EVERETT — Last week, the Washington Stealth played their best game of the National Lacrosse League season thus far in a 16-14 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks.
The Stealth look to maintain that momentum today when they host the Minnesota Swarm at 2:45 p.m. at Comcast Arena.
At 5-4, the Stealth entered the weekend tied for first place with Calgary in the NLL’s West Division. With a win today, the Stealth would assure themselves of maintaining at least a first-place tie after 10 games.
“It’s certainly a lot better position than we were in last year, I know that much,” Stealth head coach Chris Hall said. “We are all happy to be where we are right now. We are still battling some consistency issues as far as putting a string of wins together, but I think that we’ve got ourselves in a healthy position.”
The Stealth are in a position to control their own destiny down the stretch of the season, but will need to improve on their inconsistent play in order to stay atop the standings. At times every part of the Stealth’s game, from offense to defense to special teams, has shined in 2013. But all three of those areas have also been problematic at times as well, particularly in two losses to Edmonton.
“We are looking for some consistency and try to string some wins together,” Hall said.
Hall said the biggest key to being able to string together wins in the NLL is being injury free. The Stealth have battled through that problem for a large chunk of the season and go into today’s game with their full roster available.
While the Stealth are healthy, the injury bug bit the Swarm last weekend. Minnesota announced that transition player Andrew Suitor will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
A game-and-a-half back of the division leaders at 3-5, the Swarm know they have to step up in Suitor’s absence.
I think it’s a huge game for both sides,” Minnesota forward Callum Crawford said. “They are obviously playing really well right now. A little bit like we are, (they) are trying to find their consistency and identity. I think they are kind of the same. They are either really hot one moment or trying to find it themselves.”
A win today for the Stealth would be just the second time this season they have won consecutive games. They also won their first two games of the season.
Aaron Lommers covers the Washington Stealth for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.