With the Denver Outlaws (0-1) looking for retribution after dropping their season opener against the New York Lizards, naturally there are some aspects that they will look to improve on before taking on the Dallas Rattlers (1-1) on Sunday.
Get off to a quick start
In the game against the Lizards, the Outlaws were unable to score the first goal of the game — with the Lizards getting up to a quick 3-0 lead before Outlaws attackman Matt Kavanagh would score the first goal for the Outlaws — ending the Lizards’ scoring run, and attempting to shift the momentum.
Following the Outlaws falling behind early, it would set the tone for the remainder of the game, as the Lizards would continue to utilize their high-scoring offensive talent to outscore the Outlaws after each quarter.
Expect the Outlaws to look to be the team to get on an early scoring run to kick off the game against the Rattlers, and be aggressive shutting down any early scoring opportunities.
Take away home advantage
As with any sports team who is playing on the road, a big portion of the game has to deal with momentum. When playing on the road, a large aspect of the game deals will be being able to silence the opposing fans, and catching the opposition on their heels.
Expect the Outlaws to come out firing against the Rattlers, as a scoring run early in the game will be enough to set the tempo for the remainder of the game, as well as removing any sort of excitement that the home crowd has.
Shut down the Rattlers’ star players
Although the Rattlers will not have the same firepower that the Lizards did in the likes of Paul Rabil, Mike Bocklet, and Will Manny — the Rattlers will still have a few weapons who will be able to push the pace if the Outlaws are off their game.
As usual with the Rattlers, one of the main players who the Outlaws will look to shut down will be Rattlers attackman Jordan Wolf — as he is off to a hot start this regular season with 11 points in the two games played to start the regular season.
Along with Wolf, the Outlaws will have to keep an eye out for attackman Ty Thompson, who is coming off a 5 goal game against the Charlotte Hounds (2-0) and attackman Ryan McNamara — who has 7 points in the past two games.
The Outlaws will be set for another family reunion on Sunday, as longtime former Denver Outlaw Chris Bocklet is now a member of the Rattlers, after spending a season with the Atlanta Blaze last season. Bocklet has 5 points in the first two games of the season.
To wrap it all up
Falling 0-2 to start off the season is never a good thing, this becomes more relevant in the competitive MLL season where all teams are looking to start off the regular season on a good note.
Look for the Outlaws to come out aggressive offensively in the first quarter to start the game against the Rattlers, as well as playing a tight defensive game to limit the Rattlers offensive chances with their star players.