Blaze Lose Season Finale
Hempstead, NY - The Atlanta Blaze move to 8-8 as they fall against the New York Lizards (5-11) 15-21 at James M. Shuart Stadium. after being locked into the fourth seed of the 2019 playoffs, Tommy Palasek and Christian Mazzone enjoyed career nights but were unable to outduel Rob Pannell (nine points) and the Lizards in the 2019 regular season finale.
After a solo goal from Rob Pannell got a fast-paced first quarter started, Palasek used his veteran intuition to take advantage of an isolation with a short stick midfielder matchup to notch the score at 1-1. TJ Kemp netted with his first career goal with 10:14 left in the first quarter. Tommy Palasek kept his foot on the gas as he captained his squad, totaling four points (3 goals and 1 assist) in the first quarter.
Both teams showed their high-level execution on offense as they battled to a 6-6 score at the end of the first quarter. Goals from Christian Mazzone, Nick Aponte, Brendan Sunday, Mark Ellis, and Nick Aponte again would help the teams settle into a halftime score of 10-9.
The Blaze started the second half with two goals to get to 12-9, their largest lead of the night. After going without a goal for the first half of the third quarter, the Lizards went on an six-goal run to overcome a 12-9 Blaze lead. Tallies by Dylan Molloy, Brendan Kearns, Kevin Crowley, and Rob Pannell helped to push New York to a 12-15 lead over Atlanta.
The Blaze would break the Lizards momentum with another goal from Christian Mazzone with 2:28 left in the third quarter- his 5th score of the game. Mazzone finished with six goals on the night- setting a new career-high and tying the Blaze single-game record.
Despite enjoying career highs from Tommy Palasek (eight points) and Christian Mazzone (six goals), the Blaze found themselves traiiling the entire fourth quarter. Atlanta was outshot 2-9 and outscored 2-5 by New York in the fourth as the Blaze struggled to maintain possession.
With two caused turnovers, Liam Byrnes unofficially owns the MLL record for Caused Turnovers in a season (30). Byrnes finished the game with seven ground balls to go with his two caused turnovers.
The Atlanta Blaze have now set the MLL record for goals in a season (229) after scoring 15 goals on the night. Atlanta has also unofficailly set a team season save record (231) after a collective effort from Chris Madalon (10 saves) and Max Edelmann (7 saves) helped them to secure the milestone.
The team will have two weeks to rest before traveling to Denver for a semifinal matchup against the first-seeded Chesapeake Bayhawks. Both teams are familiar with each other- after three regular season matchups Atlanta sits at 1-2 against Chesapeake.
HEAT CHECK: IMPACT PERFORMERS
Liam Byrnes: 7 Ground Balls, 2 Caused Turnovers
Christian Mazzone: 6 Goals
Tommy Palasek: 5 Goals, 3 Assists
Brendan Sunday: 2 Goals
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Major League Lacrosse Stories from September 22, 2019
- Blaze Lose Season Finale - Atlanta Blaze
- NY Lizards Win against Atlanta Blaze in Final Game of the Season - New York Lizards
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