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Panther City Lacrosse Club Loses Tight OT Battle to San Diego Seals

FORT WORTH, TX  (March 1, 2024) – The Panther City Lacrosse Club (5-5) lost an overtime thriller in Fort Worth on Friday evening at Dickies Arena to the San Diego Seals (8-3), 10-9, as the Seals’ Austin Staats netted the OT winner 3:23 into the extra frame.

Panther City was in the lead or tied with San Diego for a majority of the game, but just couldn’t pull away. San Diego took their first lead of the game with 4:14 remaining in the 4th quarter. Midway through the 3rd quarter Panther City was leading 7-4, but a major penalty for cross checking was called on defenseman Brent Mitchell and San Diego was able to score two goals on the man advantage and then tied the game at 7 a piece approximately seven minutes into the fourth quarter.

Offensively for Panther City, Will Malcom led the way with six points (1G/5A) and Callum Crawford was the team’s leading goal scorer with yet another hat trick and also added two assists for a five-point evening. It was the eighth hat trick for Crawford in 20 games with Panther City. Through 10 games with eight remaining in the regular season, Crawford has recorded 31 goals. His career high is 48 goals during the 2018-2019 season with the New England Black Wolves. Phil Caputo added two goals for the Purple and Black and also added a power play goal, which was his 27th power play goal since joining Panther City, which is the franchise high. Caputo currently has 16 goals and has a chance to eclipse his career high of 34 goals he set in Panther City’s inaugural season in 2021-22.

Defensively, Nick Damude, despite the loss, was sensational in net, including making several SportsCenter (SportsCentre, eh to our friends up North.) worthy saves throughout the contest. He set a career high with 59 saves on 69 shot attempts to finish the evening with an 85.5 save percentage. The saves, shots on goal and save percentage are all season highs for Damude. Captain Matt Hossack finished the game with three caused turnovers and also had five loose balls scooped up. Josh Medeiros led the group with seven loose balls.

Panther City will have an off day and then is right back on the floor at Dickies on Sunday, March 3 for their Marvel Super Hero Night against the Rochester Knighthawks at 3 p.m. CT, where they will don their Black Panther inspired uniforms. Fans can bid on the exclusive uniforms HERE. All proceeds from the jerseys will be donated to Bridge Lacrosse, a Community Champion of the club that strives to make the game of lacrosse accessible to all.

 

POST GAME QUOTES

 

HEAD COACH TRACEY KELUSKY QUOTES

 

On what he tells his team after three close games in a row…

“What did we learn? There are two things that I take from the loss like this. [We] played a veteran group over there. Some Hall of Famers arguably in that lineup, multiple guys there.  What are the lessons? The lesson to me is that [San Diego’s] Austin Staats wanted the ball in his stick. He wanted to make things turn the tide. I’ve loved our resilience over the years. Tonight, we were resilient. They go up and we find a way to get back. The message is the minute details and the little things that we say we have to clean up and we talked about it at halftime and during the TV timeouts. The little things become huge things and there are a couple little things that end up as goals in the back of the net. So what we learned from it was you have to take it upon yourself to make things happen and it was across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jason Knox a rookie in the lineup or Callum Crawford a guy who has played in the league for [18 years]. [The thought process has to be] I want to be the difference maker and similarly on the defensive side. I’m going to be the difference maker and it’s going to be me as the reason why we win and not me the reason why we lose. I thought tonight we were sometimes wishing things were going to happen and wishing someone else would step up, but that is a learning [lesson] for a young team. You take the lessons from a veteran group like that and hopefully that makes you better.”

On what he tells the team to get ready for the next game on Sunday…

“We’re back to .500 and it’s on to the next. We have to learn. What are the lessons we learned tonight and how do we apply them? We have a hungry team coming in with Rochester. A team that is below .500, but a team that quite frankly is a very good lacrosse team that is well coached and well rested so they’re going to come in chomping on the bit. For me it is no different –  What are the lessons we learned and how do we apply it? I’m just not sure some of the minute details are sticking with some of these guys. That is an unfortunate thing because it is not a matter of want, they want to go compete and they want to win. I think at times we are competing very well, but it’s checking the boxes as far as what is asked of you and making sure you stick with it. Will you make mistakes…? 100%. Making the same mistakes over and over sometimes comes back to bite you. My message is to clean it up and we have another opportunity. We have talked about opportunities the last couple weeks with this group. Individual opportunity meaning you have an opportunity to prove your worth not only with our club but within the National Lacrosse League. That you belong here and you can be an impactful player. We have talked about opportunity as a club about when we turn that page and say we are a contender. We are for real. We have put the two of those together so that we can turn the page and become a top five or top four team in this league. We’re close but unless we learn [those things I mentioned] we are average at best.”

On the status of Tyler Burton and rotation of players in faceoff circle…

Burtsy [Tyler Burton] is getting close and Puschy [Ronin Pusch] has done an exceptional job thus far as well. We have won a couple with the lineup [we had tonight] and we stuck with it. We stuck with our lineup the last three. With back-to-back games we are going to rotate some guys in on both sides I’m sure. We were just talking about that in the locker room. We’re excited to have Burtsy back [soon] and the best part about us is that we have depth.

 

DEFENSEMAN MATT HOSSACK QUOTES

 

On some positive he can take from the game…

“There’s a lot of good things that we did. We played with them and we competed with them. We talk about the simple things and cleaning up the easy things. We say there are easy but not necessarily easy things to do at the time. These are things like hard work, being ready for a full thirty on defense, boxing out, and making sure we are producing shots properly on goal and working to get open. Those little cleanups and we certainly got to find a way to not continue to make those same mistakes. We are so close with how we are playing right now and we are playing really well. It’s only a little just to get you over the hump and it’s a bounce here or there or two. We got some favorable bounces last time against Georgia and you see how that changes the momentum of the game. Sometimes you have to try and create your own bounces and it comes down to that to work hard.”

On quick turn around and what he tells the team and himself to get ready for the next game on Sunday…

“For me it’s nice to have a game so soon. You don’t have the feeling of sulking in the loss all week and it allows you to turn the page quicker. I think that is good for our guys and we’ll get to practice tomorrow and change our focus strictly to Rochester and we’ll leave this one behind us. Still proud of our effort and it’s not the outcome we want. I love the way this group plays and competes and we’re almost there.”

Panther City Lacrosse Club