CHARLOTTE, NC (May 30, 2015) — The Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night fell 21-16 to the visiting New York Lizards. At one moment in the fourth quarter the Hounds were down by 13 points, but fought back to make it a four-point game with 3:27 to play. The Hounds even set a new team record for 2-point goals scored in a game, tallying a total of four on Saturday night. The Lizards’ Rob Pannell was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game for his seven-point performance (5g, 2a), while the Hounds were lead by Joey Sankey with six points (3 g, 1-2pt g, 2a).
The game began with a special pregame ceremony, as the Hounds lead a surprise welcome home for Unites States Army Sergeant First Class Anthony Farmer. His son, Anthony Farmer Jr., unsuspectingly delivered the game ball to center field for the opening faceoff, where Sgt. Farmer was disguised as the Hounds’ faceoff specialist. Sgt. Farmer removed his Hounds helmet to reveal himself to his family, bringing the crowd to its feet. Farmer Jr. is senior at Clover High School and will be heading to Mars Hill University in the fall to play Division II lacrosse. Sgt. Farmer just returned from serving in Kuwait.
John Haus got the scoring started 4:28 into the game with a two-point goal. But the Lizards scored the next five straight, including the first MLL goal for rookie Ryan Walsh, to make it a 5-2 game with 3:05 to play in the first. Haus struck again one minute later, but the Lizards’ Tommy Palasek responded with his second of the night to keep the visitors in front 6-3 after one.
Brendan Fowler won the opening faceoff in the second quarter to set up an offensive possession for the Hounds. Haus found Jake Tripucka, who then muscled his way through to defends to score and cut the Lizards lead to two, 6-4. Mike Chanenchuk followed with a goal of his own and the Hounds were right back in it.
But Greg Gurenlian won the ensuing faceoff and Steve DeNapoli scored off the wing to put the visitors up 7-5. The Hounds responded, as Joey Sankey picked up the rebound from Shamel Bratton’s shot and buried it. But the Lizards scored another two straight, the second of the night for both Paul Rabil and JoJo Morasco, to push ahead 9-6. The Hounds would get one more goal on the board, courtesy of Haus, before the Lizards took control of the game.
Pannell scored four-straight goals between the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third. Palasek added his third of the night with 4.2 seconds left on the clock in the third quarter. The Lizards put another six goals on the board in the fourth quarter to build a 20-7 advantage with 10:58 remaining in the game. But after more than 23 scoreless minutes, the Hounds began to chip away at the lead.
Sankey ended the draught with his first MLL 2-point goal, then followed that up with another single goal. The Lizards would challenge the goal but it stood. Chanenchuk and Henry Lobb each added 2-point goals of their own and suddenly the Hounds were within six. Terry Kimener and Kevin Cunningham also scored and the home team was back within four points with 3:27 left in the game. However, the Lizards would add one more tally and hold the Hounds without another goal to seal the 21-16 victory. Lizards goalkeeper Drew Adams made 10 of his 17 saves in the fourth quarter.
The Hounds will now have a short week and return to American Legion Memorial Stadium on Friday, June 5, for a rematch with the Ohio Machine. The Machine (4-3) are coming to Charlotte off an 18-12 victory over the Denver Outlaws. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
About Charlotte Hounds
In January 2011, Major League Lacrosse announced a league expansion for the 2012 season that included Columbus, OH and Charlotte, NC. The Charlotte Hounds began play in 2012 at historic American Legion Memorial Stadium. The organization is dedicated to growing the sport of lacrosse in Charlotte and the Carolinas, as well as providing a unique sports environment that entertains and embraces fans.
For more information, please visit www.charlottehounds.com