August 12, 2006 - TOWSON, Md. – Attackman Ryan Boyle scored a game-high four goals and added two assists as the Philadelphia Barrage (10-2) clinched the Eastern Conference title with their fifth straight win, a 20-12 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Baltimore Bayhawks (4-8) in the regular season finale at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the victory, the Barrage tie the league mark for the best winning season in a single year, a mark which had been set by Boston and Baltimore last season. Philadelphia also secures its second playoff appearance in the last three years.
The Barrage went on a quick 3-0 run in the opening five minutes of the game before the Bayhawks countered with three goals of their own to even the score at 3-3 with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Led by Boyle, the Barrage went on a 5-0 run over a span of seven minutes to take an 8-3 lead they did not relinquish. Boyle scored three of the five goals during the spurt, including a pair of markers just 19 seconds apart to spark the run. After the teams traded goals several times, Baltimore tallied back-to-back goals by midfielder Jude Collins and attackman Mark Millon to cut the deficit to 13-9 with 6:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Philadelphia went on a 6-1 run, including a pair of goals from attackman Jed Prossner, to extend their advantage to 19-10 at the 5:28 mark of the fourth quarter before Baltimore scored back-to-back goals from defenseman Casey Connor and Millon. Attackman Michael Holloway scored with 1:51 left to secure the victory for the Barrage and hand Baltimore its third straight loss.
Boyle was one of two Philadelphia players to score four goals as midfielder Justin Smith added four goals with an assist. Midfielder Roy Colsey tallied three goals, including a two-pointer, to go with an assist while former Bayhawk midfielder Paul Cantabene won 17 of 32 face-offs and recorded a game-high nine ground balls.
Rookie attackman Matt Ward, who was named as the team Rookie of the Year at halftime, led the Bayhawks with three goals in the loss while midfielders Mike Mollot and Bill McGlone each added a pair of tallies. Goalkeeper Matt Russell made seven saves in 36 minutes before being relieved by fellow rookie Greg Havalchak, who also made seven saves.
Philadelphia outshot Baltimore by a 61-52 margin and held a 31-29 advantage in ground balls.
The Bayhawks end the season with a 4-8 record while Philadelphia will advance to New Balance Championship Weekend as the second seed as the Denver Outlaws clinched the top seed with a 13-9 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday. The Barrage will play Boston in the semifinals on Friday, August 25 at the Home Depot Center.
Philadelphia (10-2) 6-5-5-4 / 20 Baltimore (4-8) 3-3-4-2 / 12
One-Point Goals: PHI – Ryan Boyle 4, Justin Smith 4, Michael Holloway 3, Roy Colsey 2, Matt Striebel 2, Jed Prossner 2, Michael Springer 1; BAL – Matt Ward 3, Bill McGlone 2, Mike Mollot 2, Brendan Healy 1, Mark Millon 1, Kyle Dixon 1, Jude Collins 1, Casey Connor 1. Two-Point Goals: PHI – Roy Colsey 1. Assists: PHI – Matt Striebel 3, Ryan Boyle 2, Bobby Horsey 1, Michael Springer 1, Justin Smith 1, Brian Kuczma 1; BAL – Tom Marechek 2, Mark Millon 1. Saves: PHI – Brian Dougherty 12 (48:45, 10 goals allowed), Kevin Keenan 4 (11:15, 2 goals allowed); BAL – Matt Russell 7 (36:29, 12 goals allowed), Greg Havalchak 7 (23:31, 7 goals allowed). Attendance: 3,102.
Photos taken by Joe Auriemma
View Joe's other photos at his website www.auriemmaphoto.com