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2019 New York Lizards Pre-Season Interviews

Double G Sports had the honor and privilege to interview four of the Lizards’ stars, Rob Pannell, Kevin Crowley, Austin Kaut and Mark Matthews as well as new Head Coach B.J. O’Hara.  We dove deep into everything from the Lizards’ organization to Mark’s favorite food here.


On reasons for joining the Lizards (Kevin, Austin, Mark, Coach O’Hara)

Austin – “It really came down to the culture.  It’s always been a winning team and the Lizards have been around forever.  Also being from the Philly area helped because I’m nice and close to home .  It’s a win-win.”

Kevin – “Like Austin mentioned this team has been around forever and from what I’ve seen it’s a really good place to play.  I love the atmosphere and we have a great group of guys.”

Mark – “Playing here once before I know what to expect.  Long Island is a hotbed for lacrosse and the fans are amazing.  It’s a great place to be and grow the sport even more.”

Coach O’Hara – “I really loved Denver.  It was a fantastic place to coach and we had a lot of success there.  I wanted a new challenge and talking with Joe (Spallina) we came up with a game plan.  Long Island is a great place for lacrosse and the community outreach is incredible.  We have a lot of programs throughout the towns.”

On challenges of coaching a new team (Coach O’Hara)

“Well it’s a blessing in disguise because we have a lot of new faces so we’re kind of all already on the same page.  It’s going to take a little bit of time but we have a great group here and I think that we have a lot of talent.  These guys are professionals and as long as we play like a team there won’t be too many growing pains.”

On synchronizing defense with goaltending (Austin)

“We have a great group of defenders and our job is really to stay focused and play within ourselves.  As a defense the key is communication so as long as we’re talking and on the right assignment, there shouldn’t be any issues.  As we’ve said before, these guys are all professionals and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

On dynamic Attack for Lizards (Kevin)

“It’s going to be great.  We have a lot of guys who can put the ball in the net and we have a ton of talent out there.  It may take a little bit of time to catch our stride but we know how talented this group is inside our locker room.  I don’t even care if I stay off the scoresheet for five straight games (laughs) as long as we’re scoring goals that’s all that matters.”

On potential added pressure with re-alignment of MLL and playing on Long Island (Rob)

“No I wouldn’t say there’s any added pressure.  We already put enough pressure on ourselves to win so I don’t think there’s any added pressure with the way the league is going or playing on Long Island.  We enjoy what we do day in and day out and it’s fun to play the game of lacrosse.  There’s really no reason to add any pressure to that.”

On trying not to overthink things on offense (Mark)

“That’s what the shot clock is for (laughs).  It’s all about playing well with each other and gelling.  We aren’t going to have too much trouble passing the ball around.  There’s only one ball but we know we have to score goals so we aren’t going to hesitate to shoot.  The only thing that matters is winning.”

On what a successful 2019 Lizards’ season looks like (All players)

Austin – “Getting to know the guys better.  We play this game because it’s a great sport and we love spending time with each other.”

Kevin – “I would love to learn more about my new teammates.  They all seem like great people and part of what’s great about this league is getting to know all of the guys.  I agree with Austin.”

Rob – “I agree with both Austin and Kevin.  It’s all about team camaraderie and building relationships.  I love having new guys on the team and getting to know their stories.”

Mark – “Like I said before I’ve been on this team before so just getting to know everyone better and getting to play in front of the great fans.  Long Island is a great place to play and spending some time here I really enjoy playing here.”




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