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December 15, 2012

Mostly reserve Bolts fall to Storm 12-6

PHOENIX– Utilizing mostly reserve team players and a squad with little or no indoor experience, the Anaheim Bolts fell to the Arizona Storm 12-6 on Saturday.

The initial lack of chemistry between the Bolts players, who had never once taken the field together, saw the well-oiled Arizona attack storm out to a quick 7-0 lead behind a hat-trick by David Hague and additional goals by Reid Schmitt, Brandon Mills, Nicola Barraza and Mitch Garcia. One of the highlights of the opening period came when Garcia’s left-footed blast from long range whistled inside the far post for the day’s sixth tally.

Anaheim battled back in impressive fashion in the second quarter, to cut the halftime deficit to 8-3. After Storm striker Garcia found the upper ninety with a beautiful curling effort, the Bolts responded with three unanswered strikes, including two by player-coach Bernie Lilavois.

First the sent a cracker into the net on a restart. Then he was set up beautifully by teammate Jayro Martinez, who had single-handedly created the chance by dispossessing an opposition player in midfield and quickly transitioning into the attack. Martinez also had a strike of his own in the period, while Arizona’s second tally came on a Bolts own-goal.

The hosts repaid the favor after the break by sending the ball into their own net, and additional tallies by Anaheim’s Jhonatan Bravo and Gonzalez saw their side go on another 3-2 run, Arizona’s Garcia and Hague firing home at the other end. Garcia’s goal opened the scoring in the second half, as the attacking ace launched a rocket on a restart that found the top right-hand corner of the frame to temporarily extend his side’s lead to 10-3.

Trailing 11-6 to start the final quarter, the Bolts were unable to capitalize on several close looks. Meanwhile, Storm midfielder Andrew Szerlag beat Anaheim goalkeeper Manabu Kaji at the other end to bring the final score to 12-6.

Lilavois chose a mostly reserve team for the road game as a way to add some depth to the struggling squad, which he plans to hand over to another coach shortly, and make the move completely into the team's front office as General Manager.

“I'm proud of the effort shown by the reserve players and the indoor first-timers,” said Lilavois, who will soon leave his coaching post in order to focus all of his attention on the franchise’s business and operations.

He continued, “The fact that these guys won the last three quarters after going down 7-0 shows a lot of character. As much as I wish the result was different, I'm very excited about the potential we showed. Now I am looking forward to my new role in leading the rebirth of the Bolts. The work behind the scenes has already begun and I can’t wait to present the new-look Bolts to our fans at our home game against the Mexico Toros on December 27.”

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