By Molly Shunney | 8/15/14 11:00 AM
New York Lizards at Denver Outlaws
Saturday, August 16 – 5:30 PM ET – Peter Barton Stadium
Watch: CBS Sports Network
The Lizards and Outlaws meet again this week with a trip to the 2014 MLL Championship Game in Atlanta on the line.
Last Time Out
Last week, the New York Lizards defeated the Denver Outlaws in overtime 12-11. The entire match displayed a tenacious and aggressive fight to the finish. The sense of urgency from both teams made for an exciting game. Goalies Jesse Schwartzman (Denver) and Drew Adams (New York) both had incredible performances between the pipes. It could have gone either way, but New York’s Kyle Hartzell would prove to be the hero of the game, scoring the OT winner. Despite the loss, Denver walked away with home-field advantage for the semifinals.
FoGo of the Year:Greg Gurenlian of the New York Lizards earned the 2014 FOGO Award this week, presented by The Faceoff Academy. Gurenlian finished the regular season winning 201 of 329 face-offs. He currently leads the league in groundballs with an astounding 101. Though it comes as no surprise that Gurenlian deserves the honor, Chris Eck (Boston) and Bobby Dattilo (Ohio) made him work for the top spot. Eck came in a close second with 168-287 victories. Dattilo went 83-155.
Bring It On:New York has made it clear that they can hang with one of the best teams in the league. When the two met back in June, Denver walked away with a convincing 16-11 win. Don’t forget - New York hinted at a tremendous comeback in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t pull it off then, but they certainly did last week in overtime. Both teams are feeling the pressure going into the semifinals. There’s no doubt these two will fight to the very end.
Denver’s Home-Field Advantage: The New York Lizards are 0-7 when playing at Denver. The Outlaws are known for having one of the best attendance records in the league. New York will have to walk in with confidence and be willing to play against a packed Denver fan zone.
Players to Watch
Denver: Eric Law and Drew Snider each had a hat trick last week. Law ranks impressively among the top five scoring leaders in the league. Both players will have to avoid any hesitation toward the net and get those points on the board for Denver.
New York:Greg Gurenlian is a dominant force for New York, and will need to continue to be in order to win this game. He picked up 10 ground balls last week – nearly double than anyone else out on the field. We know he can get the job done with an incredible record (201-329) and as recent 2014 FOGO Award winner.
Denver: John Grant Jr. and Eric Law lead the team in points, with 54 and 52 respectively. John Grant Jr. recently surpassed Kevin Leveille in the all-time goal scoring record with 281. Faceoff specialist Anthony Kelly leads the team in groundballs with 63. Matt Bocklet trails right behind with 57.
New York: Rob Pannell has tallied 56 points this season (27 more than any of his teammates). He also leads the team in goals with 33 in 13 games and ranks #2 in the league. FO Greg Gurenlian dominates the league in groundballs with 101.
2014 Season Series
Denver and New York first met on June 14. Denver, undefeated at the time, won that match 16-11. As mentioned earlier, they met again for the last game of their season and New York walked away with the W (12-11).
- Do you want to see ESPN Magazine to write about lacrosse? Vote for your favorite under-covered sport here.
- Denver’s faceoff specialist, Anthony Kelly, has been taken off I/R and moved back to the active roster.
- Join the NY Lizards fans for the Playoff Viewing Party at Hurricane Grill in Garden City. Enjoy 50 cent wings!
- Playoff tickets for this Saturday, August 16 are on sale NOW! Find more information here.
Will you be at the game this weekend? Make sure you check out the MLL store so you can represent your team. Have you seen this awesome Denver Outlaws cap? Grab yours today!