Bayhawks conclude season without playoffs for 1st time

Defending champions finish with 4-8 record after loss to Barrage

Barrage 20 Bayhawks 12

Pro lacrosse


Wait 'til next year.

That was the refrain emanating from the Bayhawks last night after they concluded their worst regular season in the six-year history of Major League Lacrosse with a 20-12 defeat to the playoff-bound Philadelphia Barrage at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

It marks the first season that the Bayhawks, defending league champions, have missed postseason play after they finished with three consecutive defeats to land in last place in the Eastern Division.

"Next year we're going to out with a different mind-set," said attackman Matt Ward, who scored a team-leading three goals and was named the squad's rookie of the year. "We had a lot of young players and we have to come out a little tougher. You don't like to lose at home."

It was only the second home loss of the season for the Bayhawks (4-8), who had playoff hopes after two tough late-season victories over the Boston Cannons and the New Jersey Pride.

"We just weren't that competitive tonight," coach Scott Hiller said. "We played like a team that was playing its last game."

Philadelphia (10-2) tied for the best regular-season record in league history and is likely to be the second seed in the playoffs August 25 and 27 at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, home of the Riptide. The Barrage, which closed the regular season with a five-game winning streak, won the 2004 MLL title.

The Bayhawks spotted Philadelphia a 3-0 lead, then came back to tie on goals by Bill McGlone, Mike Mollot and Brendan Healy, all former Maryland Terrapins. But the Barrage scored the next three, two of them by Ryan Boyle (Gilman), who led Philadelphia with four goals and two assists.

It was still within the Bayhawks' range late in the second quarter when a two-point goal by Roy Colsey, the Barrage's leading scorer, in a man-up situation raised the margin to 11-5.

Ward, who concluded a 17-0 national championship season at Virginia on Memorial Day weekend, scored on a break with two seconds left to make it 11-6 at the half, but the damage was done.

"The game is different at this level," Ward said, comparing his undefeated season with the Cavaliers to pro lacrosse. "I'm really disappointed with how we finished. We showed some glimpses of how we could play, but we have to come out with that effort every night."

"Obviously, we have to be a little more mature," Hiller added. "I think we'll be re-energized for next year."

The Bayhawks finished 4-2 at home in a game started by goalie Matt Russell (Navy) who departs for SEAL training in California later this month. He was replaced by Greg Havalchak in the third period after allowing 12 goals.

The game got a little unruly in the same quarter when six unsportsmanlike penalties were called, three against each team. The roughness did not factor into the outcome.

Philadelphia 6 5 5 4 - 20

Bayhawks 3 3 4 2 - 12

Goals: P-Boyle 4, Smith 4, Colsey 2, Holloway 3, Striebel 2, Prossner 2, Springer; B-Ward 3, Mollot 2, McGlone 2, Healy, Millon, Dixon, Connor, Collins. Two-point goal: P-Colsey. Assists: P-Striebel 3, Boyle 2, Horsey, Springer, Smith, Kuczma; B-Marechek, Millon.Saves: P-Dougherty 12, Keenan 4; B-Russell 7, Havalchak 7. A-3,102.

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