Cannons oust Bayhawks, 24-16

Boston's 17-5 first half costly as visitors fall short of MLL final for 1st time

Pro Lacrosse

August 21, 2004|By Mike Scandura | Mike Scandura,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BOSTON - Boston Cannons midfielder Mike Battista looked forward to renewing acquaintances last night with former Loyola teammates Jamie Hanford and Mark Frye, who suited up for the Baltimore Bayhawks in a Major League Lacrosse semifinal game.

Suffice to say Battista enjoyed the reunion more than Hanford and Frye.

Battista and Baltimore native Michael Watson each had three goals, with Battista scoring a pair of two-point goals plus an assist as the Cannons blasted the Bayhawks, 24-16, at Nickerson Field. Kevin Leveille and Chris Rotelli added four goals apiece while Jeff Sonke and Jude Collins each had three goals for the Bayhawks.

Boston will play the Philadelphia Barrage in a 1 p.m. championship game tomorrow. Philadelphia extended its winning streak to six games by edging the Rochester Rattlers, 18-17, at 2:55 of overtime on Keith Cromwell's third goal of the game. The game was delayed nearly an hour in the fourth quarter by lightning that chased players and fans off the field and out of the aluminum seats.

Ex-Bayhawks goalie Greg Cattrano made 14 saves for the Barrage while teammate Ryan Moran (Maryland), added a two-point goal as the Barrage improved their overall record to 8-5.

"I know a lot of guys on that team including [Hanford and Frye], so it's fun playing against those guys," Battista said. "But they beat us last time pretty good [25-14 on Aug. 5] so we were looking to come out here and get them back.

"We haven't had a playoff win yet in our history so we needed to get the monkey off our back."

The Bayhawks (7-6) lost a semifinal for the first time in their history, making tomorrow's final the league's first without the team. The Cannons, meanwhile, will make their championship game debut after breaking a three-game skid in the postseason.

The Cannons (9-4) set a postseason scoring record in the first half which ended with Boston leading 17-5. The previous record was 13 goals set by Long Island last season against Boston.

Bayhawks attack Mark Millon, who finished the season as the league's No. 2 scorer with 61 points, was held to one assist.

The Cannons' Peter Inge won 19 of 32 faceoffs through the first three quarters. When the Bayhawks beat Boston, 25-14, on Aug. 5, Inge was out with a hand injury.

Michael Watson carried the Cannons in the first half when he scored three goals and assisted on two others. Watson made Bayhawks goalie Rob Scherr look helpless at 6:07 of the first quarter when he whipped home a behind-the-back shot for a 4-1 lead.

Watson followed with an extra-man goal 53 seconds later. At 10:37 of the second quarter he completed his hat trick by beating Scherr while falling face down on the turf.

After Bayhawks player-coach Gary Gait scored 43 seconds following the opening faceoff, Battista scored the first of his two-point goals and the rout was on. After Dan Marohl's goal pulled the Bayhawks within 9-5, the Cannons scored eight consecutive goals.

The closest the Bayhawks got in the second half was 18-11 on Collins' unassisted goal at 6:44 of the third quarter. But Boston rattled off four consecutive goals, including a two-point goal by Battista.

Bayhawks 2 3 6 5 - 16

Boston 6 11 5 2 - 24

Goals: BA-Sims 2, Collins 2, Sonke 2, Marohl 2, Gait, Marechek, Two-point goals: Langtry, Sonke, Collins. BO-Rotelli 4, Leveille 4, Battista 3, Watson 3, Fiore 2, Regan 2, Evans, Inge, Dasseau, Silcott. Two-point goals: Battista 2. Assists: BA-Gait, Sonke, Millon. BO-Gil 3, Watson 3, Regan 2, Battista. Saves: BA-Scherr 13; Levin 9; BO-Garrity 17. A: 6,888.

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