NLL: Brodie Merrill gets San Diego Seals their first victory of the season

Brodie Merrill and Cam Holding celebrate. San Diego Seals at Vancouver Warriors, 12.29.19. (Photo: Devin Manky/National Lacrosse League)

The Vancouver Warriors hosted the San Diego Seals in a thrilling back and forth affair, which saw the Seals edge out the Warriors 11-10 thanks to a breakaway goal by Brodie Merrill just before the two minute mark of overtime.

It was San Diego’s first win of the season, putting them at 1-3, while Vancouver’s record now stands at 1-2. The two hold fourth and fifth place in the NLL’s West Division.

The crowd of 6,125 watched the seesaw proceedings with bated breath, as over the course of the game there were seven lead changes. The largest lead for either team was a paltry two goals; both Vancouver and San Diego keeping the game within striking distance the entire afternoon. The Seals’ Frankie Scigliano and Warriors’ Eric Penney started for their respective clubs, both making incredible saves throughout the game. Penney’s saves during the end of the first quarter while Vancouver was two men down was especially important to keep the game tied at 2-2. However, it was Scigliano who earned the win, turning aside 46 of the 56 shots he faced.

San Diego’s Connor Fields led all scorers with four goals and earned the first star of the game. Mitch Jones grabbed the second star of the game with an eight point performance (3g, 5a) for Vancouver, while Derek Lloyd picked up the third star.

After the game, Warriors’ head coach Chris Gill praised his players for their tenacity.

“I like what Penney did out there, he made some big saves late when we needed them, I like what Bob Snider did a lot, and Lloyd was unbelievable batting balls down and he got a goal. You can go down the roster and there isn’t a guy who didn’t play well for us. We knew it was going to be tight, it’s a divisional game, but they are always tight with San Diego and we just need to make sure that we are keeping focused… You need every game [to make the playoffs], but at the end of the day divisional games are huge.”

Next up: Vancouver heads to Denver to play the Colorado Mammoth on January 4th while San Diego hosts the Saskatchewan Rush on January 12th.