A near-capacity crowd of 15,000 filled Wells Fargo Arena tonight to watch the Minnesota Swarm host the Colorado Mammoth in the state's first ever professional lacrosse game. Many fans also took in a high school tournament featuring teams from Omaha, NE and Valley High School in West Des Moines. Iowa State University's club lacrosse team hosted the University of Iowa prior to the professional game.
Minnesota, the de facto home team, got things off to an early start with their number one draft pick, Zack Greer, scoring in the opening minute. The former Duke University standout finished the night with four goals and three assists. His play led to standing ovations from the crowd.
Colorado responded with a barrage of their own. Former Hofstra player Brian Langtry netted a hat trick and Jed Prossner (North Carolina) grabbed two goals to lead the Mammoth in scoring. Langtry's third goal led to a Colorado scoring drive in the final period.
It proved to be too little too late. The combined efforts of the Swarm and the stellar goal tending of Nick Patterson carried the blue and gold to an easy 12-8 victory.
Based on the sellout crowd and the overall response, the Swarm have already committed to a return trip next year. "We were really impressed with the turnout in Des Moines," said team vice president Andy Arlotta. "The response to the game is beyond belief. We definitely waited too long to hold our first game at Wells Fargo Arena."
The game opened the preseason for both teams. The Swarm and the Mammoth are members of the National Lacrosse League. The National Lacrosse League was founded in 1986 and is the longest running professional lacrosse league in the world.