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St. Louis Lions Defeat Rochester Thunder, 2-1 on Sunday

Press release from St. Louis Lions’ James Shipley.

Rochester, MN….The St. Louis Lions captured victory for the first time of the season in Rochester MN this afternoon with a 2-1 victory over the Thunder. The Lions came out firing as they scored 3 minutes into the game when Kenny Kranz struck a 30 yard drive over the Thunder keeper.

“The ball came to me and I got a touch on it to settle it and I looked up to see where the keeper was and he was out. The ball just bounced perfect so I hit it and we go up 1-nil. It was great to score and to start off that fast. We needed it as a team” said Kranz.

The Lions almost scored a gain moments later when Gavin “Dodgy” Smith sent a ball across the top of the 6 yard box and Jarius “Juice” Holmes knocked a ball just wide of the back post when he was hit from behind by a Rochester defender. The Lions were much more disciplined in their shape and attacking pressure in this game. It paid off midway thru the first half when Tyler Schaefering found Juice on a throw-in deep in the Rochester end. Juice one timed a ball past the diving Rochester keeper to put the Lions up for good.

“It is so good to get that goal and give us a little cushion” said Juice. “I am relieved to get the goal, it feels great to score.”

The Lions were coming off a tough game against Des Moines the night before and were bound to run out of gas at some point. Late in the half Kranz took down a Rochester player about 20 yards from goal. On the restart Rochester’s Christian Hernandez drilled the ball into the upper right corner cutting the Lions lead to 2-1.

“I was really pleased with our shape and the balance of our attack today. We really came out and set the tone early in this game. Our tackles were precise, we stuck in and everyone got behind the ball to defend. We played a full hard 90 today.” said Lion’s Coach Tony Glavin “It was great to end the road trip with a win and to put together a complete game. “

In the second half the Lions again came out attacking and pressured Rochester for much of the half. As the half wore on the Lions did begin to tire and they battled thru the fatigue and packed it in defensively leaving Brian Harris as the lone striker up top. Harris was relentless and at any opportunity he pushed forward and attacked the Rochester defense at one point taking on the Rochester defense on a 3 v 1 and ripped a shot just past the near post.

“Harris battled the entire weekend. He was a bull this weekend and really was a big difference maker in our attack” said Mike Poropat, Lions’ Assistant Coach.

The Lions return home next Saturday May 29th at 5:00PM to take on the Springfield Demize in the first of three matchups against the Demize within the next week

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