LXM PRO 858 is an event that you MUST go back and watch. The match was by far one of the most entertaining lacrosse games I’ve seen as of late, let alone an LXM PRO game. Even though Maverik United is out of contention, the team played with a great amount of pride and physicality, it was not an easy match for Team STX.
The game started with Maverik United middie Nick Tintle pinging one in with just seconds missing from the clock to start the first quarter. Maverik’s leading goal scorer, Erik Krum, kept the charge going with a couple of back-to-back tallies from the strong man. Brandon Corp took it to the house unassisted to push the biggest lead of the night, 4-0.
Team STX was woken up when team leader, Sam Bradman, finally got the ball rolling, forcing an interception near midfield and causing havoc amongst an unsettled Maverik defense before finding the back of the net. Peter Baum found his first as the quarter came to an end on an unassisted rip on the run. The score at the end of the first had Maverik up 4-2.
The second quarter was plagued by Maverik turnovers on which STX had luck capitalizing. Bradman held up to his reputation as being a terror at the middie position. He raked in a hat trick in the second quarter alone, bringing him to four goals before halftime. Billy Bitter and Johnny Christmas both worked hard to create opportunities and they were both rewarded with a goal each. With Maverik up 6-5, Pat Rogers took it on himself to punch one in past Johnny Rodriguez to knot it up at 6-6 for halftime.
The third quarter kicked off with a man-up goal from Team STX captain, Kyle Harrison. The goal came off of a pretty feed from Bradman to help STX move in to their first lead of the day. Maverik United’s offense showed up in full-force in San Diego – even LSM Mark Staines scored off a look from Billy Bitter. STX clearly wasn’t a big fan of Maverik’s efforts, as they quickly retaliated with Max Ritz’s two quick goals and Pat Rogers snagging another. Those tallies pushed STX up 10-7.
Don’t be surprised when I tell you that Maverik had an answer for the dilemma. Bitter and Staines reconnected, this time with Mark hitting Billy for another Bitter goal. K18 made his presence known at the party with another goal, just before Erik Krum, Johnny Christmas and Shamel Bratton got the juices flowing, each popping in a goal a piece to bring the third quarter to an end, tied 11-11.
Since it was tied up heading in to the final quarter of action, it was a clean slate for both teams to use to start fresh. The score in the fourth quarter never broke a one goal difference either way, it was a perfectly matched competition. Big, bad Shamel Bratton ripped a heater past Matt Russell to grab his second tally of the game, yet of course Max Ritz didn’t like that, so Max took a feed from Worley and put it in the back of the cage.
The transition game was played with speed and poise all game long for Maverik United. Point man Billy Bitter fed the rock to Erik Krum on the crease, where you can count on Krum to know what to do with it, putting the Maverik gang up one. Once again the Ritz brothers were not digging the highlight plays from Maverik, as Xander found luck on a fast break, getting the dish from Baum and then brother Max once again made highlight reels with his one handed wraparound, squeaking it past Rodriguez.
Cue Johnny Christmas, who registered his hat trick for the evening by rolling off a pick set by big man, and new father, Brandon Porter. With the score tied at 14′s and 50 seconds left on the clock, Greg Peyser went big with an unlucky deflection for Rodriguez to push STX up for the moment. Maverik took a time-out to come up with a plan for battle, in which Corp, dodging from the alley, turned and cranked to force a tie with 29 seconds on the clock.
Jack of all trades Maxx Davis came up huge in the faceoff dance, popping it out and winning the draw for STX. With possession STX called a timeout to draw up what hopefully would be a game winner. Xander Ritz was a handful behind the crease to start, and as he approached GLE on the right side, brother Max appeared and yelled for the ball. Xander hit Max on the money and on turn he ripped over the head of his defender, off Johnny Rodriguez, into the top of the net. With less than five seconds left on the clock, cheers for Team STX erupted as Max Ritz scored the game winning goal to top off the game of the year.
The following faceoff was locked up long enough for time to expire and Team STX earned the hard fought win, 16-15. Max’s game winner deserved the SC Top 10 Play’s #1 spot – I just can’t watch it enough, and the commentary by TLN’s Chris Marshall was top shelf all game long. The man in the bow tie never disappoints.
The LXM PRO Tour will host its final game of the season again in beautiful Southern California, this time they are heading slightly north to Los Angeles on January 18th. You can catch highlights and the replay of the entire game only on The Lacrosse Network.