August 11, 2012

Outlaws Earn Top Seed for Championship Weekend

from staff reports

The Denver Outlaws clinched the top seed for MLL Championship Weekend Aug. 25-26 in Boston with a 15-13 win over the Bayhawks on Saturday night. Denver will face Long Island in one playoff semifinal. Chesapeake plays Boston in the second semifinal.
© Bill Danielewski

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Attackman Brendan Mundorf scored three goals and added two assists as the Denver Outlaws (11-3) secured the top seed for the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior after earning a 15-13 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (10-4) in front of 10,420 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Outlaws, who set a team record by winning their 11th game, will face the Long Island Lizards in the first semifinal on Saturday, August 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Harvard Stadium. Meanwhile, the Bayhawks claimed the second seed for the postseason and will face the defending MLL champion Boston Cannons in the second semifinal at approximately 4 p.m.

"It definitely feels good to get that number one seed and play in the early game," said Mundorf, who was named Bud Light Player of the Game.

The Bayhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker from midfielder Kyle Dixon. After Mundorf closed the gap to 3-1, the Bayhawks added back-to-back markers from Dixon and attackman Drew Westervelt to increase their advantage to 5-1 with 9:05 left in the period.

Rookie attackman Mark Matthews closed the deficit to 5-2 by scoring off a Mundorf feed before the Bayhawks used a pair of goals from Westervelt and attackman John Grant, Jr. to expand their lead to 7-2 with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.

However, the Outlaws put together an impressive five-goal effort in the second quarter to tie the score at 7-7. Rookie attackman Chris Bocklet scored two goals during the run while Matthews added his second goal of the first half.

The Bayhawks regained their lead with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter when Dixon scored his second two-point goal of the game, giving Chesapeake a 9-7 advantage. Dixon's goal also snapped a 21-minute scoring drought for the Bayhawks.

But, midfielder Peet Poillon tied the game for Denver just over three minutes later when he scored on a two-point goal. After Dixon scored his second goal of the quarter to give Chesapeake a 10-9 edge, the Outlaws took an 11-10 lead on back-to-back goals from Bocklet and Matthews.

The Bayhawks answered with a pair of goals from midfielders Steven Brooks and Ben Hunt to reclaim the one-point advantage at 12-11 with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter before midfielder Justin Pennington evened the score at 12-12 off an assist from attackman Terry Kimener with 35 seconds left.

Led by a goal and an assist from Mundorf, the Outlaws used three straight goals to build a 15-12 advantage in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

With 6:45 remaining, attackman Ben Rubeor narrowed the gap to 15-13 with an unassisted goal, but the Bayhawks were unable to get any closer.

"That's a very talented offensive team and you have to cover them for 60 minutes," Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. "I'm disappointed that we didn't keep playing at the level we did during the first quarter for the rest of the game."

Matthews added three goals with an assist for the Outlaws, who were outshot by a 48-43 margin.

Dixon led the Bayhawks in a losing effort by scoring four goals, including a pair of two-point markers, with an assist. He finished the regular season with an MLL-record 15 two-point goals. Westervelt and Rubeor each scored twice for the Bayhawks.

Chesapeake face-off specialist Alex Smith played for the first time all season and wound up winning 9 of 18 draws. Smith started off 1-for-5 on face-offs, but captured 7 of 13 in the second half to show that he could help the team in the playoffs.

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