By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
The Washington Stealth finally resembled the team that they have been for the past two seasons on Saturday.
The Stealth earned a 14-9 victory over the defending National Lacrosse League champion Toronto Rock in a rematch of the past two NLL Champion’s Cup’s.
For Stealth won for only the second time in eight games and for the first time this season everything seemed to really click for the Stealth. Goalkeeping, defense, offense, transition — the Stealth did all those things and the little things right on Saturday.
Kevin Croswell started in goal for the injured Tyler Richards and did not disappoint in his Stealth debut. Croswell saved 41 shots to help deliver the victory for the Stealth.
Offensively, the Stealth were helped by the return of Jeff Zywicki, who scored two goals and dished two assists. Head coach Chris Hall said that every teams needs three legitimate threats to score and Zywicki along with Athan Iannucci and Lewis Ratcliff provides that. It also opens up the floor for the rest of the team as was evident against the Rock. The Stealth’s 14 goals were scored by 10 different players — the most balance they have had all season.
There was plenty of good news on Saturday, the bad news is the Stealth were still without Richards and All-Pro forward Rhys Duch and they still have the worst record in the NLL.
But after Saturday’s performance, there is reason to believe that things are turning around for the Stealth and Richards and Duch are both expected back soon.
The Stealth can also be quite confident that they found their backup goalkeeper.
Reviewing a few of the moves that the Stealth made this week:
Washington re-signed Kyle Sorensen to the roster. Sorensen was temporarily released by the team last week to make room for another signing. In order to re-sign Sorensen, the Stealth had to temporarily release Cam Sedgwick, who was unavailable for the game against the Rock. Sedgwick will be re-signed next week.
The Stealth also signed Croswell on Thursday and moved Chris Seidel to the practice squad. In order to make room for that roster move, the Stealth release transition player Nenad Gajic.
Here are the game awards for Saturday.
Player of the game: Kevin Croswell, Washington Stealth, just two days after being signed to the roster, Croswell came up big in goal, saving 41 shots to lead the Stealth to the victory.
Unsung hero of the game: Stealth offense, I couldn’t narrow it down to just one player, getting 14 goals from 10 different players shows quite the offensive balance. The return of Jeff Zywicki might of had something to do with that.
Notes: The Stealth’s game with the Rock was re-broadcast on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. on ROOT Sports.