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Lizards cruise despite two delays

JoJo Marasco of the Lizards celebrates a goal

JoJo Marasco of the Lizards celebrates a goal against the Florida Launch with teammate Rob Pannell during their Major League Lacrosse game at Shuart Stadium on July 3, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Jim McIsaac

The Lizards played a dominant 60 minutes of lacrosse Thursday night. It just took them more than four hours to do so.

Tommy Palasek scored five goals and Rob Pannell added four goals and four assists to lead the Lizards to a 20-11 win over the Florida Launch at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium in a game that featured two separate delays.

Lightning delayed the start of the second half by almost two hours, and play was halted again late in the third quarter after the stadium lights went out for roughly twenty minutes.

The win was the third straight for the Lizards (6-4), though this one was under bizarre circumstances.

"It was something new for me," Palasek said of the delays. "I've never been a part of something like that."

"We're just moving well, playing well and making simple plays," he added. "[Teammate] Mike Kimmel said it right from the start, 'let's make sure every goal is an easy one.' We have the talent, the size, the speed at each spot. As long we're moving for each other all the time, I think it's going to work out."

For the second straight week, the Lizards set season highs in goals scored, assists (11) and margin of victory.

"We're just playing as a cohesive unit," coach Joe Spallina said. "Guys aren't trying to do too much individually. We're trying to do things as the sum of all parts. Guys are buying in."

The Lizards led 6-1 after the first quarter and took a 10-4 lead into halftime. Florida went on a 4-0 run midway through the third to cut the lead to 15-9 before the Lizards finished the game on a 5-2 run.

Kimmel, who played in his second game with the Lizards after being acquired in a midseason trade, said the team was motivated to keep pressing after both delays.

"We didn't want to let ourselves down after having such a good start to the game," said Kimmel, who had two goals and three assists. "Being up at half, we wanted to make sure we finished the game out. We never took the gas pedal off."

Casey Powell scored three goals and had two assists for Florida, which dropped to 4-6.

The Lizards will now head into the two-week international break for the FIL World Championships before their next game at Boston on July 19. The Lizards will send six players to the tournament to represent Team USA, and while they are playing well now, Spallina is not worried about his team losing its edge because of the break.

"It's not like guys are taking off a couple of weeks and sitting at home," he said. "They're going to be playing high level lacrosse."

New York Sports