Bayhawks' late rally washes out Lizards

Second straight win, 15-13, sparked in rain by Millon

Pro Lacrosse

July 24, 2004|By Adam Wodon | Adam Wodon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - It had all the makings of a typical Bayhawks-Long Island Lizards matchup: hard-fought, a lot on the line, and marred by rain. A lot of rain - enough to postpone last night's New York Mets game 15 miles away.

Playing in a downpour that lasted all afternoon and through most of the game, the Bayhawks scored five of the last six goals to overcome the Lizards, 15-13, at Long Island's Mitchel Field. It was the first meeting between the teams since Long Island's overtime win in last season's Major League Lacrosse championship game. Only twice in the game did either team have more than a two-goal run, one for each team, and neither team led by more than two goals.

"It was a very sloppy game," said Bayhawks player-coach Gary Gait.

"Everything was soaked, and guys weigh about 20 pounds more with water in the shoes and the gloves. But it was a 15-13 game. That's right where it should be in these kinds of conditions."

Mark Millon led the way for the Bayhawks (5-3) with four goals and four assists. Jeff Sonke also had four goals, and Tom Marechek had three goals and three assists.

"The worst part [of playing in the rain] is your hands," Millon said of the conditions. "People don't understand how important your hands are.

"The best players in the game, which are all these guys, have such good hands. And when your hands are taken away when they're so heavy and slippery, it's the hardest part about it. It's not the footing at all."

But Millon compensated with his quickness, and scored the game's tying goal to send the Bayhawks on their way.

"Marechek picked up a loose ball, and I just hustled to the back side, and Tom threw a really aggressive, kind of risky pass," Millon said of the goal with 6:44 remaining. "[Long Island's John] Gagliardi just about picked it off - it caught a stick and just bounced in a good situation. I was able to pick it up and throw it in."

Millon then set up Dan Marohl for the game-winner with four minutes left. Long Island goalie Brian Dougherty helped the Bayhawks out, too, by inadvertently putting one in his own goal with just over two minutes remaining. The Bayhawks defense then clamped down in the final minutes.

Rob Scherr got his second start in goal for the Bayhawks, and first career win as a starter. It was his second straight victory after his relief effort last week against New Jersey.

"That's why he's there," Gait said. "It's been a long road finding the goalie, but Scherr is proving himself right now."

The first half was low-scoring, with the Bayhawks holding a 7-5 edge as the players adjusted to the conditions. The rain died for most of the third quarter, and Long Island (4-4) was able to reel off a 6-3 advantage to take an 11-10 lead.

The win broke the Bayhawks' win-loss trend, giving the team its first two-game winning streak of the season.

"Everyone feels like we're underachieving. We've had a little bit of a tough time getting in sync there for three or four weeks," Millon said.

Bayhawks 2 5 3 5 - 15

Long Island 3 2 6 2 - 13

Goals: B-Millon 4, Sonke 4, Marechek 3, Marohl 2, Gait, Team 1; LI-Goettelmann 2, Finneran 2, Massey 2, Garcia 2, Jalbert, Denihan, Wasik, Testa, Harned. Assists: B-Millon 4, Marechek 3, Boland 2, Cocchi, Langtry; LI-Goettelmann 2, Jalbert 2, Finneran, Gagliardi. Saves: B-Scherr 20; LI-Dougherty 24.

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