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Hounds at Rattlers Game Preview

July 5, 2018 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Charlotte Hounds News Release

THE MATCHUP

The Hounds face a tough test on the road this weekend against the first-place Dallas Rattlers. Undefeated at home this season, the Rattlers are riding a seven game win streak. While the Hounds are one of two teams to beat the Rattlers, defeating them 13-12 in Week 2, Charlotte has dropped three consecutive games falling to fourth in the league standings. With three regular season games remaining for the Hounds, Saturday's meeting could mirror a potential playoff matchup if the current standings hold.

LAST TIME OUT

Charlotte had its chances, but the Hounds couldn't keep up with the Blaze's high-powered offense and suffered a 16-10 loss at MUSC Health Stadium last time out. Neither former Blaze Jake Withers nor Noah Rak could give Charlotte the edge at the X. Atlanta's Joe Nardella controlled the majority of the game, winning 22-of-29 draws, which kept the Hounds from mounting any lasting momentum. His 75 percent win percentage from the X marked the highest rate the Hounds have allowed all season, and as a result the Hounds managed to score just 10 goals, the lowest tally of the season.

NEXT MAN UP

Teams competing in the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships begin travel to Netanya, Israel and both the Hounds and the Rattlers will have a plethora of absentees as a result. However, in the first meeting this season, the Hounds defeated the Rattlers 13-12 and only three goals were accounted for by Worlds participants. On the other hand, 10 of the Rattler's 12 goals were scored by national team players. With that said, a new lineup for each side will be tested this weekend in Dallas, but based on the previous meeting the Rattlers may have to make up more offense than the Hounds.

SCOUTING THE RATTLERS

The Rattlers sit atop of the MLL standings with a 8-2 record and are the only team still undefeated at home. Since the last matchup with the Hounds, a lot has changed for the Rattlers. Head coach Bill Warder has welcomed rookie Ben Reeves into the fold and in just two appearances, he's tallied three goals and three assists. With the potential of several key Rattlers missing, Reeves could become the focal point of one of the most prolific offenses in the league.

Defensively, the Rattlers' two-loss record speaks for itself. Dallas has allowed just 128 goals this season, second-best in the league. Blaze Riordan and John Galloway, who have split time this season both boast a top-five goals against per game average in the league. There's few weaknesses in this Rattlers team, but the Hounds managed to edge the league leaders in the first meeting. Charlotte will need to mimic the performance in the second-leg to keep hold in the playoff push.

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