It was a perfect day to introduce Major League Lacrosse in Chicago with the Chicago Machine hosting the San Francisco Dragons. Both teams’ new draft picks were dressed and ready to play and Kevin Corrigan of Notre Dame was on hand for the color commentary for Comcast Sports. The Machine play at the Sports Complex of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago and given the attendance at the Notre Dame-Cornell game held at Benedictine earlier this year, a large crowd is expected at all of its home games. However, graduations and parties held back the numbers and although the official count was said to be 2173, it was more sparse than that. Those that did attend saw the rockem-sockem robot version of lacrosse when the Dragon defense did its best to twist Machine attackman Kevin Leveille’s head around backwards. Leveille got nailed a number of times far out and not close in and was the subject of at least three cross-checks and two illegal body checks, although only one of each was called. In spite of having six man up opportunities, the Machine converted none of them and for the second and third quarters the Machine played as of they had slipped a gear or two.
In the pregame meeting, Coach Kevin Finneran went over each of the Dragon players strengths and weaknesses and the game plan on defense was to make things happen and not let them happen, while on offense, coach Ted Garber wanted the team to work to attack the opposite side. In the game, Chicago worked the ball well in close with Leveille liking to roll in from the right, curl and roll opposite, or cross from left to right and use a behind the back or over the shoulder shot. Good plan, poor execution for the Dragons’ goalie, Alex Cade smelled all of the fancy shots and shut those type of attacks down. Cade had 19 saves before he left with 2 minutes to go. Cade was also helped by the pipes, for Chicago had 7 clangers to San Francisco’s 5 pipe bangers.
Right out of the box the Machine won the first face off and took it to the net with Josh Coffman feeding Zach Gagel for the first score in the first minute. Chicago tallied the next two gals over 5 minutes with Doug Shanahan and Kevin Boland each hitting the net. San Francisco countered to make it 3-1 and took advantage of poor midfield defense by Chicago, scoring twice in the last thirty seconds of the quarter to tie the game 3-3 at the end of the first. The second and third quarters were all Frisco and mostly Brad Reppert, as he scored three of his four goals in the first 4 minutes of the second. Reppert also had two assists for a six point game. Frisco ran out to a 8-3 advantage when Sean Morris got on the board with his first of the day (he ended with 2 goals and one assist) and was followed with scores by Shanahan and Leveille to cut the advantage to 8-6. Frisco responded with a pair to end the half up 10-6.
Frisco controlled the third quarter, scoring seven times, while holding Chicago to only one score. Cade came up big with three saves on rolls by Leveille and Coffman and clamped down on Morris trying to bull directly in front for a close shot. Cade was anticipating Chicago’s shots and shut them down on high percentage shots. Chicago also had a bad case of the drops today dropping catchable passes and worse, tossing balls cross field that were too high for their teammates and which sailed out of bounds for the turnover. Frisco had too many good looks on the Chicago net and led with a shots on goal total of 49 to Chicago’s 36. The most frustrating aspect today for Chicago’s offense was its inability to convert any extra man opportunities, getting six such chances and converting none.
Ryan Powell and Nate Watkins each scored three times and Matt Alrich had a four goal game. The Dragons travel to Denver next while Chicago hosts Philadelphia next Saturday.
Chicago Machine vs. San Francisco Dragons
|Brad Reppert||(4, 2)|
|Trey Whitty||(2, 2)|
|Matt Alrich||(4, 0)|
|Ryan Powell||(3, 1)|
|Jarett Park||(2, 1)|
|Nate Watkins||(3, 0)|
|Tom Zummo||(1, 1)|
|Chris Rotelli||(1, 1)|
|Eric Martin||(0, 1)|
|Tim Booth||(1, 0)|
|Peter Inge||(0, 1)|
|San Francisco Dragons||1-1|
|Man|| by Dlaxman27 (#58519) on 6/04/06 @11:50AM |
|I am hopeing that the machine can get their "gears" in check. I want to see them win next saturday.|
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|Dragons|| by nshoe09 (#135016) on 6/04/06 @2:38PM |
|though I'm from northern california, I hope to god that chicago pulls itself together so they don't turn out to be the chicago cubs of lacrosse. |
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|Lacrosse is booming in Chicago|| by Naptown Fan (#136419) on 6/04/06 @3:33PM |
|From what I have heard, lacrosse is really booming in Chicago, among many other places. I wonder if lacrosse will be big enough in Chicago to one day have the Men's Final Four at Soldier Field. Boy, think about how awesome a city Chicago would be for that! The waterfront is beautiful, the shopping and restaurants and bars are top notch, and the city is so much more friendly than New York. The question is, would it be a risk to take the Final Four off the East Coast Right now?|
P.S.-If the Naval Academy's stadium were a little bit larger, Annapolis would be a perfect fit for the Final Four. It is a small town with great food and places to hang out. Instead of people going to different parts of a big city, all the fans would be together both at the games and in town before and after the games. I know that the Women's Final Four and World Cup did well there last year.
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|This is some league they F'ed up|| by deli22 (#96158) on 6/04/06 @7:46PM |
|Already making excuses for attendance?|
"However, graduations and parties held back the numbers and although the official count was said to be 2173, it was more sparse than that." (From Article)
There are better attendance numbers than that at Most HS playoff games where the sport is actually appreciated and played well!!!
Maybe Lacrosse IS only a Northeast Sport!?
Why doesn’t the league realize that it takes more than 2 or 3 Big-time players to make a good lacrosse team? This is not the NBA where 2 great players get you to a championship.
The MLL had a good thing going before expansion. AND it all gets even worse when they expand again in 2008.
I understand it is hard to make good decisions with Dollar Signs in your eyes! The MLL has made it extremely painful and obvious that it doesn't care about the product on the field.
Nice Home opener--Chicago loses by 2 touchdowns in front of a pathetic crowd of "Reportedly 2,100" which probably means less than 1,500.
WOW the MLL is really moving forward in leaps and bounds.
It really makes me sick that they can make the Game I love So Easy to HATE.
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|Why can't the players get sponsored?|| by OpenHouseForum (#3709) on 6/05/06 @1:32PM |
|I understand that warrior wants them to wear exclusively there gear and there gear alone. But one of the issues is that the players are not getting paid enough. So aren't they being very short sited by not letting them individually get outside sponsors? They can still own the league and get there name out there. But if sponsors were competeing to get there brand on each player then the players could get more money much like they do in other sports. And the league would not suffer because of the players tiny paychecks.|
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|Bets anyone?!|| by ticaiso2000 (#73922) on 6/05/06 @5:19PM |
|I posted this at another spot here at Lax.com but no one responded. So I will pick the fight here.|
Any bets on which expansion team will fold and move to another city or fold altogether. I betting on the Riptide. LA had had lost their indoor team to Portland after one season. Anyone on the east coast wanna name the Barrage because of the low game attendance.
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|(no subject)|| by nshoe09 (#135016) on 6/05/06 @11:33PM |
|hey deli about 2-3 weeks ago I was on your side of the arguement on the whole odds things for the final four, people were ripping at you and I was teh only one that actually understood what you were doing, I din't insult you, I didn't make fun of you, i had respect for you, but when you stoop down to the level of the kind of guys that were dogging on you I realize that you deserve no respect from anyone, oh and by the way i actaully do shine people's shoes 20 bucks a pair 10 pairs a day or more, that's more than you probably make in a week|
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|It is what IT IS!!!|| by deli22 (#96158) on 6/06/06 @4:29PM |
|If people made comments that made more sense, I would not need to point out the foolishness in them, making people feel attacked or disrespected.|
People should put more thought into their posts if they are that concerned with harsh reactions. If people want to blurt out whacky stats they should be ready to have them corrected.
Predicting 25,000-30,000 people attending regular season games is crazy when you realize the attendance of this leagues last two Championships don’t total those numbers.
Suggesting 30 man game rosters, while the plain facts are that there isn’t enough talent in the entire league now, with 18 man game rosters makes little or no sense.
How can I not get frustrated when the MLL tore apart 6 good teams to make expansion possible to cities where people in those cities don’t even know if a Lacrosse ball is inflated or stuffed??
It is an absolute fact that the Sport of Lacrosse is a great thing to watch when played at the highest level. When the 4 best D1 Teams in the country get together to figure out a champion 150,000 people show up. They travel from far and wide to see it. They pay good money for the tickets and fill an NFL stadium.
So, how has the MLL managed to build a pro league that does not draw, anywhere near, the same level of interest?
The MLL has done a good job of using rules to demand the need for complete and well rounded lacrosse players to play in their league. The shot clock and the elimination of long-pole middies created a wonderfully fast paced game, while putting the demand on all midfielders to play at both ends of the field.
The demand level of being an elite Lacrosse player to play in the league is a true demand due to these rules. (Only the best of the best should be Pros)
Attendance was strong at the majority of the original 6 Team sites. Attendance was great at some, not so good at others.
How does anyone see it as a good idea to take a product that isn’t working well in ALL its current markets, taking that product, diluting it making it a lesser product in all of its markets previous and future AND actually expect success or growth??
This year’s expansion cut off the leagues legs making growth or progress impossible. The expansion in 2008 will cut off the head and Kill it.
Anything else anyone has to say is just the BS halftime show of this leagues Life.
IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!!!
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|Expansion is the ONLY WAY!!!|| by dlax20 (#133092) on 6/09/06 @3:30PM |
|Over the past 10 years there's been approx. (def.>than) 300 Div. 1 All-Americans graduate, and there were many other players of considerably equal talent who weren't named...currently there are 180 players playing each week...that means there are 120 ALL-AMERICANS out there who aren't playing...and the reason is b/c the MLL doesn't pay their players enough money for them to make a living and dedicate themselves to being professional athletes. Until the MLL does this it will always be a "Start-up League"...|
So the brass of the MLL got together and said how do we make this profitable enough so that every one of the top players in this nation, Canada, ect…play in our league and dedicate themselves 365 days a year to become the best players they can and inevitably jack up the level of talent the fans find so precious? There’s only one answer to this question…EXPANSION!!!!
Expansion allows the MLL to grow their revenues in so many ways its hard to quantify. First off MLL owners aren't printing money while their players starve, and very few of them have seen significant return on their investments yet...and I emphasize yet.
Do you realize how hard it has been for the MLL to get lucrative TV contracts when they only field teams in the North East?
Do you understand that national/international co.'s do not want to throw a ton of money to advertise with the MLL when their products can only be seen in North East cities?
Im sure you know that successful leagues, like the NFL, are so profitable not because of their ATTENDENCE, as u keep referring to, but b/c of National TV contracts, sponsorships, advertising, and merchandise sales...NOT FROM SELLING TICKETS AND REFRESHMENTS...look at the NHL, no one wants to watch and the league is struggling.
Now there is only one way to gain these lucrative deals...EXPANSION INTO EVERY POSSIBLE MAJOR US MARKET...and the MLL started this year.
Until this happens, many of the better players will continue to pursue other lucrative careers outside of pro lacrosse. That being said I look at the starting rosters of both these teams and there's no doubt in my mind they would have crushed every team in this years tourney, HANDS DOWN.
Realize the vision of the league. If it's to complex on a business perspective for you to understand keep ranting to deaf ears. You are right that expansion dilutes talent. Im sure every NFL team wished their QB was either Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. B/C there are so many NFL teams out there, not everyone of them can have the most talented QB...but they get over it, make adjustments, and COMPETE DESPITE IT ALL...and I watch every Sunday at the edge of my seat...And hopefully sooner than later the MLL will be in the same boat.
This is my opinion anyway!
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