Bayhawks rookies rock Cannons

Ward's 6 goals, Russell's 13 saves key as 2006 draft picks overwhelm division-leading Boston

Bayhawks 19 Cannons 12

Pro lacrosse

July 09, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

The Bayhawks' youth was served last night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Having four of the first 13 picks in last month's Major League Lacrosse draft finally paid dividends in a 19-12 upset of the East Division-leading Boston Cannons before 2,939 fans.

Matt Ward, the fourth overall pick from NCAA champion Virginia, had six goals and three assists to win the game's Most Valuable Player honors and Bill McGlone, chosen next behind Ward in the draft, scored five times, once on a pivotal two-point shot.

Kyle Dixon, the second player taken in the draft, contributed his first career goal while shrugging off an injured hand that delayed his debut. Brendan Healy, the Bayhawks' first second-round pick and McGlone's teammate at Maryland, added a goal and an assist.

"This is what we've been waiting for," Bayhawks coach Scott Hiller said after his team (3-5) halted Boston's six-game winning streak. "These guys are all good players and this was fun to watch."

But the most distinguished performance was delivered by the last player taken in the entire MLL draft, goalie Matt Russell of Navy, who will depart for Navy SEAL training in California near the end of August. Fortunately, Russell's military commitment didn't stop him from having his moments before he does his duty.

With mad dashes upfield, timely saves and an electric style, Russell deterred the second-highest scoring team in the league.

"That's just my style," said Russell, who made 13 saves. "I think I wanted to be a midfielder. Our midfield was so exhausted and I wanted to be as aggressive as I could."

The Bayhawks' exhaustion was partially due to Mike Mollot's three-minute penalty at halftime for taking a shot at Boston's Drew Pfarr. The entire penalty had to be served - regardless of whether the Cannons (6-2) scored or not - so the Bayhawks' 9-6 lead appeared in jeopardy entering the third period.

But after the Bayhawks allowed one Cannons goal, McGlone followed with the game's only two-point goal to restore the momentum. When veteran Mark Millon scored 21 seconds later off the ensuing faceoff, Boston was down 12-7 and never got any closer.

"I was a little nervous to throw him in there," Hiller said of Russell. "We didn't know what was going to happen. But he impressed everybody here."

Ward needed all the offense he could muster to outdo former Virginia teammate Matt Poskay, who scored five times to lead Boston. "It feels good to one-up him," Ward said. "What did he have, five goals in six shots? I know what kind of player he is.

"We had five rookies playing this week, so this team is going to go pretty much as we do. We need to improve, but today is an indication of what we can do." kent.baker@baltsun.com

Boston 2 4 2 4 - 12

Bayhawks 6 3 5 5 - 19

Goals: Bos-Poskay 5, Gill 3, Evans 2, Bucktooth, Pfarr; Bay-Ward 6, McGlone 5, Millon 4, Healy, Dixon, Collins. 2-point goals: McGlone. Assists: Bos-Christmas 3, Gill 2, Evans 2, Woodson, Glading.; Bay-Ward 3, Millon 2, Frye 2, Healy, Marohl, McGlone, Collins. Saves: Bos-Garrity 19; Bay-Russell 13. A-2,939.

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