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Utica Yeti return for second season more experienced, highly motivated for run at national title

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ROME, N.Y. - The Utica Yeti were sighted at Kennedy Arena in Rome, Wednesday, preparing for the box lacrosse organization's upcoming home opener in its second season in existence.

The 2022 season is already underway with Utica splitting their opening weekend on the road with a 20-11 loss against the Salt City Eels, and a 31-9 win against the new Oswego River Hawks.

After finishing their inaugural campaign at 5-4, the team returns with more experience and are highly motivated after getting a taste of postseason action, ultimately falling in the Empire North Division championship to the Eels to end their run last year.

The team will now play in the North American Box Lacrosse League (NABLL), a new 32-team league in its inaugural season, after the IBLA dissolved following last year.

Many teams from the previous IBLA have moved over to the NABLL this year, and the Yeti will play in the Upstate Division along with the Eels and River Hawks.

The new league allows for a longer schedule, with the team's regular season slate increasing to 10 games from just six in 2021.

There will also be inter-divisional games this year, so the Yeti will see new opponents and face more competition than last season.

NABLL games will consist of four quarters with stoppage time.

The postseason will contain a regional tournament, and national championship tournament.

Should the Yeti qualify for regionals, they will head to Massachusetts to compete for a spot in the national tournament.

Eight regional winners will advance to the national championship tournament, which will take place in Columbus, Ohio in September.

Currently, the Yeti roster contains 30 players, most of whom are local with some other players from around Central New York also joining the fold.

Many players are returning from last years' squad, and they say the year of experience will benefit them because a lot of players on the team got their first taste of box lacrosse action last season.

Now, they return with a better understanding of the game, which differs in many ways from traditional field lacrosse outdoors.

The team is coached by Tony Sorci, and Johnny Lehmann with Paul Noecker continuing to build the organization as the team's owner and General Manager.

Utica will host the River Hawks on Friday, June 24 at Kennedy Arena in Rome for their home opener.

It'll be one of two games at Kennedy Arena this year, with their three other regular season home games taking place at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica.

For more information on the team, including ticket prices and season schedule, visit uticayeti.com.

Click on the video above to see the team in action and hear from players about year two of Yeti lacrosse

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