San Diego, California
For the longest time, lacrosse has been an East Coast and Canadian sport. Teams such as the Philadelphia Wings and Toronto Rock have dominated the professional National Lacrosse League. However, on Sunday, the San Diego Seals showed that America’s Finest City can play with the established champions.
Before the game started, there was an outrageous spectacle worthy of the ticket price in itself.
Two lowriders began the night’s entertainment, circling around the boxed stadium while being highlighted by spotlights. Their intricate designs and tricks (bouncing and tilting) thrilled the viewers and was spectacular to see. Then, the team’s cheerleaders, the Sirens, performed an electrifying routine, showing skills reminiscent of the best NFL cheerleaders. They came onto the field three more times throughout the night.
Of course, a gifted singer followed the Sirens with a beautiful rendition of the American National Anthem.
However, all of that pales in comparison to the Seals’ entrance. It was similar to how football teams burst onto the gridiron, each one of San Diego’s players ran out of a tunnel accompanied by fireworks. Some of the pyrotechnics were even unexpected and thus added to the excitement filling the Pechanga Arena.
Soon, the game started with a very competitive faceoff. This beginning represented the vigorous nature of the game.
Each point that the Seals made was returned soon after by the Rochester Knighthawks. The conclusion of each quarter ended with the teams either tied or one point behind.
The game ended the same way that #72 Adrian Sorichetti started it and the San Diego Seals came out ahead.
In winning 12-10, the team needed contributions from each of its members. Rookie sensation Austin Staats, a forward, was the night’s superstar as he scored four goals, earned one assist, and wrestled 10 loose balls from opponents. Backing him up was forward Kyle Buchanan, who also had an amazing night. On Saturday night, the 31-year-old scored two goals and helped with three assists. For the Seals to stay ahead, the team needed a strong defense, especially from their goalie. Thankfully, goaltender Frank Scigliano was up to the task as he blocked an outstanding 38 shots. With these accomplishments, the Seals were able to make a great first impression in the city they call home.
With a victory over the Knighthawks, the Seals triumphantly celebrated with fans. Immediately following the game, viewers were allowed to go onto the pitch and receive signatures from all the players. The Seals were extremely responsive and patient as they waited an hour for every fan to grab a signature or picture. The vast amount of devoted people there after the game show just how appreciative the city is for having the Seals to root for.
Interviews from the general manager and head coach Patrick Merrill, forward Dan Dawson, and rookie Austin Staats occurred in the tunnels of the stadium.
Each interview was full of intrigue and promise. Merrill praised the crowd, noting how the audience carried the team in the fourth quarter as the cheers renewed the players’ energies. Dawson emphasized how incredible Staats has performed since being taken first overall in the September draft. He also discussed how the rookie had all the talent in the world, but also has a tremendous future by learning how to play like a professional. He also noted how the Seals underestimated the Knighthawks, believing the opposition to be weaker in reviewing the tape. Finally, Staats’ comments were encouraging as he reflected on how San Diego has had a few losing teams (the Chargers perhaps) but is now home to a team that will be competitive.
The San Diego Seals aim to bring a winning culture to a city abandoned by the Chargers. Come see the exciting gameplay and thrilling spectacles occurring at Pechanga Arena. Interact with a team that cares about the city and wants to connect with the people in the community.