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Diary: Becoming a Sports Journalist III

Get ready to follow Justin Carson as he dives into the world of sports journalism. AllLacrosseAmerica.com will follow Justin as he attends games and gives his take on the MLL. Look forward to interviews, game summaries, and a unique perspective of the life of a sports journalists. Sure he's 16 and at the bottom of the ladder, but that is what makes it interesting. Watch Justin suprise you as he explores what it is like to be a sports journalist.

As soon as I pulled into the Prince George's Stadium parking lot in Bowie Maryland I realized this was the place to be for lacrosse fans. This evening would give the MLL the thing needed to become bigger than it already is, an evening to showcase it's top talent and a great location. Bowie which is pretty much located between Annapolis and Baltimore and driving distance from DC. three hotbeds in lacrosse would surely bring some fans. The atmosphere was defiantly fan friendly between the local radio station and free lacrosse stuff there wasn't to much more you could really ask for. After taking as much free stuff possible to the pressbox I checked out the field. It looked really good considering it was a baseball field. Fans were starting to settle down and the lineups were being announced, ofcourse the cheers would go to Gary Gait and The Powell brothers but the loudest cheer of all would seem to go to Josh Sims the hometown favorite from Severn Maryland.

The game was about to begin I noticed the lacrosse ball was a neon orange color and was clearly visible from all views. It was a good idea and didn't look to bad. Besides the ball I was amazed by the talent out there. This game would showcase the greatest lacrosse talent ever assembled for one game. League leaders on the same team would surely account for plenty of scoring. Finally the game was underway and shortly after the face off was the games first goal by Keith Cromwell of the American division beating goalie Greg Cattrano. Shortly after Cromwell's goal was Greg Traynor giving the American division an early 2-0 lead. With the American team out in front National division's Mark Millon took matters into his own hands by scoring two goals back to back. Millon's two back to back goals started a scoring friendzy that soon gave the National team a commanding lead. Gary Gait scored and underhand shovel shot beating Brian Carcaterra. The shot was surely amazing considering it was an underhand shot going at least 70mph. The America team would find themselves losing control of the game early on due to seven goals from six different Bayhawks in the first quater. Even Rochester defenesman Marshall Abrams got into the action by scoring a two-point goal late in the first quater. When all was said and done the scoreboard read Nationals ten, Americans five. At that point I thought this clearly would be a blowout from this point on. Thankfully I was wrong.

What started out to be a blowout by all means turned into the exact opposite a close game from that point on. In the second quater scoring was at a minimum and the defense showed-up for both teams. The American team scored five straight goals one highlighted by Casey Powell which was a behind the back goal that drew some applause. The American defense came-up big holding off the Nationals and giving their offense a chance to get back in it. When you play defense your whole objective is to do good enough to put your offense in a position to score some goals and capture a victory. If that's the case then the American all-stars did their job. With time running out in the second quater National's midfielder Cory Kahoun broke through the defense to rip a two pointer with 1:41 left in the half giving the Nationals a slight two point lead going into half-time.

Half-time would be unique. The whole experience has been great so far, this marked my first MLL all-star game and hopefully there will be more to come especially with this kind of close game. At half-time there was an announced skills competition that featured a fastest shot contest that was won by Boston's David Evans with an 108mph shot, an accuracy contest with the objective to score as many goals between two teammates in the four corners with only ten shots. New Jersey's David Curry and Scott Urick scored seven to win that portion of the contest. The final competition was what the people at MLL call a freestyle. To me the freestyle seemed to be a cross between NBA's slam-dunk contest,NHL's shootout and a fan participation portion. The idea was to put on as many flashy moves as possible and to score a quality goal to get the biggest fan reaction. On the other side the goalies were trying to make the most saves to become the top dog in the net. So everyone was giving a 100%. The loudest cheer went to Gary Gait for his 360 degree "Air Gait" goal beating Brian Carcaterra. The shot was amazing. After that point any one of thinking to beat the score was out of the question. I just wondered with all that excitement how did the MLL plan to top off the game since there was still a half left?????

For the third quater all you could say is that it was a game of runs. Whoever had the last big run would come-out on top. Nationals jumped out early to score four straight goals but the lead didn't last long when A. J. Haugen started a six goal run to tie the game up at the tend of three.

The fourth and final quater began which belonged to the Nationals as they would outscore the American division 5-0. Two of the five goals were accounted for by Jesse Hubbard and teammate Scott Urick received his fourth goal to the game to make him Buglights MVP of the 2002 Al--Star game. The National Division All-stars won the game with the final score 21-16 over the American Division All-stars.

Overall I thought the game was great. It has all the essentials needed for a good lacrosse game. It had runs, it had big plays, plenty of scoring but still defense was a factor and most of all they still managed to play 100%. In some other sports the whole idea is to have fun and not to get hurt which I can totally understand but as we all know lacrosse players aren't like that. Lacrosse players are a certain breed of people that always have the desire to win and play at 100% regardless of time or energy. Of course these players are sensible enough not to go out and try to injure themselves but having fun to them is doing their best and being able to laugh about it. Well, that's how I look at it at least.