MLL Season Recap: New York Lizards

The New York Lizards are now looking to the 2014 season, with the 2013 campaign over with. The Lizards finished the season with a record of 4-10, and in seventh place in the standings. New York missed the playoffs the playoffs but finished the season with a win over the Ohio Machine. The Lizards also had this year Rookie of the Year Rob Pannell on the team.

The Lizards spent most of the season near the bottom of the league, and was only able to come up with four wins. Three of the four wins that the Lizards acquired this season were over sub .500 teams, two came over the Ohio Machine. Their one quality win came against the Hamilton Nationals, who went on to Championship Weekend. The lizards went 3-4 at home this season, which is alright for a mid level team in the MLL, but they went 1-6 on the road where is a team needs to win games to get to Championship Weekend.

The Lizards were one of the worst scoring teams this season. They were able to put up 144 goals, which was second to last. What is salt in the wound is that they gave up 173 goals this season, which was the third highest in the league. This equates to a goal differential of -29, which was second to last this season behind the Ohio Machine. In comparison the Charlotte Hounds had a goal differential of -1 and the Denver Outlaws had a differential of +90 and the MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks had a differential of +32.

The Lizards do have some bright spots to look forward to next season. They have a young attack group that includes the ROY Rob Pannell, Syracuse alum Tommy Palasek, and Pannell’s former Big Red teammate Steven Mock, along with former Denver University standout Mark Mathews. All had a lot of playing time this season and meshed together over the summer. The team also had a young group of middies that included JoJo Marasco, who came out late in the season, and David Earl, who lead middies on the team in points with 19. One of the reasons that the team suffered so much this season was that Max Seibald only played in six games this season and recorded only nine points. Along with Seibald Greg ‘The Beast’ Gurenlian got banged up towards the latter half of the season, he did lead the league in face off percentage with 64.1 percent, which is now the new single season record for face off percentage.

The biggest question mark for the Lizards will be the defensive unit. The defense did not get a ton of help on the field from the offense, but they did not look to be in any shape or form up to snuff for the MLL. With the team having Brian Karalunas, who is normally an LSM, playing defense you do add a feistiness to the back end but it did not offset the lack luster play by Steven Waldeck, Michael Skudin, and Jack Reid who were the three poles who garnered the most playing time. New York’s lackluster defense and offense took its toll on goalkeeper Drew Adams who had a hard season, but a season that he tallied his best saves total and second best saves percentage.

the New York Lizards’ season was easily a down year and year that the team and the front office will not want to repeat next year. With a good draft and some solid acquisitions in the offseason the Lizards will be one of the teams in the hunt come next year.