The final game of opening weekend was a high scoring one, culminating in 30+ goals and a New York Lizards victory 18-15 over the Rochester Rattlers.
The Rattlers made them work for it, though, with Daniel Hardy notching his first of four less than a minute after regaining possession from Lizards’ faceoff specialist Greg Gurenlian. New York then battled back with goals from Gurenlian, Rob Pannell and Max Seibald with the man advantage, taking the lead 4-1 for the time being.
Rochester would net the next two, then New York’s JoJo Marasco scored his first of the season, and then Steven Boyle scored his for the Rattlers, followed by Albert Maione for the Lizards, until the Rattlers were trailing by a single point in the most neck-and-neck game of the season thus far.
Enter Justin Turri. Turri would score three goals for Rochester, but his first two would come to be the most important to spark the Rattlers’ energy levels. Turri’s first goal tied the game at 5-5, and then less than two minutes later, he fired a 2-pointer, keeping Rochester in the lead all the way into the second quarter, despite a last minute goal from Pannell in an attempt to rile the Lizards.
Turri scored his third and final goal four minutes into the second, opening up the quietest quarter of the game by widening the lead 8-6. New York would rush back with two more goals from Marasco and Pannell but Rattlers’ Jordan MacIntosh, assisted by Turri, would solidify their position in the lead 9-8 to end the first half.
The lead did not sit well with the Lizards, who charged into the second half of the game and delivered a rocking seven consecutive goal scoring blow to the Rattlers’ morale, fixing the tally to 14-9 in their favor. Rochester would fire two more at the net, both Hardy’s and Lawson’s second of the night, but for the first time since their 5-4 lead 10 minutes into the first, the Lizard’s were back on top no matter what the Rattlers did.
In an effort to quell their offensive stampede, Rochester attempted to force the Lizards to spread wide around the field when they attacked, but after their seven-goal scoring streak, nothing could stop New York’s momentum. To make up for the Rattlers’ created space, they upped the pace of their game and executed crisp passes between attackmen.
The Rattlers’ new defensive approach was not enough to stop Seibald from finishing his hat trick and Pannell netting his sixth of the game, earning him his first Player of the Game Award this season. However, their relentless offense was still able to accrue points in the third, Hardy scoring his third and fourth and Mike Manley ripping a 2-pointer in a latch ditch effort to rally the Rattlers.
With this win, the Lizards next look to the Chesapeake Bayhawks, ready to faceoff Saturday, May 3 at 7pm EST. The Rattlers, although unable to capture the win, eagerly await to host the Boston Cannons Friday, May 2 at 7:30pm EST to keep their will to survive alive.
· Rob Pannell was awarded the Player of the Game with six goals to start the season, currently second in goals in the League behind Boston Cannon’s Kevin Buchanan.
· This game featured two out of the three goalies on the Team USA roster set to compete in the 2014 Lacrosse World Championships in Denver, Colo. this July. John Galloway saved 18 shots out of 36 shots on goal for the Rattlers and Drew Adams saved 15 shots out of 28 shots on goal for the New York Lizards.
· Justin Turri and Daniel Hardy led the Rattlers’ offense, Turri with three goals (one 2-pointer) and two assists, Hardy with four goals and one assist.