Induction Year: 2015
Rob Pannell is one of the most decorated lacrosse players in Suffolk County, Long Island and American history.
He is the second leading scorer in men’s Division I history, and holds the Cornell and Ivy League all-time scoring records. He was the Ivy League’s first ever three-time Player of the Year award winner. He was voted the NCAA’s Outstanding Player of the Year in Men’s Lacrosse in both 2011 and 2013 when he was awarded the Lt. Raymond Enners Award by the USILA. He won the 2013 Tewaaraton Trophy which is awarded by The Tewaaraton Foundation to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player.
Pannell attended Smithtown High School. He played on the varsity lacrosse team for three years and led Long Island in scoring his senior year with a school record 130 points. Pannell was named offensive MVP of the team that season and earned a place on Newsday’s All-Long Island second team. After the season, he was named to the 2007 high school All-American team. He also played football, basketball, and golf, earning Academic All-Division honors for football in his senior year.
After graduating, he attended Deerfield Academy for a post-graduate year, and played basketball and lacrosse. He set a Deerfield lacrosse record for points in a single season with 99. Additionally, he earned the Stewart Lindsay, Jr. Award for the Outstanding Attackman in Division I high school lacrosse.
- Freshman Year: Pannell was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and set the Cornell rookie record for points in a season, finishing with a team-high 67 points. This made him the fifth highest scoring player and the highest scoring freshman of the year. He earned third-team All-American honors after his first college season and was named first-team All-Ivy League. Cornell made it to the finals of the 2009 NCAA championship, but lost to Syracuse 10-9. Pannell led the team in postseason scoring with 16 points over 4 games, including a six-point effort against the University of Virginia in the semifinals.
- Sophomore Year: Pannell was a first-team All-American, a first-team All-Ivy League selection, the Ivy League Player of the Year and the USILA’s Jack Turnbull Award winner as the Outstanding Attackman in Division I. His 80 points made him the third highest scorer in the league, behind only Ned Crotty and Max Quinzani of Duke. In just 25 games he tallied 100 points, the fastest Cornell player to do so since Tim Goldstein in 1987. Cornell made it to the final four of the NCAA tournament before losing to Notre Dame 12-7.
- Junior Year: Pannell was a first-team All-American, a first-team All-Ivy League selection, the Ivy League Player of the Year and the USILA’s Jack Turnbull Award winner as the Outstanding Attackman in Division I – all repeat awards/recognitions from the previous year. His 89 points in 2011 led all players in the league, but Cornell only made it to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Virginia 13-9.
- Senior Year: Pannell was also voted the National Player of the Year by the coaches of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and presented with the Lt. Raymond Enners Award as the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player in men’s college lacrosse. He was nominated for a 2011 ESPY for Best Male College Athlete. He was one of five finalists in the category for 2011 and the only Lacrosse player to ever be nominated. BYU basketball player Jimmer Fredette won the award that year.
- Pannell scored 16 points in the first two games of his senior season, but he broke his left foot in the second game against Army. Pannell attempted to rehabilitate his foot in time for the NCAA tournament, but he re-injured the foot in the month before the tournament.
- Fifth Year: Pannell applied to the Ivy League for a fifth year of eligibility as he did not graduate after the spring semester in 2013 due to taking an incomplete credit in one of his classes. The Ivy League does not grant medical redshirt years. Pannell returned to Cornell University for the spring semester in 2013 and was eligible to participate in the 2013 lacrosse season. He led Cornell in scoring for the fourth time in five years and finished second in the NCAA with 102 points. Cornell made it to the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA championship, losing to the eventual champions Duke University 16-14. Pannell set the record of 354 all-time career NCAA points in the game, passing Matt Danowski. The record stood until 2015 when it was broken by Albany attackman Lyle Thompson, who finished his senior year with 400 career points. Pannell was once again voted the National Player of the Year by the coaches of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association and received his second Lt. Raymond Enners Award as the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player in men’s college lacrosse. He was the Ivy League’s first ever three-time Player of the Year award winner. After the end of the season he was named one of the five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, which is annually presented to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player. Pannell was also a finalist in 2011, but lost to Steele Stanwick. In May 2013, he received the Tewaaraton trophy. The award was founded by The University Club of Washington, DC and is presented every year by The Tewaaraton Foundation.
Major League Lacrosse
- In 2018 he broke his own single-season scoring record in the MLL when he tallied 78 points. His pervious record was 75.
- In 2016 Pannell was named the Warrior Offensive Player of the Year. Pannell broke the single season points record with 74 points on the way winning his second straight scoring title. Pannell lead the league in points with 42 goals and 32 assists become only the second player in MLL history to record at least 30 goals and 30 assists in 2 or more seasons joining Casey Powell. He is the first player to score 40+ goals and have 30+ assists in a single season. Pannell had a career high 8 goals and 9 points vs the Charlotte Hounds. Pannell quarterbacked the New York Lizards to the #1 offense in the country and their third straight playoff appearance. Pannell was named to his fourth straight All-Star team and third straight MLL All-Pro team.
- In 2015, Pannell’s third year in the league, he led was named to his third consecutive All-Star team as well as being named MLL All-Pro for the second year. Pannell led the league in scoring with 68 points, 38 goals and 30 assists, only the third player in MLL history to have at least 30 goals and 30 assists in a season. Pannell led the Lizards offensive attack all the way to the MLL Championship game where he had 4 goals and 1 assist. The New York Lizards defeated the Rochester Rattlers to win the 2015 MLL Championship.
- In 2014, Pannell’s second year on the New York Lizards he was selected to his second All Star game appearance as well as being named an MLL All-Pro. He led the Lizards in points with 33 goals and 23 assists. Pannell lead the New York Lizards to a playoff appearance in the semi-finals where they lost to Denver.
- In 2013, Pannell was very impressive in his rookie season. He recorded 42 points (25 goals and 17 assists) in 10 games. He ranked 2nd in overall points, 2nd in goals, and 4th in assists in the league among rookies. He was selected to his first MLL All-Star game in 2013 and was named the 2013 Cascade Lacrosse Rookie of the Year.
- Pannell was the #1 draft choice in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. He was selected by the New York Lizards.
- Pannell won a gold medal with the U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse team in 2018.
- Pannell was a member of the 2014 Team USA that won silver at the World Championships in Denver. Pannell was name the World Most Outstanding Attackman as well as being named to the All-World team. Pannell led the World Championships in scoring with 17 goals and 15 assists for a total of 32 points. His 32 points are second all time in the Team USA scoring books for points in a tournament, tying him with Mikey Powell, both 9 points behind Mark Millon record of 42. Pannell also had 7 goals in USA’s game against the Iroquois, good for second all time for most goals scored in a game by a member of Team USA.
His Uncle, Jim Metzger, is also an inductee of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.