The plan called for the Bayhawks player who drew a short stick to take the ball toward the middle of the field and look for a shot.
That player turned out to be Mark Frye, and the midfielder executed the plan perfectly. Taking a flip pass from Gary Gait, Frye, marked by midfielder Matt O'Kelly, dodged to the middle of the field and let loose a powerful, low shot from about 15 yards that beat Long Island Lizards goalie Brian Dougherty.
Frye's goal with 23 seconds left gave the Bayhawks a 13-12 victory over the previously undefeated Lizards last night before an announced crowd of 2,490 at rainy Homewood Field.
"We were just going to try to get it to the short [stick]," said Frye. "I just happened to have the short. It really wasn't planned that way. Gary just gave it to me and I just tried to make a run to get to the middle of the field and get a look at the goal. He gave me a shot and I just took it."
Frye's goal, his second of the fourth quarter, stood up as the winner thanks to a great defensive play by Brian Reese. After the Bayhawks lost possession of the ball with about 12 seconds left, Reese checked it away from A.J. Haugen, who was setting up for a game-tying attempt with nine seconds left.
It was the Bayhawks' fourth straight victory after falling, 14-12, to the Lizards in their season opener at home. Three of the wins for the reigning Major League Lacrosse champs came on the road.
The Lizards, who got a game-high five goals from Jay Jalbert and three each from Haugen and Tim Goettelmann, along with a 12-save effort from Dougherty, fell to 3-1.
"It's nice to gain momentum on the road," said Bayhawks goalie Greg Cattrano, who made 16 saves, including four in the fourth quarter. "The last thing you want to do is to have a letdown at home against your biggest rival."
Mark Millon, the league's leading scorer with 20 goals and seven assists, led the Bayhawks with two goals and three assists. Gait added three goals and an assist and Frye and Tom Marechek had two goals each for the Bayhawks, who drew plenty of motivation from the first meeting between the teams, who played in the first two league championship games.
In the loss to the Lizards three weeks ago, the Bayhawks squandered a fourth-quarter lead under an avalanche of penalties, and left feeling as if they'd beaten themselves. It almost happened again yesterday, but Frye didn't let it.
Jalbert provented the Bayhawks from gaining momentum, scoring his third goal of the game off an assist by Conor Denihan to tie the game at 5, and then later scoring his fourth after a pass from O'Kelly 46 seconds before halftime.
That goal, which answered consecutive goals from Gait and Jeff Sonke, cut the Bayhawks' lead to 7-6 by halftime.
The Bayhawks took a 10-8 lead in the fourth quarter thanks to a brilliant, over-the-head sling from Marechek and a long shot from Kip Fulks.
But the Lizards tied it with 9:11 to play on goals from Johns Hopkins alumni Denihan and Haugen, before the Bayhawks answered with two of their own.
Frye scored the first, converting from in close after Millon had the ball stripped. And Gait got the second in transition, taking a feed from Jude Collins to give the Bayhawks a seemingly safe 12-10 lead with 3:27 to play.
Indeed, the Bayhawks killed off a Lizards man-advantage, but then watched as Haugen scored to make it 12-11 with 49 seconds left.
Paul Cantabene, who split on 26 draws with the Lizards' Chris Cercy, won the ensuing faceoff, but the Bayhawks lost possession as defender Jamie Hanford's pass was stolen. Long Island rushed down the field and got the tying goal from Jalbert.
But the Bayhawks were awarded the next draw, thanks to an illegal-procedure penalty on Cercy, and Frye did the rest.
"They were sliding all game down the side, so the call was to go from the top and Mark executed and finished the shot," said player-coach Gait. "That was the game right there."
Long Island 4 2 2 4 - 12
Bayhawks 2 5 1 5 - 13
Goals: LI-Jalbert 5, Goettelmann 3, Haugen 3, Denihan; B-Gait 3, Millon 2, Marechek 2, Frye 2, Sonke, Fulks. Two-point goal: B-Langtry. Assists: LI-Lowe 3, Denihan 2, Jalbert, O'Kelly; B-Millon 3, Blatchley, Gait, Frye, Collins. Saves: LI-Dougherty 12; B-Cattrano 16.