May 21, 2009

Huntley Lifts Bayhawks with OT Snipe

from press releases

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The Bayhawks trailed late at Long Island Thursday night, but never lost their composure. Kyle Dixon tied the game with 24 seconds left in regulation, and Kevin Huntley added the game winner 1:25 into overtime to give the Bayhawks their first win of the 2009 and even their record at 1-1. Huntley was named the Bud Light Game MVP with three goals and one assist.

"We showed a lot of poise down the stretch," said Bayhawks Head Coach John Tucker. "The Lizards didn't make it easy for us to score in the second half, but Kyle and Kevin came up big with the game on the line."

The Bayhawks face-off specialist Alex Smith (17 of 30) won the overtime face-off, but the Bayhawks could not convert on their first possession of the extra session. Long Island came down the field, but a mental error found them with seven players on the offensive end, and the Bayhawks regained possession. Dixon's pass to Huntley in the high slot sealed the game for the Bayhawks.

"They're a very good team defensively," Huntley said following the game. "They have one of the best goalies in the league, but we were just one goal better tonight. Give them a lot of credit. They made us work for every goal all game long."

The Bayhawks jumped out to an early lead as Kevin Buchanan scored his second goal of the season. The Bayhawks appeared to take a two goal lead, but Billy Glading's shot was waved off for a crease violation. The Lizards stormed back with four straight unanswered goals before Bayhawks Goalie Chris Garrity turned the quarter around with big save on a Matt Danowski shot from the top of the crease.

Scott Urick broke the scoring drought for the Bayhawks beating Lizards Goalie Brian Dougherty to the short side. The Bayhawks kept the momentum going as Smith heated up in his faceoff battle against Peter Vlahakis, and Hunter Lochte and Dixon both scored to tie the game at 4-4 as the quarter closed.

"I thought we came out a little slow, but we picked up the pace as the game went on," Tucker added. "We were a little sloppy with our passes at times, and we didn't control our offensive possessions as well as I hoped. I like the improvements from last week. We're going to work hard in practice to get ready for Denver."

After Long Island's Chris Fiore opened the second quarter's scoring, the Bayhawks tallied three unanswered goals to regain the lead. Brian Vetter, who made the Bayhawks roster through the annual Open Tryout, faked a shot and fed the ball to Spencer Ford at the top of the crease for his first goal as a Bayhawk.

Paul Richards buried a shot in the back of the net from inside the two-point arc, and Glading converted a shot as he was hit hard by two defenders. Long Island finally responded on the next possession as Blake Miller and Danowski combined for the goal pulling the Lizards within one. With time expiring in the half, Huntley scored giving the Bayhawks an 8-6 lead heading into the locker rooms.

The Bayhawks and Lizards traded goals twice to start the third quarter to make the score 10-8. Bayhawks Midfielder Dan Chemotti went down with an injury near midfield midway through the third quarter. He did not return in the game. Short a man, Garrity made a pair of big saves for the Bayhawks to slow the Lizards attack.

With Danowski cutting across the crease, Garrity came out and made the hit as Danowski shot, deflecting the ball to the corner. Only 15 seconds later, Garrity made a right leg kick-save on a far-post shot. However the pair of saves were not enough for the Bayhawks as Stephen Berger fed Fiore for the Lizards ninth goal and making the score 10-9 at the end of three.

The Lizards continued pressing the attack with three more goals and their second four goal run of the game. Dixon finally quieted the Long Island offense with a goal at the 7:17 mark. After Urick's goal tied the score at 12 apiece, both teams played a conservative attack. Long Island took the lead with just under 2 minutes to play. Dixon's unassisted goal with under 30 seconds left forced the overtime.

The win gave Garrity his 34th career win breaking the tie with former Bayhawk Trevor Tierney for third all-time in MLL history. Lizards goalie Brian Dougherty holds the record with 47. It also snapped a seven game losing streak for Garrity dating back to the 2008 season.

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