Philadelphia, PA – The New Jersey Pride helped the Barrage break into their new hometown, Philadelphia, to the tune of a 17-13 opening day Pride victory. The Pride used an eight goal 2nd quarter, along with six points from the Bud Light MVP of the game, Adam Doneger (four goals – a two point goal – and one assist). Jesse Hubbard contributed with four goals on the night, while Trevor Tierney was superb in net with 18 saves (eight of which came in the 4th quarter to hold back any late efforts Philadelphia could muster). For Philadelphia, Liam Banks was the headliner with six assists, while Blake Miller contributed four goals and an assist for five points, and Keith Cromwell chipped in with three goals.
The first goal of the season for the Pride was scored by Jesse Hubbard as he finished a Dan Chemotti feed 4:37 into the game. Matt Striebel scored the Barrage’s first goal as a Philadelphia team shortly after when he picked up a looseball and finished it past Tierney. Scott Dooley would put the Pride back up nearly a minute later. The Barrage were able to keep the game close early, aided by a pretty extra man goal where Liam Banks from his X-position fed BJ Prager who put a textbook quick-stick into the back of the net. A mysterious #45 would then respond for New Jersey on a nice lefty bounce shot. As it turns out, it wasn’t really a mystery who #45 was, it was Adam Doneger. However, he was one of the few players to not have a name on the back of his jersey, which can probably be attributed to it being early in the season and also a high turnover. You can imagine he’ll have a permanent jersey soon. Dave Curry wrapped up the 1st quarter scoring for the Pride as he nailed a shot from just inside the 2-point line for the 4th New Jersey goal. Keith Cromwell would bring the Barrage a goal closer as he added one with 31.5 seconds to go in the quarter. This was as close as Philadelphia would get.
The 2nd quarter was all New Jersey, despite Philadelphia out-shooting them by four. New Jersey outscored Philadelphia 8-3 in the quarter, in part to a two-point goal in a four-goal run. Blake Miller added an exciting goal for Philadelphia reminiscent of the famous “Air Gait”. The Pride would head into the half with a comfortable 12-6 lead.
The 3rd quarter saw both teams add another three goals each, but Philadelphia was unable to cut further into the lead, leaving New Jersey with a 15-9 lead heading into the final period. Philadelphia’s offense seemed to come to life a bit more in the 4th quarter, as they were able to cut into the lead putting the final to 17-13. As Philadelphia coach, Sal LoCascio, said “I really think that if we can get to 15 [goals] we’ll be in good shape.” Tonight, they would have needed more (obviously), but if their offense can continue to run as it did late in this game, when they seemed to find a pattern, 15 goals will be very achievable.
On a night where most Philadelphia sports fans were glued in front of the TV to see a devastating game 7 loss, 2381 loyal lacrosse fans (I, along with many others, had a radio tuned to the Flyers’ game) were treated to Philadelphia’s new outdoor professional Major Lacrosse team. The game was relatively well matched statistically, with Philadelphia holding a face-off advantage and groundball advantage by 2, and New Jersey taking 2 more shots than Philadelphia. The difference seemingly was held in Tierney’s hands along with the lower percentage shots that the New Jersey defense was giving up. Often it seemed that Philadelphia goalie, Greg Cattrano, was left out to dry, by a defense that early in the season is looking for an identity and a cohesiveness. LoCascio pointed out that, “They [New Jersey] won the battle down the middle of the field.” What he meant was that their short stick middies funneled the Philadelphia offense down the side of the field. Philadelphia did a poorer job of taking away the New Jersey looks at the net from in front of the cage.
An interesting stat was that both teams were perfect in clearing the ball. Philadelphia – 28-28. New Jersey – 22-22.
|Liam Banks||(0, 6)|
|Blake Miller||(4, 1)|
|Keith Cromwell||(3, 0)|
|Roy Colsey||(2, 0)|
|Matt Striebel||(2, 0)|
|Bj Prager||(1, 0)|
|Michael Springer||(1, 0)|
|Greg Cattrano||11 (0.393)|