By Thomas Livingston | 7/31/14 4:00 PM
New York Lizards at Charlotte Hounds
Friday, August 1 – 7:00 p.m. (ET) – American Legion Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, NC
WATCH: CBS Sports Network
The New York Lizards (7-5) look to take the 2014 season series sweep vs. the Charlotte Hounds (4-8) and improve their playoff seeding.
Last Time Out:
New York: The Lizards let victory slip through their claws and lost 12-11 to the Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-8). Chesapeake scored four unanswered fourth quarter goals for the win. Despite the loss, New York clinched a playoff spot thanks to Boston losing to Florida.
Charlotte: The Hounds fell 13-9 to the first place Rochester Rattlers (8-4) on the road in New York. The Rattlers are undefeated at home and the Hounds are winless when away from Charlotte, and the contest did not stray from the trend. Despite being tied 8-8 at one point in the 3rd quarter, the Rattlers potent young offensive talent overcame the Hounds defense.
The Beast: Faceoff Specialist Greg “Beast” Gurenlian is a one-man possession machine. The 6’1” 225lb physical specimen leads the MLL with a 60.2% success rate with an overpowering presence at the X. He gives the Lizards an immediate advantage when in the lineup and looks to outman the Hounds faceoff specialists Brendan Fowler and Tim Fallon.
Freshman Phenoms: The Hounds’ rookie class has made a big impact this summer. Justin Ward, Mike Chanenchuk and Thomas DeNapoli are consistent offensive weapons. Henry Lobb, Michael Ehrhardt, and Pat Laconi man the defensive end and proven themselves against the MLL’s best this season. Make sure to watch these young Hounds, as they may well be the difference between victory and defeat.
Burn Cancer Week: From July 31st through August 2nd, MLL Players and Coaches will be sporting select lime green equipment and apparel for “Burn Cancer” Week in support of the HEADStrong Foundation to raise awareness for all forms of blood cancer. Lime green is not only the National Awareness Color indicating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but also the adopted color of HEADstrong, which Nick Colleluori, founder of HEADstrong, believed was meant to invigorate and enliven those who wore it.
Players to Watch:
New York: Matthew Gibson, Attack: Gibson has claimed a role on the rotating Lizards attack. While the week-to-week lineup revolves around Rob Pannell, Gibson has proven himself as a valuable asset. The 2012 Rookie of the Year is a dangerous shooter and is averaging 2 points a game this season.
Charlotte: Brendan Fowler, Faceoff Specialist: The rookie took all 26 faceoffs last week in Rochester and had his best performance of his short MLL career, winning 50%. Look for Fowler to carry the load again this week, and if he is able to win at least 55% percent, the Hounds will have a good chance of earning victory.
New York: Max Seibald, Midfield, 17g, 2 2-pt g, 2a. Seibald returned to the Lizard lineup last week for the first time since June and became an immediate offensive threat. Seibald can stretch a defense with his outside shot - he leads the team with 2 2-pt goals - and has the ability to get his hands free while dodging on the run.
Charlotte: Justin Ward, Attack, 12g, 17a. The former Loyola Greyhound leads the Hounds in points, however his most impressive statistic is a remarkable 17 assists. He is the only consistent feeder on the Hounds offense, with the next assist leader far behind (Mike Chanenchuk: 5 assists).
2014 Season Series:
New York won the first meeting 14-12 on June 21st in Hempstead, NY. Rob Pannell carried the Lizards with a season-high 6-goal performance.
· Charlotte’s Ryan Young has scored a point in 30 consecutive games.
· The New York defense has held an opponent to single digits scoring just one game this season (5/17 vs. Ohio, 11-9).
· New York’s Greg Gurenlian is 2nd in the MLL with 84 groundballs.
Can’t make it? Then tune in to CBS Sports Network Friday, August 1st at 7:00 p.m. (ET) to watch the New York Lizards face off against the Charlotte Hounds at American Legion Memorial.