REPORT: SECOND ROUND OF THE CLL

The first season of the Croatian Lacrosse League will definitely be remembered for great weather that has blessed the best Croatian lacrosse players in the first two rounds. Almost identical atmospheric conditions, as were throughout the first round in Resnik, also persisted in the small town of Hraščića, nearby Varaždin, where the second round of the CLL was held.

Varaždin Royals and Split Legion, had the honor of playing the first ever game of lacrosse in the Varaždin region and the game definitely didn’t disappoint. Both teams took to the field in hopes of getting their first win after losing both of their games in the first round. After an intense and action packed game, Split Legion came out victorious, 7:4, after a great display of lacrosse and took home their first win. Adrian Morency was the stand-out performer for the Legion with 4 goals and 1 assist, with Tin Čohadžić netting 2 goals of his own. Once again, the Royals were led by their star attack-man Fran Vulić who scored 3 goals, with Ivan Negrojević scoring one.

The second game was the highly anticipated Zagreb Derby between Bulldogs and Patriots. In a round that set a lot of historic milestones, the Zagreb Derby was announced as the game to witness, since both teams were undefeated after the first round and a lot more than just points were at stake. The final result, 4:0 for Patriots, stands as a monument to, not only a great team display on both ends of the pitch by the Patriots, but also to a very mediocre and sterile display by the Bulldogs. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs had to endure a tremendous defensive performance from the Patriots defense, led by the young goalie Karlo Štrkalj who amassed 7 saves and was rightfully named the MVP of the second round. The Patriots dynamic duo of Markov-Vranešić continued what they started in the first round and getting a combined 3 goals and 1 assist, while Filip Severin got on the score-sheet once and made also 2 assists. The only stand-out performance by the Bulldogs, came from their goalie Filip Batur, who controversially left the Royals. He managed to make 7 saves but was unable to turn the tides of the game.

After the disappointing display against the Patriots, Bulldogs had to pick themselves up fast, since they were going against a highly motivated Split team, who wanted to take a much larger scalp this time. Even though the result suggested otherwise, 7:4 for the Bulldogs, the game could’ve gone both ways, since it was on equal terms for almost the entirety of the game. This time, Bulldogs has some players that are worth mentioning. Bruno Srezović-Bijelić both scored twice, while the Legion was once again led by Adrian Morency (2 goals) and Tin Čohadžić (1 goal), with Pierre Sanchis scoring a goal and giving an assist.

The last game of the day was between Zagreb Patriots and Varaždin Royals. The game started with shock for the undefeated Patriots, who went 1:0 down after the first shoot on goal. Royals tried to play a smart game and resisted the Patriots continued attacks but experience and quality on the side of Patriots was the turning point. The final result, 10:1 for Patriots, is indicative enough of the dominance they showed in the game but it would be unfair to not mention the Royals goalie, Domagoj Piha, who had a tough spot to fill after Filip Batur left, but managed to show great skill, in only his second game, and in his 10 saves put some highlight moments. The Patriots were once again led by Luka Markov (3 goals, 2 assists) and Bartul Marunić (3 goals, 1 assist).

After the second round, it’s obvious that the Patriots are the team to beat if anyone else wants to compete for the title. Next round is on the 20th of May in Zagreb.

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