Bayhawks back in playoffs after routing Pride, 23-13

Nine-point second quarter gives team first home win

Pro Lacrosse

August 15, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

What home jinx?

When the Bayhawks needed to turn it on last night, they unleashed their offense and assured themselves a berth in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs by routing visiting New Jersey, 23-13.

After five consecutive defeats at Johnny Unitas Stadium, the Pride, which lost an 11th consecutive game, arrived at just the right time for the Bayhawks, who scored nine second-quarter goals to take command. Following an 25-14 triumph at Boston the previous week, the Bayhawks (7-5) enter the four-team postseason tournament in high gear.

The game drew an announced team-record 6,271 fans, but fewer than a third of that total actually appeared at the stadium because of the threat of Tropical Storm Charley.

"We didn't want to hold it to chance," said the Bayhawks' Mark Millon of the playoff situation. "That was a big factor in this game, going into the playoffs."

Bayhawks faceoff specialist Paul Cantabene (Loyola) was a major factor in the victory, winning 26 of his 34 draws as the Bayhawks overall took 30 of 39 from the Pride, a team record.

Rookie defender Lee Zink credited Cantabene for his ability to shut out New Jersey's Jesse Hubbard, who had a league record of 46 games with a goal broken.

"When you're winning every faceoff, you don't have to play defense very much," Zink said. "He kind of controlled things and we got a big lead."

Cantabene finished the season with 238 draw wins, a league record.

"I just worked hard, and my wing guys deserved a lot of credit, too," Cantabene said. "You don't pick them all up yourself. We were able to control things and they [the Pride] kind of gave up a little bit. We had everything to play for and they had nothing."

New Jersey finished 1-11, equaling the MLL mark for most season losses.

Millon paced the Bayhawks' offense with five goals and two assists and Tom Marechek added four goals and an assist. Scott Urick had six goals for the Pride.

The Bayhawks will enter postseason play Friday at 8 p.m. against Boston, the host team.

New Jersey 3 3 4 3 - 13

Bayhawks 6 9 3 5 - 23

Goals: NJ-Urick 6, Curry 3, Dooley, Hajj, Schmidt, Torti; B-Millon 5, Marechek 4, Marohl 3, Gait 2, Sims 2, Langtry 2, Sonke 2, Hanford. Two-point goal: B-Sims. Assists: NJ-Dooley 3, Ceglia, Hajj, Hubbard; B-Boland 2, Gait 2, Millon 2, Langtry, Marechek, Sims, Sonke. Saves: NJ-Schroeder 12, Twomey 10; B-Scherr 12, Levin 5. A-6,271.

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