This weekend the two teams that started it all face-off once again. The Jacksonville Bullies home opener was spoiled by a 19-14 loss to Charlotte, and they are hoping to return the favor. The Copperheads are hosting their first game at the Bojangles Arena since the St. Patrick’s Day Exhibition. Charlotte is hoping that they can solidify their top spot in the PLL standings with another victory.
The player to watch for Charlotte is Matt Hickman, the Salisbury grad who was named as last week’s PLL Player of the Week. He scored seven points in the Copperhead’s victory. Also scoring seven points last week was Ethan Farrell, another player Jacksonville will be trying very hard to defend. Nick Cotter and Greg Rogowski are also featured in the potent Copperheads offense.
Leading the way for Jacksonville is Kyle Hartzell, the PLL player with the greatestÂ pedigree. The only player on either team who played in the NLL last season, Hartzell has excelled in both field and box. A four year veteran in the NLL, Hartzell won the 2010 Champions Cup with the Washington Stealth. Although a defenseman, he scored four goals in his first game.
Although younger, Kiel Matisz certainly will be in the NLL this winter. Matisz has played three MSL seasons, all with the Brooklin Redmen. This season he set career highs of 18 goals and 22 assists, his 40 points good for third on the team. This summer he played in the MLL as well with the Ohio Machine, his second year playing field professionally. He scored 8 goals and 1 assist in 7 games with the team.
The game begins Saturday night at 7:00 in Charlotte. The team is hoping to match their 2,000 fans that showed up to their exhibition in March, and hopefully exceed it. The city is still experiencing a great lacrosse boost from the Hounds, which the Copperheads are trying to cash in on. Tickets can still be purchased through the Copperheads website and and the Bojangles Arena box office.