Today we’re knocking out the third part of our four-part recap of the Top 10 Swarm goals of the 2017-18 season. Last Tuesday, we chronicled goals 10-8, then we examined goals 7-5 the following Friday. Today, we’re covering goals 4-2.
The goals featured today perfectly personify the Swarm way. They showcase some amazing displays of skill, teamwork, and creativity from your favorite Swarm players. The strong individual efforts add up to some flabbergasting plays, and you’ll be wondering how there can be an even better play.
Nos. 10-5 featured two of the Swarm’s SportsCenter Top 10 goals, and that’s how we’ll start today’s list with…
4. Miles Thompson, SportsCenter Top 10 BTB Goal
We’ve seen Miles make plenty of behind-the-back goals and land on SportsCenter Top 10 before. That’s not to belittle his scoring prowess, but it’s pretty much expected he’ll land on ESPN’s flagship show at some time during the season.
The effort that went into this play is what gets the nod. Before the video starts, Lyle Thompson made a fantastic effort to get the ball and passed to Randy Staats. Staats drew a defenseman before making a slick behind-the-back feed to Miles. Miles dipped and fooled his defender and the opposing goalie into thinking Miles wanted to shoot five-hole. Naw, son, it was all a set-up. Miles used the opening to fire the ball in from his name plate and net Georgia’s first goal in the East Division Finals. Teamwork, effort, creativity. Keep that theme in mind as we check out…
3. Jesse King’s Game-Winning Goal
You can always count on Shayne Jackson to be part of a perfectly executed pick-and-roll play. His behind-the-back feed to Jordan Hall worked perfectly as Hall was all alone in front of the Rock goaltender. Unfortunately, the shot missed the net and hit the back boards. Fortunately, King was there to quickly snag it. He then immediately jumped the other way to dunk the ball into the goal behind the netminder. The teamwork leading up to the play was perfectly executed, but King’s individual effort and lightning-quick thinking turned the missed opportunity into a game-winner.
That third game against Toronto was crazy. Both goaltenders and defenses were strong that night, and it took borderline miraculous plays for anyone to score. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that another goal from that night made our Top 10 list…
2. Kiel Matisz from Randy Staats’s Tightrope Act
So many components to this goal. First, Lyle managed to get a pass off to Staats even though two Rock defensemen were right in Lyle’s face. The pass wasn’t clean, and Staats corralling it did make him lose his balance. Adjusting on the fly, Staats twisted around to find an open Swarm man. He had to be delicate with his footwork so as not to step into the crease, and as he was falling, Staats got off a bounce pass to Matisz, incredibly staying out of the crease the entire time. Seeing a Rock defenseman gunning straight from him, Matisz played matador and calmly dodged. He then fooled the opposing goalie into dipping slightly and shot a quick laser into the top left corner.
Every Swarm player involved in this goal exemplified maximum effort, teamwork, and creativity. They kept the play going when most of us thought it was broken up, unselfishly passing the ball around until Matisz could take advantage of the stretched defensive system to score. The Swarm way.
The No. 1 Swarm goal of the 2017-18 season will be revealed Friday! After we reveal it, don’t forget to vote for your favorite goal and enter for a chance to win an autographed Swarm team poster!