Outlaws a Step Closer to Homefield With Win Over Bayhawks
Hoping to clinch one of the two home playoff games for the first round, the Denver Outlaws (9-4) accomplished half of what they need this weekend by holding off a strong second-half surge by the moribund Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-9) to take a 18-16 victory in Annapolis Thursday evening. A loss by the New York Lizards on Saturday (or a win in next week's regular season finale against the Lizards) will keep Denver at home for the following week's MLL first round.
John Grant, Jr. was MVP of the win Thursday night, scoring four goals and adding four assists, with half of those points coming in the fourth quarter as the Outlaws put the game away after the Bayhawks rallied to tie things up after a 8-2 third quarter run. Denver had opened up a six goal lead by halftime, but the host and defending champion Bayhawks showed plenty of fight despite their playoff fate being decided a week ago with their eighth loss of the year.
Eric Law (3G, 1A) and Chris Bocklet (3G) scored well for Denver, while Jeremy Sieverts and Zack Greer had three assists each in the win and goalie Jesse Schwartzman made 18 saves, including nine in the second quarter as Denver built its early advantage.
Brendan Mundorf (3G, 1A), Drew Westervelt (3G, 1 2-point goal) and Ben Hunt (3G) all scored well for the Bayhawks, which dominated in many of the other aspects of the game. Stephen Robarge went a near-absurd 29-for-36 facing off with Denver's Anthony Kelly sitting due to injury. Chesapeake also dominated in ground balls (41 to Denver's 26) and shots (57 to 37, though in shots on goal, the advantage fell to 33-30).
The victory pulls Denver even with Rochester at nine wins, though the Rattlers hold a half game advantage with three losses to Denver's four prior to their game this weekend against Ohio at home. The Outlaws will be watching Friday's New York-Charlotte game to see if they clinch a home game or if they'll need to nail it down with a win on August 9th.
Highlights (via MLL on YouTube)
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