Game Brief The third time was a charm. The Long Island Lizards (3-2) edged out the Boston Cannons (4-1) 19-16 in front of 6,108 recorded on hand at Nickerson Field (Boston, MA). The L.I. crew turned the tables and avenged two earlier season losses to the hometown heroes, 16-17 (22/05/04) and 17-20 (12/06/04). The Cannons were unable to overcome an early deficit and convert on precious possession - especially on a late flurry of fourth quarter shots (SOGs: L.I. (29)/Boston (47) and padding Dougherty stats (31 saves). Game MVP Jay Jalbert paced the attack with a 7-pt outing (2-1ptg, 2-2ptg, 1a).
Shots on goal: Long Island (29), Boston (47). Saves: Long Island (31), Boston (10). Faceoffs: LI (13/35), Boston (22/35). GBC: LI (26), Boston (36), EMO: LI (1/6), Boston (3/8)
Goals/2-PTRS: LI - Jay Jalbert 4/2; Tim Goettelmann 3/0; Chris Massey 2/0; Jarred Testa 2/0; Kevin Lowe 1/0; A.J. Haugen 1/0; Shawn Lyons 0/1; Ken Gardcia 1/0; Steve Sombrotto 1/0. Boston - David Evans 4/0; Steve Dusseau 3/0; Conor Gill 2/0; Chris Fiore 2/0; Kevin Leveille 1/0; Mike Battista 1/0; Mike Regan 0/1; Peter Inge 1/0.
Assists: LI - Kevin Lowe 3; Tim Goettelman 1; A.J. Haugen 1; Jay Jalbert 1. Boston – Conor Gill 5, Kevin Leveille 2; Chris Rotelli 1.
LI: Attack – Chris Massey (Princeton ’98); Tim Goettelmann (Loyola ’00); Kevin Lowe (Princeton ’94), Midfield – Jay Jalbert (Virginia ’00); Chris Cercy (Syracuse ’01); Corey Harned (JHU ’04), Defense – John Gagliardi (JHU ’97); Damien Davis (Princeton ’03); Brandon Testa (JHU ’01), Goal – Brian Dougherty (Maryland ’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), Tom Fallon (UMass ’03), Michael Peyser (JHU ’03), Goal – Chris Garrity (Penn State ’03)
Game Detail The first two weeks of June have been all about shaking a waning killer buzz scored at what can only be affectionately referred to as the May M&T Circus. The addiction to that special blend of $4 waters, 24-hr BBQ fog, the Admiral’s Section 105 crowd control tactics (with a ‘Fire it up’ + matching choreographed dance move), and of course, a heavy dose of amazing lacrosse has been an unruly beast to tame. It’s only natural to expect that the sudden shift to summer action be met with awkward resistance.
So on the drive to (my) first MLL game of the summer, there were a few issues to be sorted. The most evident issue was the change of venue. Location. Location. Location. The organizational decision to migrate from Lowell to Boston provided an immediate bonus: commute time reduced by 3x. Parking concerns were easily addressed by leveraging existing BU + Fenway infrastructure. Massachusetts residents require little incentive to battle city traffic and $2.28/gallon gas. Ask a Celtics or Sox fan. The inverse relationship between fan support and championships is a deceptive metric. Team Loyalty is not a moral imperative; it’s a state law. The move to Boston has provided a more legit backdrop for the local franchise. Like the more disciplined Cannons offense, the front office has given more attention to detail, marketing detail. The application of the Cannons brand was more consistent – from the parking to concession signs. The focus on team sales (buses of stick-toting fans eager for jersey signings), pricing structure, reduction of admin and overhead costs, smarter application of resources, and stadium capacity should prove a successful strategy for the Beantown group.
The pre-game excitement was met with a lukewarm Cannons start. The Lizards came out strong and set the tempo for the rest of the game. LI took the face off and scored within the first 30 seconds off a lower left goal from Jarred Testa (1-0) at 14:30. Teammate Tim Goettelmann followed up with an upper shelf goal off a crease roll one minute later. The Cannons responded with an Evans roll and riser at 12:14 (1-2). Two-point king Mike Regan added his signature touch giving the Cannons their first lead of the game at 10:15 (3-2). Lizard Jay Jalbert opened for office hours early scoring his first of two 2-pt goals (4-3). Former Minuteman Chris Fiore stepped up for two goals in the first quarter. The Lizards were more effective on possession outscoring the Cannons 9-5 in the first 15. The Cannons outshot the Lizards 12-11.
Cannons face off man Peter Inge lit up the field with a fast break goal within the first seven seconds of the second period. The Lizard defenders were caught flat-footed on the slide and the Cannons brought the score within three (6-9). The Cannons matched the Lizards’ goal output, five a piece, however outshot their opponents 14-6. The (4pt) goal of the second period would go to LI Shawn Lyons. As the clock was running out, and everyone was calling for him to shoot it, Lyons caught everyone (especially Chris Garrity) by surprise with a shot that came from nearly the 50. Cannons Conor Gill flickered for one goal and two assists in the second. Jarred Testa’s behind the back goal at :44 gave the Lizards a 14-10 lead going into the half.
Jay Jalbert opened the third quarter with a laser that hit Garrity’s stickside high with less than 10 seconds on the clock (15-10). Tim Goettlemann posted up with a crease defender for another top shelf goal at 12:52 (16-10). Hometown favorite Mike Battista scored his first and only goal of the game on EMO from up top off an assist from Gill at 8:26 (11-16). Goettlemann and Garcia (from Kevin Lowe) responded with a goal each giving LI a 18-11 lead at 1:54. Gill wrapped up the third quarter with a goal dished off from Kevin Leveille at 1:18 (12-18).
The final period was the most goal quiet quarter of the game. Boston outscored LI 4-2. The early deficit was too difficult to correct. The Cannons did have plenty of opportunity to level the playing field. Boston took 15 shots to LI’s five. Evans came up big for the Cannons in the fourth scoring a hat trick. Chris Massey logged in the only goal for the Lizards in the last quarter. The two teams got a little rowdy in the remaining seconds of the game with a few blows exchanged. It appeared the ref only suffered a few minor scuffs.
Final score Long Island 19 Boston 16. The Lizards’ next match up will be against the Baltimore Bayhawks at home on 25 June 04 at 19:30. The Cannons will face the Pride in Boston at 19:00 on 26 June 04. Story to follow.
|Conor Gill||(2, 5)|
|David Evans||(4, 0)|
|Steve Dusseau||(3, 0)|
|Kevin Leveille||(1, 2)|
|Chris Fiore||(2, 0)|
|Mike Regan||(2, 0)|
|Peter Inge||(1, 0)|
|Mike Battista||(1, 0)|
|Chris Rotelli||(0, 1)|
|Chris Garrity||10 (0.385)|