After a shaky start to the start of the season, the Long Island Lizards have come back and won four games in a row.
An early 13-11 loss to Chesapeake didnâ€™t seem too bad. When they traveled to Denver and lost 19-11, thatâ€™s where the doubt came in. The Long Island offense scored 11 goals both games and the defense let up a combined 32 goals.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the Lizards. The offense not clicking with silly mistakes and missed assignments on defense, really kept Long Island from producing.
Things seemed pretty down for the Lizards, especially after the passing of team owner Scott Rosenzweig back in February. After their loss in Denver, good news had hit the team. Former Syracuse football and lacrosse star Jim Brown was named part owner of the Lizards franchise. If that didnâ€™t get the team excited, nothing would have.
Their next game was against the newly franchised Charlotte Hounds. With a huge last minute save from goalie Drew Adams, the Lizards won their first game of the season 10-9. It looked as though Mr. Brown brought the Lizards some luck.
Their second home game was against the other new franchise, the Ohio Machine. The Lizards clicked and took down the Machine in a 20-10 win. In attendance was new co-owner Jim Brown. Before the game started, Jim went to the locker room to give his players a motivational speech.
â€œChampions are made up of teams where each and every man does everything he can do to help his team win.â€ â€œSo with that I say God bless you, weâ€™re going to be behind you, go out and make us proud of you, and whatever happens baby weâ€™re in your corner.â€
During his interview with Lax United, Jim said, â€œItâ€™s one of the greatest sports you can participate inâ€ and that he loves the sport of lacrosse. He also mentioned, â€œHad there been professional lacrosse back when I graduated from college, it would have been a tossup between lacrosse and football.â€ If lacrosse was professional back around Mr. Brownâ€™s time, that would have been huge for the sport of lacrosse. Having an owner thatâ€™s as passionate about the sport as his players are really makes a connection for a team.
Now at 2-2, things started looking up for Long Island. Unfortunately, their next challenge was the powerful Boston Cannons in Boston. If youâ€™re a fan from either of these areas, then you know every time thereâ€™s a contest between a team from Boston and a team from New York, thereâ€™s always a great turn out.
Boston was coming off a loss to Rochester, and was looking for revenge. Long Island had all the momentum going into the game with a two game win streak. With 11,894 fans in the stands, it proved to be a great contest. With the Cannons leading 10-8, the Lizards decided it was time to turn on the jets and went on a 5-0 run for the final 24 minutes, and came out victorious 13-10. The Lizards win streak now stands at three.
Long Island traveled to Ohio last week to take o the machine for the second time this season. Except this time the Machine gave the Lizards a run for their money.
There were multiple lead changes and very physical play. Long poles and rookie Steele Stanwick lead Ohio during this game. Kyle Hartzell tallied a two point goal, Max Schmidt recorded an assist, and Ray Megill scored off a face off. Stanwick made his MLL debut this game and put in two goals with an assist. Rookie Tommy Palasek had a big game for Long Island with four goals and received Rookie of the Week. While Drew Adams stood tall in net making fifteen saves to preserve the Lizards 16-12 win.
The Lizards four game win streak is tied for the longest this season, next to Chesapeake. Long Island is currently in fourth place, standing at 4-2 and are 1.5 games back. Their next challenge will be the strong Denver Outlaws.
Coach Spallina knows what his team is capable of and will expect only the best form them. This time around, the Outlaws will have to be on their toes when the Lizards come to town.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. EST at Mile High Stadium on Sports Authority Field.
Spallina and the rest of the coaching staff have done a wonderful job getting Long Island to where they are now. The Lizards are running on all cylinders now and will have to continue this pace and strength of play the rest of the season if they want to make it to Championship weekend.