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Desert Dogs’ home opener features rematch with Panther City

Las Vegas’s newest professional sports team will play its home opener Friday night.

The Las Vegas Desert Dogs, the National Lacrosse League’s newest expansion franchise, play their first home game at 7:30 against Panther City at Michelob Ultra Arena.

The Desert Dogs opened their season last Friday against Panther City in Fort Worth, Texas. Despite losing 13-11, coach Shawn Williams said he and his staff liked what they saw.

“Overall I was very happy,” Williams said. “Obviously nobody likes to lose, but I felt like we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

Rookie forward Jon Phillips scored two goals and added two assists for the Desert Dogs, which earned him league rookie of the week honors. He was one of four players to record four points.

Williams said getting contributions from everyone in the lineup will be key for the team’s success this season.

With the Desert Dogs’ first game under their belts, Williams said the opening jitters are “over with.” Now the focus is to get better for this week.

“We know we can be better. We know we will be better,” Williams said. “I thought we battled really hard. That’s all you can ask from our players.”

Williams said there is a buzz among the players to step onto the field for the first home game.

Williams is hopeful the on-field play will match the hype surrounding the team’s debut and the home opener festivities, which will feature a halftime show from Cirque du Soleil show KÀ.

“It’s definitely going to be a Vegas spectacle,” Williams said. “The lacrosse team is going to bring their A-game, and the presentation side is bringing their A-game as well. It’s going to be something to witness.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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