2021-22 PREVIEW: Philadelphia Wings

Kiel Matisz will captain the Wings this year. (Photo credit: Laura Kupsey)

The Philadelphia Wings are set to take flight in Philadelphia this Saturday night as they open their 2021-22 season against the Panther City Lacrosse Club. In some ways, it seems like the Philadelphia Wings never left. In other ways, a lot has changed since the Wings last played a professional lacrosse game in Philadelphia. Certainly the world has changed. For Philly fans, a lot of the names remain the same.There are several big names that are back wearing the W this season. Matt Rambo, a Pennsylvania boy as well as a Maryland star is back and looking to make an immediate impact this season. Blaze Riorden, another fan favourite, is back for another season. Rounding out the fan favourites are Kevin Crowley and Trevor Baptiste. Crowley, also known as Big Cat, is ready to re-establish his goal scoring prowess. And of course there is Trevor Baptiste whose size and power have helped him successfully transition into the indoor game. The Wings will need Baptiste to be more of an offensive threat off the faceoff this season.But, in all honesty, it will probably come down to a solid goalie being supported by a strong defense. Zach Higgins had his most successful save percentage before Covid ended the season two years ago. If he can get back to his solid saves (and at times his seemingly one-man show) then the Wings will be a contender this season. Much like the support that Brandon Miller provided, Higgins won’t be lacking in that category either. Angus Goodleaf most recently played for the Rochester Knighthawks and is still a solid goalie.Speaking of solid, the Wings looked pretty solid on offense last weekend in their 10-8 victory over the Toronto Rock in preseason action. It seemed like the defense struggled a little at times. When in control and sliding, they appear to be “rock solid” as well. Hopefully those small missteps and miscommunications will be rectified as they continue to get to know the nuances and work together.And while there are not a lot of indoor superstars on this roster, there are some outdoor stars. There are also a lot of guys who have a lot of experience and a lot of fight left in them. The seasoned veterans who have a plethora of experience will probably have the Wings finishing in the middle of the pack this season.