Tonight’s contest between the Vancouver Warriors and San Diego Seals had all the makings of a good lacrosse game: it was physical (including a fight), both teams went on scoring runs throwing the lead back and forth, star players shined and the game wasn’t decided until the final second of the game. The only thing that tainted the night for the home side inside Rogers Arena was that the Warriors came up short and found themselves in the loss column once again.
After Saturday night’s heartbreaking loss, the team is now 1-5 on the year. The Warriors are now the first team in the league to have five losses and they are one of three teams (Philadelphia Wings and Colorado Mammoth) to not have a home win. Warriors head coach Chris Gill’s frustration is growing as the losses continue to pile up.
“I wasn’t happy with our offence because we made too many mistakes,” said Gill. “Our shooting percentage isn’t good right now. We’re a little bit flat on the [offensive] end. Sometimes it takes time, but at some point we have to get dialed in and that has to happen sooner rather than later.”
“It’s starting to get old losing the way we’re losing.”
Despite an opening goal from Justin Salt within the first 20 seconds of the game, for the 4th match in a row, the Warriors have trailed by multiple goals at some point within first quarter. With three minutes remaining in that opening frame tonight, the Warriors were losing 4-1. Falling behind early has made it tough for the Warriors to come back and win games according to Gill.
“For the first five minutes we need to be better, more focused, more dialed in,” said Gill. “It seems like teams get a couple of goals on us and then it takes us time get dialed in. We’ve got to be ready to play from the first whistle.”
Tonight’s loss will be tougher to swallow than others because the ball was inches away from crossing the line behind the Seals goaltender Frank Scigliano which would have forced overtime. However, Gill stated that there were positives to take away, even in the loss.
“We’re going to get better,” said Gill. “We’ve gotten better. If you look at the first week compared to tonight, you can see we’ve made a lot of strides. We can’t just be happy with getting better, we need to finish a game.”
Fans were treated to an immaculate performance by the Warriors newest star: Mitch Jones. He scored four goals including a natural hat trick in the third quarter and assisted on three other goals. His first tally on the night pushed him to the 100-goal milestone in his career. He now leads the team in goals (12) and is tied with Logan Schuss for points (27). Unfortunately, the loss overshadowed his accomplishment because players want to win games more than set person marks.
“I’m doing everything I can to continue to move this team forward,” said Jones. “I had a chance at the end there; that one is going to sting for a bit. I’ll continue to do everything I can to get us over the hump.”
For the Seals, their budding star, Austin Staats, was held to only two goals (and two points). It was his lowest point total in a game since his NLL debut. Garrett Billings continued his strong start to the season. He had five points (two goals and three assists) and is on pace for 90 points. If he reaches that mark, it would be his highest point total since he had 101 points in 2014.
The 0-3 at home Warriors will have their shot to get the team over the hump in Rogers Arena next Saturday against the Colorado Mammoth. The contest will be featured on B/R Live at 10:00pm EST.