Mikie Schlosser proves perfect match for Waterdogs style
By Josh Schafer | Sep 2, 2021
The face of the Premier Lacrosse League’s top seeded club is covered in bangs. His hairstyle is some portion of Sunshine from ‘Remember the Titans’ meets 70s rocker. In his free time fixes up his 1969 Volkswagen Baja Beetle or casts a fishing line.
To put it simply, Mikie Schlosser isn’t the stereotypical face of a lacrosse program. But the Waterdogs aren’t exactly the typical franchise. Spawned from a collection of unprotected rosters, the Waterdogs were the PLL’s first expansion club. Those players have said they don’t care about their highlights appearing on Instagram and just want to play lacrosse.
The Waterdogs drafted Schlosser in the PLL Entry Draft yearning for the player that’s fixed up a likely cool Volkswagen beetle but hasn’t posted it on Instagram. They wanted the player that dodges with the ferocity of a barrel rolling down a hill and cuts his own hair because well, “it’s just hair.”
Because that Schlosser who appears not to care about much, cares a whole lot about winning. He knows that if he’s going to dodge, he needs to dodge with the speed and a disregard for how the defense might punish him. It’s led to 15 goals and the most second assist opportunities of any Waterdog.
“He's like Sonic the Hedgehog,” Waterdogs head coach Andy Copelan said. “He just goes.”
With Schlosser and a few other key additions, the narrative around the Waterdogs has shifted slightly in their second season as the club captured the top seed. But the Waterdogs still had just two All-Star selections and enter as the underdog this weekend against the lower seeded Whipsnakes on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“You have a group of guys that play hard and want to win,” Schlosser said. “I think the cool thing is that no one cares about points, no one has a need to get theirs. It’s: ‘We want to be successful each weekend.’”
Schlosser’s road to the PLL isn’t as familiar as most. Born in Davis, California, Schlosser committed to Michigan. He never truly stood out for the Wolverines, with ECAC All-Rookie Team standing as his lone accolade after four years in Ann Arbor. He says now he “never really did that well,” leading to an under the radar entrance into the MLL.
Regardless of his low level MLL draft status, he stuck out to his Denver Outlaws teammates instantly. Waterdogs midfielder Zach Currier, who played with Schlosser during his rookie season with the Outlaws, knew from the first game with Schlosser in 2017 that the two paired well. There was something about Schlosser’s vibe, the big grin he shines out. He brings up the locker room and does the same on the field with unselfish play. Schlosser tallied four second assists in that first Outlaws game according to Currier, though the stat doesn’t officially show up in the box score.
“He works so well in the system,” Currier said. “He has no problem running as fast as he can, drawing a slide and moving it forward so we can get some action on the backside... he does not care if he has a single point.”
Currier flagged Copelan about Schlosser this offseason. He knew Schlosser could help recreate some of the magic from the 2018 Outlaws' run to the MLL Championship. Copelan listened, nearly taking Schlosser fourth in the expansion draft before eventually snagging him in the second round. Schlosser quickly became a staple in the Waterdogs locker room and is a favorite in the Copelan household where a new Schlosser jersey just arrived for the head coach’s son.
Schlosser’s brought a new element to the Waterdogs midfield. Paired with Connor Kelly and Currier, Schlosser is like the downhill threat in a football receiving corps. While Kelly and Currier excel at shifting side to side and dodging around their defenders, Schlosser blows past coverage with speed. As he runs deep into the offensive zone, he either draws the attention of the defense and dishes elsewhere for an odd-man matchup, or capitalizes on a lack of coverage.
Against Atlas in the final week of the regular season, Schlosser didn’t dodge as a decoy. He dodged to score. Catching a pass full-speed from X, Schlosser ripped his first goal of the fourth quarter from just inside the two-point line. The next two were more Sonic the Hedgehog style goals. He scored off speed dodges, barreling in toward the cage for scores that’d eventually land the Waterdogs a first-round bye.
“That was just Mikie really willing us to win,” said Copelan.
It was Schlosser at his best. Not doing too much. Not doing something because of the moment. But hitting a dodge because the opening’s there. That’s the face of the Waterdogs. A player that makes the right play and doesn’t care what you think about it.