Week 3 Preview: Outlaws vs. Nationals

5/26/10 9:00 AM

Week 3 Preview: Outlaws vs. Nationals

By Heather Crowley (Major League Lacrosse)

In front of a hometown crowd of 12,323 fans at the friendly confines of INVESCO Field, the Denver Outlaws (1-1) grabbed their first win of the season with a 13-10 come from behind victory over the Long Island Lizards (0-2) last week.

Denver found itself down early 4-1 but managed to regroup and tie the game at 6-6 at the halfway point.  After halftime the Outlaws continued to pressure Long Island goalie Drew Adams, who had started only one game prior to the contest with Denver.  After scoring four goals in just over three minutes Denver capped off a seven goal third quarter and sat with a substantial 13-8 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Denver midfielder Max Seibald continued his hot start to the season as he grabbed his second hat trick in as many games, pushing his season total to seven goals.  In his rookie season the former Cornell midfielder tallied nine goals for the entire year.  Seibald’s torrid start puts him in a tie for second place in the scoring race with Chesapeake’s Kyle Dixon and just three points behind scoring leader Peet Poillon of the Bayhawks.  Seibald’s three goals and three assists earned him MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors.

“I’m confident in my abilities and I’m not really worried about who’s defending me,” Seibald said. “I’m just confident that I have the speed and the strength to get where I want to be.”

The Outlaws hope to continue their success at home when they take on Toronto (0-2) Saturday.

The last time Denver and Toronto tangled the Outlaws fell in a tightly fought one-goal game.  Losing by a single goal is always tough, but in the last matchup it was for the MLL Championship.  With a one goal lead Denver saw its title dreams disappear as the Nationals’ Shawn Williams netted the two final goals of the game.  The inability to score late and close out the game with a lead cost the Outlaws a title.

“I’m sure all the guys who played in that game remember it,” Outlaws Head Coach and General Manager Brian Reese said. “It has served as motivation for a lot of them. But this is an important game because it can get us to 2-1. This is a new season, new team and we want to do whatever we can to get the win.”

Sitting at 1-1, Denver will try to move over .500 as they face a struggling Toronto team that looks dramatically different from last year’s championship group.  With revenge in mind for last year’s runner up status, the Outlaws’ upcoming contest against the Nationals will mark the return of head coach Reese who served his one game suspension during the win over Long Island.

“It’s hard to watch your team play and not be right there with them,” Reese said. “Tom Slate and Alex Smith did a great job on the sideline. The positive was that I got to watch the game from a different perspective and see what worked well and where we were deficient.”

The Outlaws will face the Nationals two goalie duo of Doc Schneider and Brett Queener who after two games have allowed a total of 41 goals.  The Nationals will try to forget the 25 goals Chesapeake dropped on them in their home opener.

Despite trouble in the cage being Toronto’s main issue, the offense has generated only 21 goals on the season. The Outlaws will look to score early and often in this contest. Denver’s matchup against the Nationals will be its last home game for over a month, they play four straight road games before returning home on July 4th.

“We aren’t focused on Toronto. Our focus is on the Outlaws and getting better,” Reese said. “We haven’t played the way we want to play for 4 quarters. We need to all get used to playing with each other and doing what it takes to be successful.”

The game can be seen live on ESPN3 and tape delayed on Universal Sports later that night.  Check local listings for other dates and times.

Related Articles:

Date Title
06/03/2010 Post Game Wrap Up
06/02/2010 Denver Defeats Toronto
05/30/2010 Outlaws defeat Toronto
05/26/2010 Outlaws Week 3 Preview
05/24/2010 Nationals Travel To Denver In Week 3
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