Swarm Break Losing Skid, Split Series With Warriors

Eduardo Curros – Pacific Correspondent, All Lacrosse All The Time

Week 10 of the NLL saw the Georgia Swarm return to Sting City to take on the Vancouver Warriors in their second meeting this season. Vancouver’s renaissance under head coach Curt Malawsky has not gone to plan, especially with last week’s lethargic showing against the Colorado Mammoth. However, one of their two wins this season was against Georgia back in Week 3.

The Swarm have also struggled recently, losing their last three games after a 4-1 start. A win for either team would right themselves and keep them on pace with most of the league as the middle third of the season begins. Andrew Kew and Seth Oakes helped deliver a turnaround for the Swarm. Oakes had five goals and two assists, while Kew had four of each, including the game-winner as Georgia won 12-11 in overtime. The Swarm improve to 5-4, while the Warriors fall to 2-6.

Philly Sports Trips Generic

Big second quarter gives Swarm halftime edge

Things started off slow with Ryan Martel opening the scoring for the Warriors at 8:41, thanks to assists from Adam Charalambides and Keegan Bal. Andrew Kew tied the score on a power play goal with help from Shayne Jackson at 10:41. Brad McCulley scored at 13:00 with assists from Bal and Kevin Crowley to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead after one quarter. However, the teams exploded for 10 goals in a second quarter shootout.

The Swarm started with two goals from Seth Oakes, at 1:01 and 4:19, and Kew’s second goal in between at 3:51. Vancouver roared back with three goals of their own: Charalambides at 7:04, Owen Grant at 7:39, and Crowley at 9:25, making it a 5-4 game. Georgia would tie the score with a goal from Oakes on an assist from Lyle Thompson and Jackson at 11:03. Vancouver would regain the lead on a goal from Reid Bowering at 11:42. Georgia would tie and then take a 7-6 lead into halftime on the fourth goal of the quarter from Oakes at 13:00, followed by Zach Miller at 13:41.  

Controversial overtime goal gives Swarm the win

Georgia led off the third quarter with three straight goals to extend their lead to 10-6. Oakes scored his fifth goal unassisted at 1:57. Then Kew scored his third off a pass from Thompson at 7:26, and finally Jackson at 9:20 from Oakes. Vancouver’s only goal of the quarter came from Tyson Kirkness at 11:46, making it a 10-7 game going into the final quarter.

Crowley netted one at 4:27 then Bal struck twice, at 7:26 and on a power play at 8:39 to tie the game. Thompson scored at 10:23 to restore the lead for Georgia, but Charalambides equalized at 13:20 to force overtime. Kew would score his fourth goal of the night 1:21 into overtime to win the game for the Swarm, but not without some controversy. The shot appeared to have occurred as the shot clock was expiring; however, replays could not definitively demonstrate that time remained on the shot clock. Therefore, the original call of a good goal stood, and Georgia celebrated a 12-11 win.  

Curros’s Corner

Bal had two goals and three assists, while Charalambides and Crowley both finished with two goals and two assists. Brett Dobson made 28 saves for Georgia in the win, while Aaron Bold stopped 39 shots for Vancouver. Georgia had a 17-10 edge on faceoffs, but the Warriors won the loose ball battle 68-60. Swarm defender Liam Byrnes led all players with three caused turnovers.

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.