NLL: Seals defeat Warriors in tale of two halves

Vancouver Warriors at San Diego Seals 02.22.20 (Photo credit: Mike McGinnis)

Saturday morning the San Diego Seals took on the Vancouver Warriors in a divisional match-up that could have some major playoff implications. Fittingly, these two divisional rivals with bad blood between them played with physicality befitting of a postseason match. When all was said and done San Diego were the victors, besting Vancouver 15-10. It was the NLL’s first morning game (11:30 a.m. PT) since February 8, 2013 when Rochester played Philadelphia.

The first quarter was a one-sided affair which saw the Warriors dominating the first 15 minutes. At the end of the first quarter the Warriors led 5-1 courtesy of two goals from Riley Loewen, and goals from Logan Schuss, Mitch Jones and Keegan Bal.

Casey Jackson netted a hat trick for the Seals in the second quarter, but the Warriors got contributions from Jones and Schuss to preserve the lead. Despite three unanswered goals from the Seals going into the intermission, the Warriors were up 7-5 at the half.

The Seals scored three quick goals in the opening minute and a half of the third quarter to take a 8-7 lead and led for the remainder of the game. At the end of the third San Diego held a 13-8 advantage over Vancouver. This included a run of seven straight goals to open up the quarter, as the unanswered goal streak rose to 10. Vancouver eventually broke through to score with just over a minute left in the third. The Warriors didn’t score in over 20 minutes of play.

Seals’ captain Brodie Merrill scooped his 2,518th loose ball during the game, passing Jim Veltman for first in the NLL record books. Veltman appeared on the video screen to congratulate Merrill on the milestone.

Down 14-8, Mitch Jones fought Eli Gobrecht with 6:11 left in the fourth, making it hard for the Warriors to mount a comeback missing one of their best forwards.

The Seals swept the three stars of the game with Casey Jackson picking up the first star for his five goal, one assist performance.

This game had previously been dubbed the “rumble on the runway” and was originally scheduled to be played just north of San Diego at Marine Corp Air Station Miramar. However, the game was moved when the base was put under quarantine due to incoming evacuees from the coronavirus in China. What would have been the first professional sporting event to take place at a Marine Corp base was unfortunately never able to take flight.

Next up: The Seals (4-6) travel to Calgary to take on the Roughnecks (4-4) while the Warriors (4-7) host the Georgia Swarm (5-4). Both games take place on February 29th.