The New York Riptide will make their season debut this Saturday when the Philadelphia Wings make the trip up north to the Nassau Coliseum. Last year, the NY Riptide and Philadelphia Wings split the season series 1-1, as both teams collected wins on their home turfs in tightly contested games that featured big hits, fights, and goals for all 60 minutes. This Saturday’s game will begin at 7:30PM ET at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, and will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+.
The New York Riptide were among the most active teams in the offseason, adding depth and experience on both sides of the ball. On the offensive end, Kiel Matisz and Matt Anderson were both acquired in a blockbuster deal from Philadelphia in August. Kiel Matisz brings loads of experience to a young Riptide team, as Kiel has been in the NLL for ten years, compiling over 560 points, along with winning a championship ring in 2018 with the Georgia Swarm. Matt Anderson returns to Long Island after completing his collegiate career at Stoney Brook this past spring, where he was a First Team All-CAA selection, scoring 45 goals, which was second on the whole team.
Executive Vice President and General Manager Rich Lisk was not finished adding to the roster. At the beginning of September, the Riptide acquired Austin Madronic from the Saskatchewan Rush. Madronic was the sixth overall pick in the 2022 entry draft by the Rush, where he scored 23 points in 2023 after spending four years on the Harvard men’s lacrosse team. Austin Madronic, Kyle Matisz, and Matt Anderson will all look to make immediate impacts on the right side alongside Connor Kearnan, the Riptide’s second-leading scorer in 2023.
Along with both the trades, the Riptide were active in Free Agency, re-signing multiple players who were critical to the team’s success. Directly following the 2023 season, Jeff Teat, Ron John, and 2022 first-round draft pick Zack Deaken were all signed to multiyear deals that will keep the young core of the Riptide intact for years to come. Captains Damon Edwards, Reilly O’Connor, and Kevin Brownell were brought back on new deals to keep the leadership intact for this upcoming year.
The Riptide were able to get their first feel of competition this preseason with two games against the Albany Firewolves, along with one final tune-up against the Rochester Knighthawks this past Saturday. With all the new faces learning to play with each other, the preseason contests were crucial for the team to compete together and learn each other’s tendencies. After dropping the initial preseason game against Albany, the Riptide fought back from a 7-3 deficit at the half to beat the Firewolves 12-7 in Game 2, behind stellar second-half defense and goalie play. The Riptide dropped a tight contest in their third and final preseason game to the Knighthawks which was their last competition before the season begins on this Saturday, December 2nd.
The Wings will begin their season without two of their fan favorites from the past years. In the Offseason, Trevor Baptiste was traded to the San Diego Seals after going over 65% at the faceoff X last year. More importantly, Trevor went a perfect 24/24 in a matchup against the Riptide last year which Philly will miss dearly. Matt Rambo is another player Philly fans will not see on the sideline this game as Matt remains on the Holdout List for the time being. New faces to keep an eye on for Wings fans will be Holden Cattoni, former Rochester Knighthawk, and older brother of Wings player Taite Cattoni. Scott Dominey will also return to Long Island with the wings after spending last season on the Riptide.
Mitch Jones will be a player to look out for on the Wings in this matchup after catching fire late in the season following a trade to Philadelphia. Mitch Jones was second in the league in assists last season with 82 helpers. He also finished third in overall points, just behind Dhane Smith and the league leader, Jeff Teat. In just two games last year, Mitch Jones had 23 points against the New York Riptide.
The New York Riptide will embark on their fourth season in the NLL in search of their first playoff appearance. New York enters this year with high hopes, returning four of their top five scorers from last season, including Jeff Teat, who led the league in points with 136, just one point shy of breaking the all-time record for single-season points. On defense, Matt Marinier and Brent Noseworthy will be back to protect Cameron Dunkerley in the net. Dunkerley came to New York in the second half of the year, showing flashes of an elite goalie in the NLL. However, the success of the team will be reliant on the new additions meshing with the returners from last year early on in the season.
Reilly O’Connor, one of the Riptide captains in 2024, feels confident after getting a few practices and scrimmages under his belt with the team. “I thought preseason was awesome. We had a great offseason in terms of bringing in some great players, but more importantly great teammates and people. We are all really starting to come together as a group and cannot wait to get the season started.” A great deal of excitement from not just the fans, but the players as well, surrounding opening weekend and Saturday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Wings.