By Ally Annear | 5/11/12 12:00 AM
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The Big Picture: The Denver Outlaws will host the Long Island Lizards this Saturday at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET). The Outlaws are off to a 2-0 start after their 15-6 victory over the Hamilton Nationals last weekend. The Lizards are coming off of a bye week and an opening weekend 13-11 loss at home to the Bayhawks.
Denver Outlaws: The Outlaws have started off this MLL season very strong with commanding wins over both the Charlotte Hounds and the Hamilton Nationals. “We’re happy to be off to a 2-0 start,” says Head Coach Jim Stagnitta. “We recognize that we are not at full-strength and neither are the other teams. It’s only going to get tougher as it goes on.” With their consistent play at attack and aggressive play in the midfield, they are going to be a challenge to stop this season. Led by midfielders Terry Kimener, Peet Poillon, and Jeremy Sieverts, their offense has been outstanding. The depth of talent that they have in their starting line-up, which includes attackmen Joe Yevoli and Josh Sims, is such a tough match-up for other defenses.
“We have great chemistry. I think that’s why we’ve been able to get things done early,” claims Stagnitta. “We have players that are experienced and those that are improving in the league. I think that makes a huge difference.” The Outlaws return both Eric Martin and Steve Holmes this weekend, which adds more experience at the defensive end of the field.
Players to Watch: Josh Sims had 5 goals and 1 assist to earn Bud Light Player of the Game for the Outlaws last weekend. Jeremy Sieverts had his second straight hat trickand Peet Poillon is always a threat in the midfield. Defensive Player of the Week Jesse Schwartzman made 12 saves and allowed only 5 goals in 58 minutes in the Outlaws win over the Nationals last weekend.
Long Island Lizards: The Lizards are coming off of a bye week and Head Coach Joe Spallina is ready to go. “We’re excited to get back out there,” he says. “Denver is an explosive team. We have a great deal of respect for them. They’re going to be a tall order for us.” The Lizards have some key additions to their roster for this weekend, including former Denver Outlaws midfielder, Max Seibald,and midfielder Kevin Unterstein. “The Beast” Greg Gurenlian won 19 of 25 faceoffs in the Lizards home opener and Spallina has confidence that he is one of the toughest players in the league to face.
“The strength of our team is our short stick middies,” says Spallina, who believes that it’s going to be his team’s strength versus the Outlaws’ strength. “We’re going to have to win those [midfield] match-ups.”
Players to Watch: Greg Gurenlian, Max Seibald
Next Match-Up: The Outlaws will face the Cannons at home on Saturday, May 19 at 9 PM (7 PM ET). The Lizards travel to Charlotte to face the Hounds on Saturday, May 19 at 7 PM ET.
MLL will host its marquee event in Palm Beach County, FL this year on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. To buy your tickets now, click here. To learn more about the 2012 MLL All-Star Game presented by Moe's Southwest Grill, click here. The 2012 MLL All-Star Game will feature the best lacrosse players in the world, all on one field and will be aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.