Lizards lose in semis to end up and down season
At the beginning of the season it looked like the New York Lizards had zero hope of going .500, let alone a playoff berth, Many weeks later the ‘Zards found themselves playing the Dallas Rattlers in the semifinals of the MLL playoffs. They tried to repeat the result from a few weeks ago, but an early deficit and lack of continuity were their downfall. The Lizards lost a close one, 15-12.
The Lizards went down early 6-1 in the first quarter and never really recovered. The Rattlers had six different players score in the first, and their overwhelming offensive talent proved to be too much for a good but inconsistent Lizards defense. Rob Pannell had the lone goal in the first quarter.
Pannell kept it going in the second quarter with two more goals to give himself another hat trick. Things never got going for the Lizards in the first half as two more Rattlers got on the scoresheet. Dallas had eight different goal scorers in the first half. A dejected New York team went into the locker room down five goals (9-4) and their season on the line.
The Rattlers came storming out in the third quarter, causing a few turnovers from the Lizards and pretty much preventing any kind of rally for the Lizards. The ‘Zards were able to make a small run in the third, with goals by Paul Rabil, Joe Locascio, Joel Tinney and Will Manny. However, the Rattlers offense was relentless, getting another two scorers on the board and getting big contributions from Jordan Wolf and Ben Reeves.
Randy Staats made himself the ninth different goal scorer for the Rattlers and Ty Thompson essentially put the game away for Dallas. The score was 15-9 midway through the fourth, and regardless of the final score the Lizards never really got within earshot of the Rattlers. Will Manny and Kevin Unterstein got the Lizards within three goals but it was too little too late. It was a bittersweet ending to what was an interesting season.
While it wasn’t the outcome the Lizards were looking for, they should be proud of their accomplishments this year. Starting off the season 1-4 isn’t exactly a recipe for success, but they grinded out some wins and made it to the semifinals. They have plenty of good young players on their team, and guys like Joel Tinney and the Reh brothers will keep this team relevant for years to come. The road to the Steinfeld Trophy begins again next summer.
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