Another of Many Firsts for Dallas 7/18/18

Photo Credit: Dallas Rattlers

Tom Coyne, Beat Writer Dallas Rattlers
Lacrosse is Awesome

The Dallas Rattlers (9-2) are the first team to clinch a playoff berth for the 2018 MLL playoffs after avenging both of their defeats this season, the first by beating the Ohio Machine (3-8) on June 17th in a thrilling OT comeback 17-16; and by beating the Charlotte Hounds (6-6) Saturday afternoon July 7th by a score of 14-9, giving them their sixth consecutive victory.

At the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, TX in front of 4,671 fans they were celebrating Military Appreciation Day. Dallas is undefeated at home (5-0) and second in the league for attendance (22,447) so far this season.

The Rattlers opened up the scoring when Randy Staats (3G) scored the first goal of his second hat trick for the season, this being only his second game played for Dallas.  Assist came from big Ben Reeves (1G, 2A) at the 9:19 mark. The Hounds John Crawley (1G, 1A) would score unassisted at the 11:23 mark tying the game up at one apiece, the only tie of the game.   The Ratz leading scorer this season, with 49 points (29G, 20A) Jordan Wolf (2G, 1A) and Staats would each score unassisted putting the Rattlers up 3-1 lead at the end of the first, a lead which they would not relinquish.

In the second quarter Dallas would outscore the Hounds 4-3 giving them a halftime lead of 7-4. Each team scored three unassisted goals, the lone assisted goal came via a helper from Ty Thompson (1G, 1A) who leads Dallas in goals scored (30G, 3A).  Of Thompson’s three apples so far this season, two have been with Big Ben as the beneficiary.  Since Reeves joined the team on June 17th he has nine points (4G, 5A).

Ned Crotty (3G) who notched the last goal of the first half would score the first goal in the second half on the Ratz only PP of the contest scoring off an assist from Ryan McNamara (1A) at the 5:20 mark. This was his second hat trick of the season. The Hounds rookie Morgan Cheeks (1G, 1A) would score at the 7:16 mark making it an 8-4 affair with Dallas ahead.  Both teams scored three points in the third.   Playing in only his second MLL game, Notre Dame rookie D-Pole John Sexton (1-2ptG, 4GB) would score his first MLL goal in spectacular fashion at the 13:16 mark.  From two-point territory with a cannon blast. The third would end with a 10-7 Rattlers lead.

In the fourth frame the Hounds Ryan Brown (3G) off an assist from Crawley would close the gap to just a two-goal deficit 10-8 at the 1:14 mark.  That however, was the closest they would come to the Rattlers as Dallas would go on a four-goal run with Brian Kormondy (1G) on the assist from Reeves scored at the 2:40 mark. Next Drew Simoneau (1G, 12-22FO) would score just: 07 seconds later off of his faceoff win unassisted (known as a wax-job). Staats would get his hat trick unassisted at 9:30 and fellow Iroquois National teammate Ty Thompson off an assist from Wolf, would score another of his many highlight reel goals with an over the shoulder or as they say in the box lax world, backhand no-look shot. Matt Rambo (2G) would score the contests final goal making it a 14-9.

With this win, the Rattlers playoff would be the first to clinch a playoff berth and area still undefeated at home.

The defense with Coca-Cola Player of the Game, John Galloway (12SV, 2GB, 2CTO) at the helm played as an effective unit with Joel White (7GB); Mike Manley (4GB); and John Modersky (4GB).  Modersky at one point led the league in CTO’s (14CTO) but the stat sheets have not been updating that stat as of late.  Sexton (4GB, 1-2ptG) was solid on defense as was Matt Dunn; and John Lade, as were the team’s SSDM.  The Rattlers have some of the best in the league including Donny Moss; Jack Near; Michael Lazore; and Michael O’Brien, all of whom are effective working with the offense as well.

The league has a built-in bye week this coming weekend to allow for many of its players to participate in the 2018 FIL World Championship Games which started on July 12th in Netayna Israel.

The Rattlers have four players representing Team USA.  They include John Galloway (G); Joel White (D); Ned Crotty (A/M); and Jordan Wolf (A). Dallas also has three players on the Iroquois Nationals Team, Mike Lazore (M); Randy Staats (A) whose brother and cousin are on the roster and of course Ty Thompson (A) who also has cousins competing in the games. Ironically Team USA’s first game was against the Iroquois Nationals on July 12th where they defeated Iroquois 17-9.

So far the World Games have been good to the Dallas players on Team USA as they are undefeated going into the quarterfinals.  Lacrosse is Awesome© is there covering the games.

Next up, both teams will be on the road. The Hounds will head to Chesapeake (7-2) on July 21st; and the Rattlers travel to Denver (6-4) on July 22nd.    These promise to be epic battles and a preview of this year’s playoff games.

Tom Coyne, Beat Writer Dallas Rattlers
Lacrosse is Awesome