To recap a monumental decade of pro lacrosse, Pro Lacrosse Talk enlisted members of the lacrosse community to recount the top moments in pro lacrosse from 2010 to 2019. This article was published as part of the “Top Pro Lacrosse Moments of the Decade” series.
There we all were. Standing and cheering as Luke Wiles had given the Washington Stealth an 11-8 lead over the Edmonton Rush with just over seven minutes left in the 2010 NLL West Semi-Final.
It was the Stealth’s first year in the Pacific Northwest and while the local fanbase in Everett had flocked to the team since day one, this game was forced to be played at the Key Arena in Seattle. It’s wasn’t your typical lacrosse set up as the horseshoe shape of the Key was built originally for the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. While unorthodox, it allowed for the majority of the fans to be right on top of the action.
As the team’s in-house announcer, I had the best seat in the house and was able to keep the crowd rocking with every hit, save and goal. However, as raucous as the crowed was after “The Show’s” goal, the Rush weren’t going to give up that easily.
Any lacrosse fan knows that this is a game of runs and just as quickly as the Stealth had that three-goal lead, Edmonton would close the gap to just two. Sixty seconds and up by a pair is a lead that is safe in most leagues, but not the NLL.
Corey Small scored with Matt Disher on the bench with 56 seconds left to make it a one-goal game and not a single person dared sit down. Even though the Rush had just scored, the fans were not going to be silenced. “Go Stealth, Go!” chants echoed throughout the arena as the Rush somehow gained possession with under 30 seconds to play.
As loud as the crowd was in those final seconds, when Andy Secore scored with twenty seconds left, you could hear a pin drop. Jaws on the floor, minds stunned and a momentary thought of, “are we really going to blow this lead?”
Just as quickly as Edmonton had tied it, we were off to overtime.
That was when Paul Rabil left his mark on the NLL. The second overall pick in the 2008 draft, Rabil had grown under the tutelage of NLL Hall of Famer, Chris Hall. C.H. allowed Rabil to use his athleticism and freakish ability to run freely in his first few years. During the 2010 year, he probably played the best version of the box Rabil we’d ever seen. He had the uncanny ability to find loose-balls with his pure speed and quickness.
So when overtime starter, Rabil exploded off the line on the whistle and in the blink of an eye, it was all over. He found a loose ball off the draw, sprinted past a defender like he was standing still, put two fakes on Disher, lept into the air and dunked the ball back short-side to seal the victory. Paul ‘The Beast’ Rabil had just sent the Stealth to their first of three straight NLL Finals and would be an integral part of the win over the Rock the next week.
While the Championship game in Everett was an absolutely incredible back and forth game, and the Stealth would win their one and only title, it never would have happened had Rabil not gone ‘BeastMode’ and supplied the dramatics for one of the greatest goals in NLL history.
Watch the highlight below to relive Teddy Jenner’s call of the goal that would send Paul Rabil and the Washington Stealth to the NLL Championship and eventually the franchise’s first Champion’s Cup.