March 25, 2011

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Greer Burns Former Team, Edmonton Wins

by Kyle Galliver | NLL.com

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Rush were looking to start piling up the wins in their push for the playoffs, and a 14-13 win over the Minnesota Swarm is a great start. Zack Greer, acquired from the Swarm midseason, scored the game-winning goal with 3.5 seconds remaining.

The Rush were able to play a complete game and showed the effort and determination needed to win games down in the stretch drive.

"We just stuck to it, stuck with the game plan, we never varied from it once, even when we got down late there, we still stuck with it," explained Rush head coach Derek Keenan when asked about the game. "Just a complete effort by the whole group."

Keenan has been all about keeping a positive attitude throughout the season, despite his team's struggles, and thinks the team took a real step towards getting to where they need to be if they want to have more success.

"Now we remember how to win," says Keenan. "It's only opportunity that's ahead of us, that's the attitude we have to take, it has to be positive."

"The opportunity started tonight and we executed," explains Keenan. "Bottom line is we got it done at crunch time."

The big story on the night was Rush forward Zack Greer. The newly acquired Greer was playing his first game against his former team after being acquired from the Swarm for a first-round pick earlier in the season. Greer was an offensive dynamo all game for the Rush and finished the night with five goals and two assists, including scoring the game winner with 3.5 seconds left to play in the game.

"Anytime you play your old squad you want to put on a good showing," answered Greer when asked about his performance. "Obviously the most important thing is we got the W".

The head coach isn't surprised with Greer's performance and thinks Greer has the goods to be a very good lacrosse player.

"He is a special player, he'll be in this league a long time," says Keenan of Greer. Despite the praise from his coach, Greer was quick to pass off the spotlight to his team mates.

"Good night," explained Greer. "Team mates were doing things that allowed that to happen."

The Rush have had trouble winning close games all season, but were able to come out with the win tonight. Minnesota Swarm head coach Mike Lines believes the Rush had more will to win then his team on Friday night.

"Tough to lose on the last play of the game like that, we battled hard," explains Lines. "You know, in the end, we just didn't have enough."

Swarm forward Ryan Benesch shares the same thoughts as his head coach.

"Back and forth, a couple bounces could have gone our way but they didn't, you have to give them credit, they played really well," says Benesch. " They played like a team who's fighting for that playoff spot, I think they wanted it a little more than we did, and I guess it showed on the score sheet."

The Rush got big contributions from Zack Greer (5g, 2a), Ryan Ward (2g, 3a), and captain Brodie Merrill (1g, 4a). The Swarm were led by Ryan Benesch (4g, 4a), Mat Giles (3g, 3a), and Callum Crawford (2g, 3a).

The Rush will continue the drive for a playoff spot when they take on the Colorado Mammoth in a home-and-home series next weekend. The outcome of which will likely decide who gets the final playoff spot in the West Division. The Swarm will play their second game this weekend when they host the Buffalo Bandits at 2:00 pm ET Sunday afternoon.


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