By Max Jacobson | 5/16/12 12:01 PM
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The Big Picture: The Long Island Lizards will take on the Charlotte Hounds for the first time this Saturday at 7 p.m. (ET). The Lizards are 0-2 after losing 19-11 to the Outlaws last weekend. The Hounds are 1-2, coming off of their first victory in franchise history over the Machine, 18-15.
Long Island Lizards: After two consecutive losses to open the season, Lizards Head Coach Joe Spallina believes that the team must improve on the offensive end in order to get in the win column. “Teams have not respected our attack and have been able to slide early on our midfielders.”
With last week’s return of midfielder Max Seibald, who finished with 4 goals and 1 assist in his debut, the Lizards continue to add pieces and integrate new pieces. “We could be real volatile offensively once we all come together,” says Spallina.
Stephen Peyser, the 2011 MLL Most Improved Player, has not found the back of the net through the team’s first two games. Coach Spallina added, “He has got to score to get our offense going.”
Players to Watch: Lizards midfielder Max Seibald leads the offensive attack and looks to build on his productive debut last week. Also be sure to keep an eye on midfielder and face-off specialist “The Beast” Greg Gurenlian who won 16 of the 33 faceoffs he entered last week and added 5 groundballs. Defensively, watch for Parker McKee who collected 4 groundballs in last week’s loss to the Outlaws.
Charlotte Hounds: Head Coach Mike Cerino hopes to build on the momentum from the Hounds first franchise victory last week saying that, “We have to keep up the effort and make sure we don’t let up from the relief of our first win.”
Hounds midfielder Josh Amidon is coming off of an impressive 3 goal, 2 assist performance in which he was named MLL Offensive Player of the Week. “He sees the field so well and it was fun to see him break out,” Coach Cerino says.
Defensively, the Hounds have been improving as Ryan Flanagan and Ricky Pages lead a developing defensive line. “Our defense has been battling,” Cerino says. “As they start to settle in we’ll become a pretty good defensive team.”
Players to Watch: The Hounds are led offensively by star midfielder Stephen Berger. Last week he recorded 6 points on 2 goals, including a 2-pointer, and 3 assists. Also keep an eye on attackman Matt Danowski, who seems to be hitting his stride after a 2 goal performance against the Machine last week. On defense, be sure to watch out for Ryan Flanagan who has been the team’s most effective defender through the first three games and played a major role in limiting star attackman, Chazz Woodson, last week.
Next Match-Up: The Lizards will face the Machine at home on Friday, June 1 at 7 PM ET. The Hounds remain at home against the Nationals on Saturday, June 2 at 7 PM ET.