May 14, 2016
KENNESAW, Ga.— The crowd was full of anticipation and excitement as the Atlanta Blaze came back home for their second ever home game at Fifth Third Bank Stadium to play the Denver Outlaws. Randy Staats had the first goal off a pass from Kevin Rice, quickly followed by the Blaze’s first two-point goal, deftly scored by Kevin Cooper. Patrick Harbeson followed up with his first goal of the season and Kevin Rice couldn’t resist getting in on the action with a goal of his own. Multiple shots on Adam Ghitelman failed to find their mark, and Randy Staats was able to get off another goal at just under 9 minutes before Callum Crawford got the Outlaws on the board. The Atlanta Blaze then scored their next goal immediately after winning the faceoff, both courtesy of Eric O’Brien. Adam Ghitelman left the cage to clear the ball out, and assisted Kevin Rice on his second goal of the night before the Outlaws went on a two-goal spree, spurred on by Chris Bocklet and Crawford. Justin Pennington quickly answered, and with merely a second left in the quarter, Staats managed to get his first hat trick of the season and bring the score to 10-3 at the end of the quarter.
The second half started far less quickly with a few minutes of passing, but once it got going it was just as exciting as the first. Kevin Rice started it off with a goal completing his third hat trick of the season, followed closely by a goal from hometown hero Scott Ratliff. The Blaze continued the trend of a diverse scoring pool as Josh Dionne got his first goal of the night. Randy Staats managed to get his fourth goal past the goalie just before Crawford got a goal past Ghitelman. Seconds prior to the halftime buzzer sounding, Joe Locascio scored a goal, and the Blaze finished the half at 16-4.
Randy Staats started off the second half just as he played throughout the first: with a goal so solid it rattled the cage. It was followed by a Bocklet goal against Ghitelman, after which there was a significant amount of back-and-forth between the two teams, occurring on both ends before a second goal was scored by Kevin Cooper, to which the Outlaws responded in the form of a Jeremy Sieverts goal. Randy Staats finished out the quarter with his fifth goal of the game, making the score 19-6 going into the final quarter.
In the last quarter, Bocklet started off with a quick goal, followed by a Kevin Rice shot on an empty net, which was easily a goal. Drew Snider responded quickly with an Outlaws goal, and then Locascio managed to rocket one into the goal to help the Blaze pull even further away from the Outlaws. Sieverts and Snider tried to close the gap with a goal, but it was just too late. Dionne found his second goal of the night in the back of the net. Kevin Rice followed it up, as his shot deflected off of a stick in the air and entered the goal. Snider managed to get another Outlaw goal with just over two minutes left, still fighting, despite the 9 goal deficit. The game ended at 23-12, a unambiguous mark in the history books for the Atlanta Blaze as the first franchise win was recorded.
The Blaze will hit the road to Jacksonville to play the Florida Launch but will return home on June 4
th against the Boston Cannons.
About Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Fifth Third Bank Stadium is an 8,300-seat state-of-the-art stadium built in 2010 in partnership with the former Women’s Professional Soccer team Atlanta Beat, designed to showcase a variety of events. It has hosted Major League Soccer, KSU Soccer and Lacrosse, the Southern Lacrosse Showdown, NCAA Women’s College Cup, concerts and music festivals. Situated within a beautiful 88-acre KSU Sports and Recreation Park, the facility is conveniently located just one mile from both I-75 and I-575 in Cobb County, which is often referred to as Atlanta’s
About Atlanta Blaze
The Atlanta Blaze, Major League Lacrosse’s newest franchise kick off their inaugural season in Kennesaw, GA on April 23, 2016. The Atlanta Blaze will call Kennesaw State University’s Stadium in Cobb County, Georgia home for the 2016 Season. Single Game and Season Tickets are currently on sale. To purchase tickets and for more information call 855-44-BLAZE or visit AtlantaBlaze.com
Stay connected with the Atlanta Blaze on Facebook (Atlanta Blaze MLL), Instagram (AtlantaBlazeMLL), Twitter (@AtlantaBlaze) and Snapchat (Atlantablaze).