On a roster of all-stars and in a league of standouts, Brian Langtry has shown again and again why he’s one of the best.
With the loss of important midfielders Mike Law (to apparent retirement) and Josh Sims (on the Physically Unable to Perform list since mid-May due to injury) for the Outlaws 2008 campaign, Langtry has bore an even larger burden, yet still produced at his amazingly consistent level.
So not surprisingly, Langtry led the way for his team as he garnered game MVP honors on Saturday afternoon in front on nearly 8,000 fans to take the rubber match against division-rival Chicago, 15-13. The win kept Denver undefeated at home on the year, only the third team (2007 Philadelphia Barrage and Los Angeles Riptide) since the league moved to a regular season in 2001 to accomplish the feat.
Langtry (4, 1) paced the offensive for the Outlaws, which included the game’s first-two goals, as well as the nail in the coffin, and another crucial score in the back-and-forth third quarter – all spectacular individual efforts on unassisted strikes.
After spotting Denver the early 2-0 lead, Chicago rattled off three goals in the quarter to eventually knot it up, 3-3, heading into the second.
Despite a total of 6 goals on the board through the first, the story to that point was the incredible end-to-end action and exceptional play of both netminders. Denver’s Jesse Schwartzman (12 Saves) finished the quarter with 7, while the Machine’s Mike Gabel had a solid 4 in the first, on his way to a 15 stop performance.
Following a Ryan Powell goal a minute into the second – one of his three on the day, and his first hat trick as a member of the Outlaws – Chicago went on a 3-0 run to take their first lead of the game in route to a 6-4 advantage. Chicago would add another on one of rookie Terry Kimener’s two, but not before Drew Westervelt (2, 2) would snipe his two on the afternoon in the quarter, and Langtry could link up with attackman Brendan Mundorf (3, 1) for probably the game’s nastiest goal.
Coming out of a timeout, Langtry, having already scored two unassisted goals, saw plenty of attention once he got the ball. He drew a double, flung the ball to Mundorf, who was turning the corner from ‘X’ on Gabel’s left, and let go a disgusting overhand rip to the absolute top left corner over the Machine goalkeeper’s stick.
If Langtry was the star of the game, Mundorf was the unsung hero, which tends to be his role anyway. He always seems to have a knack for scoring the most improbable goals, and at the most timely occasions, yet still remains almost unknown in the league. Game tied 7-7 at the break.
The Outlaws would go on a 3-0 run of their own in the third, but the resilient Chicago squad still managed to match the best in the West step-for-step. Rookie sensation Steven Brooks scored his only goal, a two-pointer, in keeping stride with Denver and tying it up at 10s with less than four minutes remaining in the stanza.
However, Denver would finally prevail by one in the quarter on Mundorf’s second, assisted by his former-UMBC teammate Drew Westervelt, to take a one-goal lead, 12-11, into the final period.
The Machine would of course make one final push, which included the game’s only man-up tally – a Leveille to Leveille hook-up – but like the rest of season, the Outlaws have just too many weapons and iced the game with yet another 3-0 run and a stringent defensive performance from Lee Zink, Dan Cocoziello and Zach Jungers.
In the loss, the brothers Leveille put together yet another impressive game. Rookie Mike tallied 4 assists – two of which were on goals by his elder sibling – and Kevin scored another 2 goals to give him a total of 4, good for third in the league in scoring with (33, 10) 43 points.
Notably, Kevin also tied John Grant, Jr.’s (ROC) record for consecutive games with a goal (47) after netting his first midway through the initial quarter of the contest. He’ll try to break Grant’s mark with the man himself on hand as Chicago (3-8) hosts the East-leading Rattlers (7-3) on August 10 at Toyota Park – a game pretty much meaningless for both teams.
Meanwhile, having clinched the Western Conference Championship, Denver (8-3) travels to Boston August 9 for their final regular-season game against the (6-4) Cannons. This is a game that the Cannons desperately need to win if they hope to secure a spot in the playoffs, which are also being held at Boston’s Harvard Stadium.
Photos: Tim Head
|Brian Langtry||(4, 1)|
|Brendan Mundorf||(3, 1)|
|Drew Westervelt||(2, 2)|
|Ryan Powell||(3, 0)|
|Jeff Sonke||(0, 1)|
|Peter Striebel||(1, 0)|
|Geoff Snider||(1, 0)|
|Matt Brown||(1, 0)|
|Jesse Schwartzman||22 (0.647)|