The first three games during NLL Week 1 are in the books and fans were treated to three very entertaining games. Let’s take a look at some of the players that won the weekend and others that didn’t fare as well.
NLL Week 1: Winners
The captain of the Vancouver Warriors scored in overtime to defeat the Calgary Roughnecks in the Warriors’ first game under new ownership. Beers is from just outside Vancouver and has played for the former iterations of the Warriors (the Washington and Vancouver Stealth) since 2010, so it was only right he scored the winning goal for the new version of this team. Beers capped an incredible comeback by the Warriors where several other players like Aaron Bold, Logan Schuss and James Rahe stepped up as well. Many people think the Warriors will struggle this season with some big players leaving in the offseason, but if they can continue to battle until the last minute of every game like they did against Calgary they just might prove everybody wrong.
While Vaughn Harris is not the first player to score a goal in a Philadelphia Wings jersey, he is the first one to score in over 4 years. Harris put a slick underhand shot past Matt Vinc in the top right corner, and the Wells Fargo Center came alive. It what was an incredible moment for the fans in attendance and the Philadelphia lacrosse community. Harris is a veteran in the league, but like many players on the Wings’ roster he is getting a fresh start with a team that looks like they will be tough to play against in their first season together. Lacrosse is officially back in Philly.
Usually this article will be reserved for players, but fans of the NLL have been through a lot leading up to this season and finally got to watch lacrosse again. A month ago there was a real threat that the 2019 NLL season might not happen. This past Saturday, 11,000 fans watched the Philadelphia Wings play their first game in four years in what was a great first game of the NLL season. The league’s new streaming service Bleacher Report Live debuted and streamed all of the first three games free for fans. Last week it was also announced that a new NLL franchise will be heading to Long Island to bring the number of teams that will play next season up to 13. The fortunes of fans have changed dramatically in a month and it has never been a better time to be a fan of the NLL.
NLL Week 1: Losers
Trevor Baptiste’s Teeth
Trevor Baptiste played in his first NLL game on Saturday and had a terrific debut winning 25 of 35 faceoffs. The American fared well in his first game, but unfortunately his front tooth was welcomed to the league in true box lacrosse fashion and had a chunk taken out of it. Baptiste’s dentist will have some work to do, but Baptiste seems pretty happy nonetheless after an exciting first game for the Wings.
Players Still Holding Out On Signing Contracts
The players on the floor this past weekend were definitely excited to be back playing lacrosse. During the CBA negotiations it must have been extremely difficult waiting for the call that the season was back on. Many of the issues were resolved or at least settled on for the time being. Those that played this weekend are at least happy with their salaries for now and know things will only improve in the coming years. However, the players who are still holding out on signing contracts for salary or other reasons are missing out on being a part of what will be the NLL’s best season yet. Let’s hope that these players and their teams can come to terms soon and avoid sitting out the whole season. Fans are eagerly awaiting their return.
This upcoming weekend we have three more games to look forward to including San Diego’s first game in franchise history. Fans are in store for another exciting weekend of lacrosse.
Look out for a new edition of Winners and Losers each week during the season.
READ MORE: Check out our new segment, Lacrosse GIFs, where we take five moments from the previous week and describe it in five GIFs. It’s fun, we promise. Read it here.