Norfolk, Virginia – In a game that saw 23 fouls called and play stopped a dozen times for injuries, the Rochester Lancers literally outlasted the Norfolk SharX 17-8 at Norfolk Scope Arena Sunday afternoon. The SharX lost their third player for the season tonight when Brady Bryant was helped off the field with a torn ACL. Marcello Alves suffered the same injury early in the season and goalkeeper Brian Sowell was lost due to a torn shoulder ligament. He will be in rehab for five months. Norfolk’s Brandon Massie also suffered a disc injury in his back in tonight’s game. Andrew Marshall missed tonight’s match with a hamstring injury.
The SharX began with a high pressure game and it seemed to work through half of the first quarter and the SharX even took the lead just three minutes into the match. Gary Brooks scored unassisted on a hard shot from the middle of the box to put Norfolk up 2-0. But the Landers came back and took control, scoring six unanswered points by Carlos Farias, Ljubomir Kocic and Doug Miller, until Norfolk could get on the board again.
The second half started fast for the SharX, again using their pressing defense and Matthew Delicâte was able to capitalize on a let-down by Lancer’s keeper Pat Hannigan during a SharX power play. Miller was issued a blue card for boarding Norfolk’s player/coach Brian Hinkey and the SharX went to work, sending the ball into the area again and again. One ball careened off the wall to Harrington but he couldn’t keep control and it landed at Delicâte’s feet. He calmly one-touched it into the back of the net bringing the score to 10-6.
In the seventh minute of the second half, Matt Clare with an assist by Brian Hinkey, brought the SharX to within two points with a rocket of a shot from just inside the arc to make it 6-4, but Rochester’s Mauricio Salles scored two followed by two more from Miller to make it 10-4 at the half. Rochester outshot Norfolk 15-11 in the first 30 minutes.
But Rochester again answered but with five points this time on Salles’ second goal in the 11th minute of the period and a minute later by a three-point strike by Elliot Fauske. It was now 15-6 in favor of the Lancers.
In the final quarter, the SharX were only able to trade goals with the Lancers, starting with a strike by Norfolk’s leading scorer Miguel Ferrer off a restart with an assist from Matt Clare. And again Rochester answered on two points from Andrew Hoxie, assisted by Miller who earned five points on the night. Ferrer and Clare led the SharX with three points each.
There were defensive highlights for the SharX in tonight’s game beginning with Yomby William who made back-to-back goal line saves in the second quarter. William broke up the Lancers’ offense again and again and still was tied for the lead in shots on goal with Matt Clare. Each had four on the night. The SharX defense also killed off two Rochester power plays.
“Every time we play a good physical contest, we suffer some injuries that are worrying,” said head coach Jon Hall. “Brady is the third player we have lost for the season due to injury.”
The SharX hit the road to Baltimore yet again on Wednesday, February 1st for a 7:05 kickoff with the Blast at 1st Mariner Arena. The team then heads to Syracuse on February 9 at 7 p.m. at the Oncenter. Norfolk returns home just in time for a Valentine’s Day matchup with the same Syracuse squad at Norfolk Scope Arena at 7 p.m.
The SharX invite all their fans to join them at The Public House in Norfolk’s Ghent on February 7 at 5:30 p.m. to meet and greet the team and the Mermaids. Food will be provided by The Public House and the team would love all of their fans to join them for this pre-Valentine’s Day get-together.