Lewis Ratcliff finished the 2013 National Lacrosse League season with 67 points, his lowest NLL total since scoring just 45 points in 2003. That was good enough to rank second in team scoring for the Stealth, but might it also be indicative of the help around him? The Stealth have a fine, fine stable of shooters to throw at opponents and Ratcliff is one of them. So whatever the reason behind his drop in statistics, there is one truth that cannot be denied: Ratcliff remains one of the most dangerous scorers in the game today. His outside shot is lethal and given any kind of room to crank up his cannon, he will unleash a furious shot that’s tough enough for observers to follow, much less goalies. He’s a wily veteran who knows the ins and outs and it’s this IQ, along with his consistent production, that puts him in ILIndoor’s Top 50 for 2013.
Ratcliff’s 31 goals was No. 2 on the team behind Rhys Duch, giving the Stealth positively powerful punch from the left (Ratcliff) and right (Duch) side. Beyond that, the Stealth got production from others that perhaps they hadn’t been able to rely on in past seasons, and that took looks away from Ratcliff.
But what it all added up to was another Champion’s Cup appearance for the Stealth, their 3rd appearance in the NLL’s title game in 4 seasons. The Stealth came up short in 2013, losing to Rochester, but it’s tough to argue against the impact of a guy who has helped his team reach that height so consistently.
“Lewis has one of those shots that isn’t fancy, but it’s exciting because of its power. You see that stick drop and as he’s cranking, you’re just glad you’re not in the way. He’s such a consistent producer, year in and year out and while others may provide the slick moves to get inside, Ratcliff’s shots have their own muscle to get through the crowds.” – Bob Chavez
“Still one of the most dangerous shooters around from the high shooter spot, Ratcliff can bury the ball if you give him any time and space.” – Stephen Stamp
“You can not argue with the numbers he consistently puts up or the amount of success teams he has worked with have had when he played for them. Give Lewis time and space and he will find a way to score. The bottom line for me is that personalities come and go from the game of lacrosse and you can’t win without a few talented lacrosse players who score on a regular basis. Ratcliffe is very talented and always gets his goals.” – Marty O’Neill
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