By MLL Communications | 4/27/13 10:00 AM
Boston Cannons at New York Lizards
Sunday, April 28, 2013 (Week 1, MLL Game #3)
James M. Shuart Stadium, Hempstead, NY
3:30 p.m. EST
After both teams were eliminated in the semi-finals last year, the Boston Cannons and New York Lizards (in their first season since being rebranded from Long Island) will look to make their presence known when they open their respective seasons in James M. Shuart Stadium on Sunday, April 28. New York has been the most noteworthy team for acquiring new players in the offseason, but Boston’s versatile roster has made them a threat for every MLL team in the past, with this year being no exception.
How they fared last season
1) June 9, 2013: Long Island – 13, Boston – 10 (Matt Poskay had three goals for Boston in the loss)
2) July 14, 2013: Boston – 11, Long Island – 14 (Stephen Peyser had three goals for New York)
The Cannons were not able to relive the glory of their title win from 2011 last year, after losing to eventual champion Chesapeake in the semifinals. With a handful of key players still inactive due to outside obligations, Boston still feel as though their roster will compete well against New York on Sunday.
· P.T. Ricci has been a leader on defense for the Cannons during training camp, said head coach Steve Duffy.
· “I think everyone knows it’s not one of those leagues you just show up and play, you’ve got to be in shape and do things, the little things you need to do to be successful,” Duffy said, commenting on his team’s conditioning before their season opener.
· Mike Stone, who has been a leader for fundraising to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, is expected to play even better than last year alongside Brent Adams, who is another versatile midfielder for Boston.
New York Lizards
Eliminated by 2012 runner-ups Denver in the Championship semi-finals last season, New York responded by making some noise during the offseason and acquiring Mark Matthews from the Outlaws. The Lizards also dealt away their first pick in the 2013 draft for Steven Waldeck and David Earl, who will complement last year’s number one selection Rob Pannel should he decide to come to New York once his obligations are fulfilled at Cornell.
· “We know what we’re up against; we think that they’re a real talented team that we’re up against, but we told our guys: it’s not about anyone else, it’s about us,” said coach Joe Spallina of the Lizards’ match-up against Boston this week.
· The consensus of the team is that they over-achieved last season, which considering their appearance in the MLL Playoffs is saying a lot. In 2013, their chances of making the playoffs are greater, as is their chance to potentially claim the Steinfeld Trophy.
· “My good friend Coach Cottle and the Chesapeake Bayhawks are clearly the best team in the league. They’re the defending champions and they’re the champions until someone knocks them out of the playoffs. I can only speak about for ourselves- we needed to get better after last season,” coach Spallina said.