May 30, 2009

Cannons Down Machine at Soldier Field

from press release

The Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) earned their first win of the 2009 season, 16-14, against the Chicago Machine in front of 4,329 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday.

Midfielder Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins '08) earned Bud Light MVP honors in the game for his five-point performance, including three goals, one two-point goal and an assist.  With the win, the Cannons improved their record to 1-2 this season, while the Machine saw their record fall to 1-2.

The Machine got on the scoreboard first, 40 seconds into the opening quarter, but Rabil took control for the Cannons with a two-point blast at 1:40, followed by his second goal of the game at 3:33 to give the visiting team a 3-1 lead.

Chicago tallied a power play goal at 4:59, but the Cannons answered back with a goal from attackman Ryan Boyle (Princeton '04) at 6:51 to take a 4-2 advantage. Attackman Sean Morris(UMass '06) earned the assist on Boyle's marker.

The back-and-forth action continued as the Machine brought themselves within one goal at 12:10, but attackman Matt Alrich (Delaware '04) stretched the Cannons lead to 5-3 heading into the second quarter with his tally at 13:01.

Boyle assisted on the Alrich goal.

Midfielder Greg Downing (Fairfield '07), making his debut as a Cannon after being acquired in a draft day trade with the Denver Outlaws, netted his first Cannons goal at 1:41, assisted by Rabil, to take a 6-3 lead.

The Machine tallied their lone goal of the quarter at 4:46, and after a good defensive showing from both teams, the Cannons broke the scoring drought with a tally from Alrich, his second of the game, at 12:22.

Morris earned his second assist of the game on the goal by Alrich.  At halftime, the Cannons held a 7-4 advantage during the first professional lacrosse game to ever be held at Soldier Field, the historic home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League.

The Cannons took control of the game in the third quarter, beginning with a goal by defenseman Kyle Sweeney (Georgetown '03) at 2:21.

The Machine answered back at 3:03 to cut their deficit to 8-5, but after that the Cannons began to run away with the game with a tally from midfielder Kevin Cassese (Duke '03), assisted by Morris, his third assist of the contest, at 4:06.

Alrich collected his third goal of the game at 5:16, with Boyle earning his second assist of the game on the play, and Rabil put the Cannons up 11-5 with his third goal of the game at 8:09.

The Machine tried to gain some momentum with a tally at 8:53, but the Cannons shut the door with Boyle's second goal of the game at 9:13, followed by a tally by Morris, assisted by Sweeney at 9:35, to put the Cannons ahead by a score of 13-6.

Alrich collected the final goal of the frame, his fourth of the day, at 10:22 to give the Cannons a 14-6 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of play. Boyle earned his third assist on the tally.

The Machine made an early surge in the fourth quarter, with a goal at 1:32, a two-point goal at 2:26 and a power play tally from former Cannons attackman Chazz Woodson (Brown '05) at 5:43 to close the scoring gap to 14-10, but the Cannons regained control when, for the second consecutive game, midfielder and faceoff specialist Chris Eck (Colgate '08) won the faceoff and ran down the field to score a momentum-changing goal at 5:53.

Not even 30 seconds later, Rabil found the back of the Machine net for the fourth time in the game to give the Cannons a 16-10 lead at 6:21.

The Machine made one last run, scoring four unanswered goals (7:55, 8:45, 10:36, 11:21) to close the Cannons' lead to two goals, but it wasn't enough, as the Cannons held on to earn their first win of the season, 16-14.

Cannons goalie Mike Levin (Brown ‘04) made 15 saves on the 28 shots he faced to earn the win.  Machine goalie Mike Gabel (Vermont ‘05) stopped 12 of 27 shots in the loss.

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