Following two back-to-back contests against the only undefeated teams currently left in the MLL, the Philadelphia Barrage secured their first victory. This victory was at the expense of the Connecticut Hammerheads, who are now tied for last in the MLL with the New York Lizards. The importance of this win for the Barrage keeps their MLL championship dreams alive. Of the six teams in the MLL, the top four will reach the playoffs. At this moment, Philadelphia is the fourth-ranked team in the MLL.
Heading into their third game of the season against the Connecticut Hammerheads, the Philadelphia Barrage were the favorites. The attention was on the reigning NLL MVP, Shayne Jackson. Against the Denver Outlaws, Jackson took a brutal hit that knocked the wind out of him. He returned to score a hat-trick, leading the Barrage in scoring against the Outlaws. Jackson figured to play a role for Philadelphia against the Hammerheads.
Early on, the Philadelphia Barrage were out to a three-goal lead. The Barrage assumed control, 4-1, but the Connecticut Hammerheads closed the gap to end the first quarter down by a goal. Shayne Jackson scored in the first quarter, but Mark Matthews put two on the scoreboard in a hurry. Philadelphia outplayed the Hammerheads in the first quarter, but only led 4-3.
In the second quarter, Tyson Gibson continued to get popped by the Connecticut Hammerheads. Both times he received a hard hit in the first half, the Hammerheads received a penalty. Connecticut would tie the game twice in the second quarter, but never took the lead. The Hammerheads’ Bradley Voigt scored two in this quarter as did the Philadelphia Barrages’ Brendan Sunday. Mark Matthews completed the hat-trick before halftime, giving the Barrage a 7-6 lead.
The Connecticut Hammerheads took their first lead of the game in the third quarter after Dan Lomas scored. Their lead disappeared as Mark Matthews scored his fourth goal of the game. Brendan Sunday completed his hat-trick, and Ryan MacSpadyen followed with a score. At the end of the third quarter, the Philadelphia Barrage led, 10-8. Philadelphia did a great job of stopping the Hammerheads momentum.
Brendan Sunday matched Mark Matthews, scoring his fourth goal of the game in the final quarter of play. In the fourth quarter, the Philadelphia Barrage led by as many as five goals. Shayne Jackson tallied his second of the game. The final score saw Philadelphia defeat the Connecticut Hammerheads, 14-10. Team statistics show that this game was closer than pre-game projections planned it to be.
Eyes on the Philadelphia Wings
As each game passes, Kyle Marr seems to excel in the MLL. He registered his first point of the 2020 MLL season, notching an assist. Marr nearly had a goal from a behind-the-back feed from Mark Matthews. Liam Byrnes is still working the hustle stats, matching his ground ball total against the Denver Outlaws with four.
My player of the game is Mark Matthews. He notched six points, including four goals and two assists. Just behind him on the Philadelphia Barrage would be Brendan Sunday. The Philadelphia Barrage hopefully has found their groove offensively between Matthews, Sunday, Tommy Palasek, and Shayne Jackson. My standout player on the Connecticut Hammerhands was Will Sands. Sands tallied two goals and two assists.