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Panther City

Panther City Lacrosse Club Practice Report (1/27)

LAS VEGAS, NV – The Panther City Lacrosse Club (2-3) is in Las Vegas this weekend to face the Desert Dogs (2-3) for the second time this season, after dropping a heartbreaker in overtime in December, 11-10 (OT), in Fort Worth. The team is coming off a bye, but previously won on January 7, 14-12 over the New York Riptide. Four different Panther City players registered five points, including Callum Crawford who recorded his fourth hat trick of the season. Crawford leads Panther City with 15 goals and 28 points overall. Rookie Jason Knox was awarded the NLL Rookie of the Week (Week 7) for his performance over the Riptide as he led the club with four goals and added one assist.

On the benches for the clubs, it is reunion between old friends Steve Toll (Panther City Defensive Coordinator) and Shawn Williams (Las Vegas GM/Head Coach) as the two were long-time teammates in the NLL and came up together in the sport. Both were recently inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame together this past offseason.

Tonight’s game will be the final matchup between the two clubs in the regular season and can be seen on ESPN+/TSN+.

HEAD COACH TRACEY KELUSKY QUOTES

On keeping the team focused with three bye weeks through eight weeks of play…

“It certainly has been not the most ideal [start]. It seems like we cannot get any rhythm going here. We lose and it is the loneliest league in the world and you never feel like you are going to win again. Then when you have a bye week it certainly hurts that much more. For our group, the message was after New York, we need to continue to pound the pavement and do all the things we need to do, which is watching film, nutrition, sleep and all those things that come with being a professional athlete. Our hunger has to be there. We are 2-3. This is not where I wanted to be at the start of the season, nor is where all these guys wanted to be, so we need to be hungry.”

On what he is looking for from the team in their matchup against Las Vegas…

“Efficiency. One of the things when you look back as a coach you reflect, maybe we didn’t go hard enough on the guys or we didn’t pay attention to the little details that we did in the first two years and maybe we got away from it. We are getting back to basic, fundamental lacrosse and making sure we are efficient in every aspect. Offensively and defensively, but in particular between the lines, taking care of it and making good decisions.”

On if the messaging to the team this week has revolved around getting revenge against Las Vegas after losing in overtime previously in December…

“I don’t know if it is necessarily, we ‘owe them one’ scenario, but I think there is healthy rivalry with us and Las Vegas as the two newest franchises [in the NLL]. For me, it is about what is our outcome. I hate looking big picture, but our outcome is to make the playoffs and this is a huge game against [Las Vegas]. Tie breaker [implications]. All sorts of implications with this type of game, so we want to make sure we own the tie breaker with them. The season for me – you check boxes and these are the games we have to have and quite frankly, we dropped the ball at home and this is a must win for us.”

FORWARD CALLUM CRAWFORD QUOTES

On keeping the team focused with three bye weeks through eight weeks of play…

“A little bit of just focus, put the work in and pound the pavement during the week. It is really easy to relax when you are prepared, so as long as we come in prepared the key is to be relaxed and confident when we arrive. The work and training is done in the middle of the week, so when we get into the locker room it shouldn’t be too serious, as it should be prepared, which is comfortable.”

On if the messaging to the team this week has revolved around getting revenge against Las Vegas after losing in overtime previously in December…

“You are the first one to bring it up to us. It is professional sports. It is why sports are so entertaining and so amazing. Anything can happen and that [previous Las Vegas game] was proof to the fans who got to enjoy the game the last time we played Las Vegas. It was a gut check for us. The game is never over until it is over and anything can happen. That is the beauty of sports. We can’t dwell on those things and you look at bounces in another game and or we will get one at another time. You can’t focus on it too much and just have to look forward to the next opportunity.”

 

Panther City Lacrosse Club