Thursday, July 4, 2013

Outlaws Become First Team in MLL History to Start Season with 10 Wins

By: Lopa Rahman

Denver's Drew Snider, who completed a hat trick, and former Outlaw Mark Matthews

The Denver Outlaws' Mile High Fourth  of July was a night of breaking records.

With their 16-7 win against the New York Lizards, the Outlaws became the first team in Major League Lacrosse to open a season with 10 wins, and their attendance of 31,019 is the highest in league history. The Outlaws set the previous outdoor professional lacrosse attendance record, boasting 30,128 fans at their 2012 Fourth of July game.

"[Breaking the attendance record] was great," Outlaws Head Coach Jim Stagnitta said. "It was a good experience for our young guys to be in front of all those people and to be in this atmosphere. It's one of the best atmospheres you're going to find in lacrosse."

New York (3-7) controlled the pace of play in the opening minutes of the game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead 1:11 into the first quarter. Denver’s Drew Snider answered to bring the Outlaws (10-0) within one, but New York notched back-to-back goals to take a 4-1 lead with 8:09 remaining in the first. Denver tied the game by closing out the period on a 3-0 run, capped by a two-point goal by Jeremy Sieverts with less than ten seconds left on the clock.

Matt Bocklet kicked off the second-quarter scoring with his first goal since 2011 to give the Outlaws their first lead of the game. Drew Snider and Chris Bocklet followed that up with tallies to put Denver up 7-4 at the half. The Outlaws kept the Lizards off the scoreboard, extending New York’s scoring drought to 23:08 and marking the third straight game that Denver has held a team scoreless for an entire period. 

"We made some mistakes in the first quarter, and things went New York’s way," Outlaws General Manager Tony Seaman said. "But it’s a 60-minute game, and we shut [the Lizards] out in the second quarter."

The Outlaws continued their offensive onslaught in the third quarter, outscoring the Lizards 4-1 behind two goals from Brendan Mundorf. Denver kept its run going in the final period, rattling off four straight goals. New York rookie Rob Pannell ended Denver's run with two goals, but it was too little, too late. Will Mangan iced the Outlaws' 16-7 victory, which took the Lizards out of playoff contention, with a tally in the final minute of play. 

"It's always nice to hold a record," Seaman said. "But the most important day of our lives is going to be August 24th. That's pretty much all I'm thinking about. It's what I thought about all winter when we lost last year. We have got to win a championship. We've been so close so many times. We've got the team to win."


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