Bayhawks still homesick after OT loss to Lizards

Long Island prevails, 17-16

home record drops to 0-4

Pro Lacrosse

July 25, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Opportunity knocked last night for the Bayhawks and, again, they couldn't answer at home.

One night after beating defending Major League Lacrosse champion Long Island on its own field, the Bayhawks were outlasted by the Lizards, 17-16, in a bruising, penalty-strewn game decided by Conor Denihan's goal with 6:44 remaining in sudden-death overtime.

The loss prevented the Bayhawks (5-4) from clinching a playoff spot and left them winless in four games at their new home, Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University.

"We had almost the identical situation as last night," said Bayhawks coach Gary Gait. "Back and forth, up and down and we're up by two. Tonight, we just didn't hold them."

With 1:41 to go in regulation, the Bayhawks had parlayed goals by Mark Millon and Jeff Sonke into a 16-14 advantage and were seemingly en route to a season-high third straight victory.

But with 15 seconds remaining, A.J. Haugen drilled a two-pointer past Rob Scherr to force overtime.

"I was a little out of position on that one," said Scherr about being beaten by his fellow Johns Hopkins alumnus. "I don't think I had a good night. I didn't stop the ones I needed to."

Both teams had decent scoring opportunities early in the overtime, but Scherr and Lizards goalie Brian Dougherty stopped them until Denihan broke Long Island's two-game losing skid.

"It was an awful big game for us," said Long Island coach Vinnie Sombrotto, whose team is 5-4. "We've never lost three in a row or been below .500 at this point in this league. From a psychological standpoint, we needed this."

The game was filled with jawing, hard hitting and players attempting to bait each other into penalties. Bayhawks defenseman Brian Reese was ejected and seven unsportsmanlike infractions kept players in the box.

The Lizards unleashed four unanswered goals -- three on the power play and one with the Bayhawks short three players -- to rally from a 12-10 deficit early in the fourth quarter. In all, Long Island was 5-for-5 with the Bayhawks short-handed.

"Penalties definitely hurt us," Gait said. "The refs got on top of us and we kind of got upset by some of the calls."

Still, the Bayhawks overcame the flags to pull into position to win their first home game since Aug. 9, 2003, when they were still playing at Johns Hopkins.

"We've won a couple games this way," Gait added. "We certainly had our chances and didn't make the plays."

Long Island 3 4 3 6 1 -- 17

Bayhawks 3 4 4 5 0 -- 16

Goals -- LI--Garcia 4, Jalbert 3, Denihan 3, Haugen, Goettelmann, Finneran, Gilardi, Harned. 2 pt goal--Haugen; B--Frye 2, Langtry 2, Marohol 2, Marechek 2, Millon 2, Cantabene 2, Gait, Sonke. 2-pt goal--Frye. Assists-- LI--Haugen 2, Jalbert 2, Garcia, Testa; B--Langtry 3, Marohl 2, Frye, Gait, Marechek. Saves -- LI--Dougherty 20, Murtha 1; B--Scherr 18. A--3,885.

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