Whitcher all played significant roles in the Waterdogs defense and excelled in transition. They each notched at least one goal and were active in the screen game throughout the year. Richard will add value and depth to that group, even if the Dogs dress faceoff specialists more next season.

General Manager Andy Copelan is very familiar with the veteran’s game, and has viewed him as a fit for the Waterdogs’ locker room for some time now. 

“It’s not just Liam (Byrnes). BJ Grill, Jake Richard, guys that were part of a new upcoming build, they stayed loyal to coach (Joe) Amplo, stayed loyal to Marquette and they wanted to go and see that thing through and that speaks volumes to those guys,” Copelan said last year. “That tells you that those guys are totally wired the right way.”

In addition to this signing, the Waterdogs brought back every qualified player from the 2023 season and added Championship Series starter Jack Traynor to the active roster.