Philadelphia Wings (0-1) opened their 2019-20 National Lacrosse League season in Duluth, Georgia against the stacked Georgia Swarm (2-0).
The teams were scoreless until Bryan Cole (1g,1a) put one by Wings netminder, Zach Higgins at the 7:20 mark. The goal was scored on the man advantage.
Newly acquired, Cory Vitarelli (1g) evened the score at 1-1 and that seemed to wake Georgia up.
Georgia Swarmed and Randy Staats (1g,4a) converted a pretty set up from Lyle Thompson and former Wing, Jordan Hall before Shayne Jackson (3g,1a) scored with just :27 left to close the opening quarter with Georgia buzzing, 3-1.
Philadelphia was back on their heels and was helpless when Lyle Thompson (4g,2a) flexed his muscles and potted a pair.
Jackson and Randy Staats set up the first of two consecutive Thompson goals at the 1:32 mark before Thompson added another power-play goal to push it to a 5-1 advantage at 6:03.
Kevin Crowley (2g,2a) 5:03 later, stopped the run and it to a three-game game.
A minute fifty-four later, Matt Rambo (1g) got things interesting with Philadelphia scratching their way back and trailing, 5-3.
With :57 remaining in the half, Jordan Hall (1g, 4a) converted a man advantage set up from Staats and Lyle Thompson to close the half with a 6-3 home team lead.
Shayne Jackson nailed a pair just fifty-nine seconds apart and Georgia seemed to be in control with a five-goal lead at 8-3.
Once again, Crowley stepped up when he converted a transition goal started by Steph Charbonneau (1a) and Kiel Matisz.
Lyle Thompson countered with help from Staats and Hall to take things to the final quarter and Philly facing a big uphill battle, trailing, 9-4.
Georgia seemingly blew the game open with Staats and Hall assisting on a Miles Thompson (1g) tally at 3:45 and Lyle Thompson lighting the lamp again at 8:24.
Feeling a sense of urgency, Philadelphia got back in the game with Brett Hickey (1g,1a) and Matisz (1g, 3a) hitting the net just twenty-one seconds apart to draw the visitors close at 11-6.
The Wings rally was snuffed out when Adam Weidemann beat Philly net-minder Zach Higgins to push it to the 12-6 final.
Dis and Dat: Zach Higgins turned aside 35 of 47 shots but was outdone by counterpart, Mike Poulin who made 42 saves on the 48 shots he saw.
Philadelphia had the statistical edge in all categories despite the loss.
By: Kevin Neibauer
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Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.