21-19 loss drops Bayhawks to second seed for playoffs

Friday's semifinal will be rematch with Rochester

Pro Lacrosse

August 14, 2005|By Dan Hickling | Dan Hickling,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. - What they wanted was a tuneup. What they got was a wakeup call.

A loud one.

But for the Bayhawks, last night's 21-19 loss to the Rochester Rattlers may be just what they needed to get ready for this week's Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend.

"It's a good lesson," said Bayhawks player-coach Gary Gait, "that we have to be prepared and focused for a full 60 minutes."

The Bayhawks (10-2), seeded second, will meet the No. 3 Rattlers (6-6) again Friday, in a semifinal at Nickerson Field in Boston.

The host Boston Cannons, seeded first, will face the No. 4 Long Island Lizards in the other semifinal.

"When you lose," said Bayhawks attack Mikey Powell (five goals, one assist), "the best scenario is to play them right away, again. That's something for us to look forward to."

The Bayhawks, who finished the regular season losing two of their last three, will hope to get off to a better start than they did last night.

The Bayhawks spent the first half digging holes, then trying to burrow out of them.

Rochester roared out to a 4-0 first-quarter lead, holding the Bayhawks without a shot for the first 7:49.

"We had letdowns," said Gait, who led all scorers with five goals and two assists.

The Bayhawks finally got rolling when Powell, playing for the first time against his brothers Casey and Ryan, cashed in the club's first shot on goal.

That set off a 5-0 run that was capped by Paul Cantabene's two-pointer at 11:59 of the quarter and gave the Bayhawks their only lead of the first half.

Rochester promptly fashioned an 8-1 run on its way to a 12-6 lead with 8:27 gone in the second.

But the Bayhawks countered with another 5-0 run to close out the half, slicing the gap to 12-11.

The Bayhawks outscored their hosts 5-2 in the third quarter and seemed primed to put the game out of reach at 3:29 of the fourth, when Gait blew past the defense and beat goalie Tillman Johnson to make it 18-15.

But it was the Rattlers who found the finishing kick.

A two-pointer from John Grant at 4:15 closed the gap to 18-17.

Former Bayhawk Andrew "Buggs" Combs scored two of his four goals in the final 1:02, as Rochester put the game away.

"I don't ever think it's a good thing to lose a game," Gait said. "But we'll look at the game film, see what we made mistakes on and come out ready to play."

Combs admitted that beating his old mates once and setting up another meeting in the playoffs left him with a sweet feeling.

"I don't look at it as revenge," he said. "But I'll have a lot of extra incentive. I will."

Bayhawks 5 6 5 3 - 19

Rochester 5 7 2 7 - 21

One-point goals: B-Gait 5, Powell 5, Sonke, Marechek, Frye, Boland, Cutler, Sims, Cantabene; R-Combs 4, R. Powell 3, Shannon 3, C. Powell 2, Lindsay 2, Cassese 2, Grant 2. Two-point goals: B-Cantabene, Frye ; R-Cassese 2, Grant. Assists: B-Gait 2, Sonke 2, Boland, Frye, Marechek, Powell; R-C. Powell 4, Cassese 2, Lindsay 2, R. Powell 2. Saves: B-Tierney 12, Scherr 0; R-Johnson 15.

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