The original, patent-holder of the No. 22 jersey, Gary Gait, silenced the 4,322 in attendance with an ankle-busting move to goal with 50 seconds into OT. There was no shortage of 12-gauge guns with rookies and jedi-legends alike contributing to the 33-goal bottom line, 24 of which were unassisted. Coach/player Gait led the Bayhawk pack with a 5-point performance (4g, 1a). The Cannons’ Connor Gill had the smoking gun for the day (4g, 2a). The Bayhawks advance (3-1)and snap the Cannons’ 2-game winning streak.
Shots on goal: Baltimore (39), Boston (56). Saves: Baltimore (16), Boston (19). Faceoffs: Baltimore (18/36), Boston (18/36). GBC: Baltimore (46), Boston (30), EMO: Baltimore (1/3), Boston (2/4)
Goals: Baltimore – Jamie Hanford (1a), Paul Cantabene (1g), Mark Millon (3g, 1a), Jeff Sonke (2g), Gary Gait (4g, 1a), Mark Frye (3g (1-2pt)), Tom Marechek (2g), Jude Collins (1g). Boston – Michael Watson (1g, 1a), Ryan Curtis (1g), Connor Gill (4g, 2a), Steve Dusseau (1g), David Evans (1g, 1a), Brett Rothfuss (1a), Mike Regan (4g (1-2pt)), Mike Battista (2g).
Baltimore: Attack – John Blatchley (Towson ’92), Tom Marechek (Syracuse ’92), Mark Millon (UMass ’93), Midfield – Paul Cantabene (Loyola ’93), Jamie Hanford (Loyola ’98), Kip Fulks (UMD ’96), Defense – Casey Connor (UMD ’00), Shawn Nadelen (JHU ’01), Brian Reese (UMD ’98), Goal – Greg Cattrano (Brown ’97)
Boston: Attack – David Evans (Brown ’96), Connor Gill (UVA ’02), Michael Watson (UVA ’97), Midfield – Mike Regan (Butler ’00), Mike Battista (Loyola ’00), Steve Dusseau (Georgetown ’02), Face-off – Peter Inge (S. Australia ’00), Defense – Ryan Curtis (UVA ’00), Brian Kuczma (JHU ’97), Chris Sullivan (Brown ’01), Goal - Kevin O’Brien (Georgetown ’99)
Baltimore dominates the series 6-0. The average margin of defeat is 5 goals. Boston’s best outings against the Bayhawks date back to 2001 when the Cannons dropped two 1-goal games (13-14 on 30 June and 11-12 on 01 September). In their last meeting, Baltimore won in a 15-10 decision in the semifinals on 25 August 2002 at Ravens Stadium.
Baltimore enters the contest with a 2-1 record. Their first and only loss came at the hands of Long Island. The Lizards’ McCavera scored the two goals in the fourth that helped to elevate Long Island 14-12 over Baltimore. The Bayhawks then had a relatively easy time with New Jersey and Bridgeport.
Boston goes into the match-up with an unblemished record of 2-0. The Cannons took the home opener in a thrilling overtime climax besting New Jersey 15-14. The Boston club scored another win against Bridgeport 23-17.
The Cannons had a strong and steady start. The Cannons ended up getting more productive looks at Cattrano (18 SOG to Baltimore’s 6) in the first quarter. Boston outscored Baltimore 6-3. The Cannons were able to take advantage of Cantabene’s timing on the faceoff. It’s highly probable that if the officiating were different, the outcomes could have swayed in favor of Baltimore (meaning Cantabene could have gotten away/or gets away with more).
The pendulum-like shifts in quarterly momentum resulted in a half time 8-8 equilibrium. Boston was able to apply intense defensive pressure and was effective with sporadically well-timed, poised and yet aggressive slides. Brian Curtis did a fine job on Millon and ignited the stadium with a clutch interception that resulted in a 70-yd dash capped off with a brilliant lefty shot that narrowed the deficit to one goal late in the fourth.
Not to minimize the noble defensive efforts of Boston, but the Bayhawks did lapse into sub-par play given the marquis names on the bill. When Baltimore was able to move the ball on O and organize, they were able to manipulate the defense and set the tempo. There were glimmers of Canadian-style box lacrosse that elicited an audible response from a crowd full of fans who are generationally removed from the Syracuse alums who brought the Hollywood sparkle to Lowell. The Bayhawks did take a couple of shots that hit O’Brien square in the numbers. O’Brien did have an opportunity to show some of his own handy work with slick three-dodge move on the clear that got the fans crazy.
Brent Rothfuss sent the game into overtime for the Cannons with under 30 seconds left in regulation. The probability of a Boston win at that moment looked pretty good given the dramatic come from 3-goals behind win with under 1:30 on the clock victory against New Jersey a mere two weeks ago. Boston capitalized on the precious possession of the faceoff at the top of OT, David Evans got the ball but wasn’t able to pull off the same OT result against New Jersey. Connor Gill, who had the itchy trigger finger for the evening (4g, 2a), Mike Watson, or Mike Battista would have been more appropriate go to guys given the circumstances. Evans’ turnover resulted in an anti-climatic goal by Gait that seemed to leave a blunt impression on the crowd. Gait split the D easily on the fast break, Boston was late on the slide and Gait had the easy goal sealing the win 17-16 a mere 50 seconds into the OT period.
Boston took control of the face-off at the top of the first and took several shots on goal right off the bat. Mike Battista (Loyola ‘00) converted at 12:32 with a low-high sweeper off the fake that hit bottom right corner (1-0). A little over a minute later, Connor Gill (UVA ’02) worked the UVA dive with a reverse stick on the crease that hit lower right corner (2-0) at 11:15.
Mark Frye (Loyola ’99) broke the Cannons stride with a lefty goal that hit opposite side down low (1-2) at 9:24. Mike Regan (Butler ’00) responded with two back-to-back goals. Gill rolled the left side of the crease drawing the defender and exposing Regan in the hole. Regan finished with a low right shot at 8:22 (3-1). Regan tore a page from Watson’s dive handbook. He came down hard through the double and managed a bouncer that cruised past Cattrano and hit the lower right corner (4-1) at 6:18. Jude Collins (UNC ’96) hit the back-leg curler with nasty crank that hit lower right corner (2-4). Dusseau (Georgetown ’02) responded with a 1v1 shot as he posted up on his defender and got the roll and jumper hitting low right corner at 3:11 (5-2).
Frye tallied his second goal of the game on a fast break opportunity created on the ride. Frye nailed a lefty shot that grazed past O’Brien’s (Georgetown ’99) left hip. Dusseau wrapped up the scoring in the first with his second goal with just 4 seconds left in the quarter. Dusseau hit the opposite side on a lower left corner goal (6-3). Boston out shot Baltimore 18-6 in the first.
Baltimore and Boston traded first and second quarter performances: Bayhawks had 15 SOG to the Cannons’ 8 and outscored the home team 5-2. Boston however was the first team to score in the second. Mike Regan scored a man-down goal with 14:02 on the clock (7-3). Michael Watson followed on a man-up goal on a loose ball rebound (8-3). This would be the last time Boston would score before the half.
The Bayhawks responded with a vengeance and leveled the game at 8-8 with 5-count-them-5 unanswered goals. Mark Millon (UMass ’93) got the green light on the late slide and cashed in on a lefty skipper (4-8). Gary Gait (Syracuse ’91) gunned one in lefty and tacked the lower left corner reducing the margin by three (5-8). Gait followed with stutter step move and hit the opposite top left corner with a lefty whip it (6-8). Cantabene scored in the same place as Gait and narrowed the deficit by one (7-8). Millon scored one of the prettiest goals of the game with a mere 11 seconds left to play. Millon beat Curtis, who was doing a good job on him, by one step and that’s all he needed to unleash a monster of a shot that hit top right corner (8-8).
Boston edged out Baltimore in the third 5-3 and managed 16 to Baltimore’s 7 SOG. The Bayhawks were the first to score in the third and Millon and Marechek put a show on for the crowd. Millon threaded the needle to Marechek up top who ripped one behind the back (9-8).
Boston responded with three consecutive goals by Battista, Regan, and Gill. Battista scored an EMO goal from way out leveling the game at 9 apiece. Keeper Kevin O’Brien fired up the crowd on the clear as he dusted three defenders and started the transition game the resulted in a massive 2-point goal from Mike Regan (11-9). The UVA duo hooked up for the 21st goal of the game. Watson hit Gill from X and 2002 MLL Rookie of the Year, Gill, chowed on a mouthful of crease as he came down from a diving goal that hit lower right corner (12-9).
The Bayhawks cut down the Boston lead by one with two goals from Sonke and Gait. Sonke (UNC ’01) charged into the hole unchallenged and got the lower right corner (10-12). Gait scored in the same place from nearly the same location as Sonke off a pass from Jamie Hanford (Loyola ’98) 11-12. David Evans rounded out the scoring in the third off an assist from Gill. The crease defenders were too vigilant of Gill and slow to slide on Evans cutting down from up top. Evans shot past Cattrano’s right hip (13-11).
Baltimore was more effective in the fourth quarter outscoring Boston 5-3, while the Cannons out shot the Bayhawks 14-10. The Cannons opened the fourth quarter with a Gill-Evans combo (14-11). Baltimore responded with four unanswered goals from Sonke, Frye (2-pt.), Millon, and Marechek. Frye leveled the game with a nasty shot from way out that hit top left corner (14-14). Millon banked a fade away goal (15-14). The teams traded possession until Marechek scored off an assist from Gait (16-14). With under two minutes, the fate of the Cannons didn’t look so rosy, but it was hard to count out the comeback crew. Sure enough, Brian Curtis fired up the crowd with a gigantic interception that resulted in a goal (15-16). It was another key defensive play that gave Boston another opportunity. Michael Peyser (JHU ’03) came up with the huge check that kicked of the fast break series which ended with a game-tying goal from Rothfuss with under 30 seconds on the clock. O’Brien came up with a huge point blank save with 3 seconds on the clock sending the Cannons into their second OT of the season.
Boston gained possession of the highly coveted face-off in OT. David Evans tried to recreate the same OT result against New Jersey with a 1v1 move to goal. Unfortunately, the costly turnover resulted in a Bayhawks goal which had an odd numbing effect on the otherwise rowdy crowd.
Final score: Bayhawks 17, Cannons 16. Boston will face Casey and crew this weekend 21 June at Cawley Stadium (19:00). Baltimore will host Long Island at Ravens Stadium on 21 June at 19:30. The game will be syndicated on ESPN 2 on 17 June at 15:00.
|Mike Regan||(5, 0)|
|Conor Gill||(3, 2)|
|David Evans||(1, 1)|
|Steve Dusseau||(2, 0)|
|Michael Watson||(1, 1)|
|Mike Battista||(2, 0)|
|Brent Rothfuss||(1, 0)|
|Ryan Curtis||(1, 0)|
|Kevin O'brien||19 (0.528)|