NEW JERSEY PRIDE PRESS RELEASE
PISCATAWAY - The New Jersey Pride ran out to a 5-0 lead after the first quarter against the Long Island Lizards Saturday night, and a win looked like it would come as easy as any of the other four the team had accrued this season. As Long Island battled back to tie the score twice in the second half, the Pride's resilience was tested.
It was a test they passed with flying colors.
Scott Urick scored five goals and was named the Bud Light Game MVP as New Jersey held off Long Island 15-13 in front of 2,459 at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. The win means the Pride are still alive in the chase for the final spot in the New Balance MLL Championship weekend August 26-27 heading into the final week of the season.
"We had a dry spell there in the second quarter and we let them back in the ballgame,'' said Pride head coach Peter Jacobs. "But I think we did a decent job down the end, minus some hiccups and we got the win.''
Earlier Saturday, Los Angeles topped San Francisco, 20-11, putting both of those teams at 6-5. The Pride win moves them to 5-6, meaning that a Pride win next weekend coupled with losses by both San Francisco and Los Angeles would force a fourth tiebreaker - goal differential - to decide the final playoff spot between New Jersey and Los Angeles (LA holds the tiebreaker over SF).
"It's a complicated scenario to be sure, but it's one we're happy to still be in,'' said Pride General Manager Trey Reeder. "We're just happy to get a win and take care of our own business.”
The Pride travel to Long Island for the back end of this home-and-home with the Lizards next Saturday night.
This game, though, was decided in the fourth quarter by a pair of Conor Ford goals, the final tally coming with 3:10 remaining on an assist from Urick to give the team a two-goal cushion. His second tally came in amazing fashion as he took to the air and scored while diving through the crease to beat Lizards goalie Greg Cattrano.
In addition to those two tallies, Ford added a third earlier in the game that was clearly a 2-point try, but officials ruled it only a single point goal.
Adam Doneger and Kyle Harrison also both added a pair of goals for the Pride, and Jesse Hubbard, A.J. Haugen and Kevin Boland added single tallies.
The Pride are playing for the postseason for the first time since 2003, when the team advanced to the playoffs only to lose to the Baltimore Bayhawks.
After the Pride opened that 5-0 lead after 15 minutes, Long Island got three goals in the second quarter from former New Jersey middie Austin Garrison to help pull them back into the game at 7-6 at the half. The closest the Lizards would come down the stretch would be tied at 10 and 11, thought the Pride pulled away shortly after and never relinquished the lead.