It was all deuces in Denver on Saturday evening at Invesco Field, as the Outlaws used a 7-goal run to start the second half and put the game well out of reach, dropping the Pride in their first-ever trip to Colorado.
Not only did MVP of the game Ryan Powell, No. 22, make his season and franchise debut with the Outlaws, leading all scorers with five points (2, 3), but almost every other Denver offensive threat chipped in two goals of their own.
After trading scores with the Pride early, taking a 6-4 lead heading into the half, the Outlaws came out firing. Having already assisted on two of the first-six Denver tallies, Powell netted an unassisted goal, the first of his Outlaw career, to open the third quarter.
Taking the new guy’s cue, Brian Langtry (2 [1-2 pointer], 1) – the league’s leading scorer at the beginning of the weekend – followed-up Powell’s goal by burying his first of the game. Langtry accepted a pass, danced around the arc a bit, and then released a 2-point bullet that beat Pride goalie Rob Scherr (20 Saves, 18 GA) off of a bounce, off-stick low, to get the over 8,000 fans in attendance up on their feet cheering.
From there, the third-year franchise threw it into overdrive, scoring the next five unanswered behind two from Geoff Snider (2, 0), one of three netted on the evening by both Jeff Sonke (3, 0) and Drew Westervelt (3, 0), and aptly bookended by the prettiest goal of the game, by Langtry.
The Hofstra-product (’98), and seven-year vet of the league ran a sweep dodge across the top from left to right, got tied up by his defender, and then threw a no-look, right-handed behind-the-back shot at the net. The ball jumped off of Scherr’s right shoulder before passing the goal plane and landing in the top corner of the net, Outlaws now up, 14-4.
The Pride would stop the bleeding, and go on to score seven of the last 12 goals in the game, but it was obviously not enough.
So while it was a game to forget for the Garden State’s only professional lacrosse team – they led only once in the contest, when up 1-0 – they do have plenty to build upon, and already have significant reinforcements on the way via the recent entry draft.
Aside from having four of the Top-10 picks headed their way, most notably the No. 2 and No. 4 overall selections, Matt Danowski (Duke) and Stephen Peyser (Hopkins), high points from the game itself were certainly Merrick Thomson (4, 1) and Kevin Boland (1, 2).
After a second quarter hamstring injury that sidelined Pride attackman Scott Urick for the rest of the game, Thomson replaced him to join Chris Unterstein (1, 0) and Conor Ford (0, 2) as the primary offensive weapons. The return to his college position must have been a place of comfort for him because he went on to score all four of his goals, on only six total shots, from the attack spot.
With the hopeful return of Urick, as well as addition of Danowski, it should be interesting to see how all of these guys fit into the mix.
Boland also looked like a man on a mission during the game. A journeyman of sorts, having played for three teams (Baltimore, Chicago and New Jersey) in five seasons, he was a catalyst all over the field for the Pride and helped to spark many of their offensive chances.
Of note for New Jersey, picks No. 3 and 4 (No. 9 and 10 overall), Joe Cinosky (Maryland) and Jordan Levine (Albany), did both suit up, and going into next week when the team hosts Boston, these guys will already be acclimated to the speed of the MLL, having gotten their feet wet in the loss to Denver.
While Cinosky didn’t put up any stats, Levine netted his first-career professional goal to go along with three ground balls.
The win pushes the Outlaws to (2-1) on the young season, keeping pace with their Western Conference-rivals, the L.A. Riptide. Denver will travel to play the defending division champs in Los Angeles next weekend to break the early-season tie.
The Pride (0-2), still looking for their first win of the season, will head back to New Jersey licking their wounds, but looking forward to making their new additions large contributing factors as they make a midseason playoff push.
Photos: Tim Head
|Jesse Schwartzman||(2, 3)|
|Brian Langtry||(3, 1)|
|Matt Brown||(2, 1)|
|Drew Westervelt||(3, 0)|
|Jeff Sonke||(3, 0)|
|Geoff Snider||(2, 0)|
|Brendan Mundorf||(2, 0)|
|Tom Ethington||(0, 1)|
|Benson Erwin||(0, 1)|
|Nate Watkins||(1, 0)|
|Matt Hanna||(1, 0)|
|Jesse Schwartzman||17 (0.607)|