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 Panther City Lacrosse Club

Panther City Lacrosse Club Roars Back to Defeat Georgia Swarm

February 25, 2024 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Panther City Lacrosse Club News Release


FORT WORTH, TX - The Panther City Lacrosse Club (5-4) defeated the Georgia Swarm (6-5), 10-9, as they scored three unanswered goals the last two minutes of the game to seal the win for the home club. Callum Crawford scored the game winner with 40 seconds remaining and Nick Damude stopped multiple attempts of Georgia's, but their own comeback attempt fell flat to end the game.

Panther City got the scoring started early as defenseman Brandon Goodwin won the opening face-off and eight seconds into the game potted one past the Georgia netminder to give PCLC the early, 1-0 lead. The offense was humming in the first half as the team scored six of their 10 goals in the first half, including four goals in the opening frame.

Nick Damude was stout in net as never allowed more than three goals in a single quarter and for the game turned away 42 of the 51 shots (.824 SV %) he faced on the afternoon. This afternoon was Damude's second game this season allowing fewer than 10 goals.

Crawford led all scorers on the afternoon as he totaled six points (2G/4A), including the aforementioned game winner with 40 seconds remaining that gave PCLC the lead. Will Malcom tied the game with 1:39 remaining with his first goal of the game and finished with three points (1G/2A) and also had a team leading nine loose balls. Jonathan Donville continued his strong play as he finished the game with five points (3G/2A). It was Donville's fifth career hat trick in 27 games for his career. Rookie forward Jason Knox chipped in with four points of his own on one goal and three assists.

Panther City has a double header weekend next weekend as they welcome the San Diego Seals on Friday, March 1 and then the Rochester Knighthawks on Sunday, March 3.

POST GAME QUOTES

HEAD COACH TRACEY KELUSKY QUOTES

On his thought on comeback win... "A win is a win. That is exactly what I said to those guys in the locker room. It certainly wasn't pretty but you know we're so close to being an upper echelon team in this league and I think we proved it a little bit tonight when we beat a team like Georgia who has been there. They are ahead of us in the standings. They're a very good club, but we are still making simple small mistakes. It's just there's so much potential with our group. It is a little bit frustrating at times, but It's a massive win and a wise person once told me good teams find ways to win games and we certainly did that tonight. I just want us to play to our full potential and certainly clean up some things and I believe we are as good as anyone in this league if we do that."

On how team was able to maintain their composure as the game got chippy late... "It was a back-and-forth game with a lot of contact. There was some chirping going on at times too and guys were banging. That is the nature of the beast though. These guys play against each other in summer ball. They have probably played against these guys for 10-15 years. There is no love lost. It could be any team - it was chippy, but for me it's really about let's focus on what our needs are and I think at times we get away from that and we get caught up in the other side of it. That has to do with being a young team and just maturing and taking that next step. I thought we did a real good job late in the fourth quarter, climbing back and winning that."

On what his team needs to work on before next weekend... "It's a short week. The attention to detail has to propel us and it has to turn the page to the next spot we want to get to. This is year three for me with these guys and we have to flip the page. We are constantly making the same mistakes and similar mistakes. It's great we find a way to win games. It shows how talented we are, but we just need to be a little bit more detailed. As far as the game plan and the tactical approach goes -- that is going to prove vital when they play a great team in San Diego on Friday night and Rochester is certainly coming in here hungry as well."

FORWARD CALLUM CRAWFORD QUOTES

On scoring drought during the game and how his teammates and he were able to stick with it... "It was terrible. It was one of those weird things that happen in sports and its adversity, but we found our way out of it. A lot of people fold and crumble through hard times, but I think that's what makes athletes so resilient and employable in life. You figure out how to deal with these hard times and translate it to regular life. Luckily, it just stayed in sport today but it was a character thing to be able to dig yourself out of it. Obviously, you don't ever want to put yourself in that position but life happens. We were in that position and there is a positive that can be gotten out of it. There is a lot to work on and fix so it doesn't happen again, but its character to be able to stick with it and stay confident and not just fold. We could have folded easily and we didn't."

On maintaining his own composure... It's part of life and the game. I coach lacrosse for a living and I have screamed at our parents so many times because they are screaming when their kid is slashed or hit. You signed your kid up for a sport where we are given a weapon to beat each other. Why are we reacting this way when it actually happens? It's part of the game. You get hit, you get beat up, you get picked on. The more you get beat up, the more you're probably doing something right and they're targeting you for within the season or game. Teams think it might phase me, but that comes with the gig and happens. I got a couple extra bruises. They're gone in a week from now and I will keep rolling."

On go-ahead goal at the end... Did what the coaches told us to do. We drew up some stuff for the fourth quarter and they wanted us to play a certain way and we didn't start doing it until five minutes left. When we started doing it, we started [scoring]. I had a ton of good looks early in the first quarter and their goalie made some great saves. I got into a rut myself and I started second guessing a lot of the stuff I was doing. I just pulled the trigger in the fourth quarter a couple times and good things happened.

On his offensive consistency... I like our system. I think it works well for my ability as a player. I think my teammates are awesome. They do the dirty work. A lot of those goals don't happen if it's not for the dirty work done. Joanthan Donville and Phil [Caputo] throughout the whole season. I get to be the guy who puts the ball in the net but if you pay attention to a lot of the goals I score, it's guys doing the grunt work to be able to put me in a position to do that. Somebody has to put the ball in the net, but there are so many things that have to happen for that to occur. Some of it is the balls falling, some of it is selfless players that are doing some much good work. That first game somebody lit a fire for me to find if I am washed up. I needed to figure that out for myself and I think I'm having a decent season. Would be better if we were winning more games but we are starting to go that way so it's good."


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