Pechanga Arena- San Diego, California
After winning their first home game against the Rochester Nighthawks 12-10, the San Diego Seals were hoping to keep their home record spotless.
The game, as always, was going to be a challenge, especially since the team was going up against their division rival, the Calgary Roughnecks. This was the same team that outscored the Seals 9-5 on December 28. However, a win would mean advancing beyond a .500 record and securing their place as the second best team in the division.
Through the first half, both teams were giving each other a run for their money. Every time the Seals got a point the Roughnecks matched it. However, the last two minutes of the second quarter was very telling of the rest of the game. Within ten seconds, the Seals scored twice, helping the club leave the field with an 8-5 lead. That lead would give them enough positive energy to steamroll the opposition after the half.
Immediately after coming out of the locker room, in the second half, it was obvious that the Seals were about to dominate Calgary. No. 81 Connor Kearnan, No. 21 Casey Jackson, and No. 6 Dan Dawson led the team to six straight goals without a return score from the Roughnecks.
Just like in hockey, the field became littered with fights as the game began to slip away from Calgary. Two battles were most memorable and a solid excuse for anyone to watch.
Two fighting penalties led to a surprising four on four competition. The intensity was unbelievable at that point as was the rest of the game. Even the fights weren’t enough excitement for the players. Defenseman, No. 72 Adrian Sorichetti lackadaisically flung the lacrosse ball from the Seal goal and scored a goal with the opposition’s goalie in the middle of the arena.
Although the Roughnecks got three straight goals, their minor comeback was not enough to erase the large deficit.
Calgary’s decision to switch out goalies limited the amount of damage the Seals did in the remainder of the game, but no number of blocks could stop the final score, which ended up being 15-9. The Seals were simply too good on Friday. All of the players had a hand in San Diego’s victory. Rookie Austin Staats scored three goals and recorded four assists. Forward Garrett Billings scored twice and helped with four assists and team leader Dan Dawson added two goals and notched three assists. Goalie Frank “The Tank” Scigliano was an absolute beast, blocking 37 shots from his former team.
After the game, interviews from coach Patrick Merrill, forward Casey Jackson, and Frank Scigliano were insightful.
Once again, they praised the crowd, arguing that it was the hometown spirit that carried them to victory. Casey Jackson emphasized how important the small victories were during the game. The Seals, according to him, were playing with only five minutes in mind. This was evident in the competition and the team’s hot start to the second half indicated as much.
Meanwhile, Scigliano showed how glad he was coming off a victory over his former club. Battling for 60 minutes was more than enough for him to get his revenge. Yet, what was most important to the interviewers was the explosion of a new rivalry. With the fights and aggressive play, there certainly should be and the players agreed with that assertion.
There was little time to review the competition though as the Seals flew to Vancouver at 8:00 AM the next morning for a game against the Warriors. With positive energy from Friday night’s victory, the Seals won a hard contest against the Warriors 11-10.
Overall, Friday night’s lacrosse game was an exciting show. From the surprising dancing routines to the thrilling run of goals and intense fights, the night was certainly deserving of attention. The players, based on this game, should get more views from San Diego as the Seals become one of the city’s more interesting teams.
I write, I write, and then I write some more.. Lifelong Padres & Chargers fan who is tired of the acceptance of losing that grips all of San Diego sports fans!