Bayhawks Pull Out 16-15 Thriller Over Cannons

In a game that saw a 7-0 Boston run followed by a 6-1 Chesapeake response, it was the Bayhawks who came out victorious in the end, just barely. The Cannons’ Stephen Berger appeared to have tied the score at 16 with less than ten seconds remaining, but Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle challenged the play and after review, it was ruled that Berger’s foot was in the crease, negating the goal.

A wild game saw a two-minute Bayhawks penalty and a three-minute Cannons penalty. Momentum shifted on a dime, but went back and forth down the stretch. The game was tied at 12, 13, 14 and 15 before Brendan Mundorf scored the go-ahead (and what proved to be game-winning) goal with 2:57 remaining.

A close game saw the Bayhawks lead 5-4 after one quarter of play. Rob Emery scored Boston’s first two goals while Kevin Buchanan tallied the Cannons’ third and fourth tallies. Trailing 7-4 early in the second quarter, Berger scored twice in 27 seconds, both assisted by Paul Rabil, then ended the quarter with the final two goals to make it 11-7 Cannons after 30 minutes of play. Brent Adams notched a two-point goal in that stretch.

Chesapeake regrouped in the second half. The Bayhawks scored the first four goals then after a Brodie Merrill transition goal briefly stopped the momentum, they took advantage of an illegal stick against Berger to score two goals on the man advantage. Mundorf’s third goal of the game made it 13-12 Bayhawks.

“We hadn’t been able to overcome the negative play,” said Cottle. “We said it’s time to overcome the negative play. We’re a team that hasn’t scored a lot of goals and we scored six goals in the third quarter. That got us going a little bit. Then once we got there, we remembered how to win. We had some great players make some great plays.”

The teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter. After Rabil gave the Cannons a 15-14 lead, Matt Abbott scored unassisted for a 15-15 deadlock leading into Mundorf’s go-ahead score less than three minutes later.

“Going into halftime, it’s a little deflating but the guys rallied in the locker room,” said Abbott. “Coach gave us good advice and told us to go out and win the second half. That’s all we could do. We came out, got a couple in a row, Kip made some great saves and got this thing rolling. Obviously, we’re not happy about letting in 15 on our end, but we did enough to get the win and hopefully we can build off this next week.”

Berger nearly finished an improbable goal which would have sent the game into overtime, but Cottle challenged the play.

“You don’t get to keep timeouts into overtime, so we always save one for a challenge,” said Cottle. “When they went on their run, we had already taken one and weren’t about to use another.”

Ben Hunt had a monster game with six goals and two assists for the Bayhawks while Mundorf scored five goals and Joe Walters dished four assists. Chesapeake won despite Boston’s Chris Eck dominating the faceoff X. He won 25-of-34 with 16 groundballs.

Berger led the Cannons offense with four goals while Buchanan added three. Will Manny dished a team-leading three assists.

The result tightens the standings as only two games separate second through eighth place in Major League Lacrosse. Boston falls to 3-4 while Chesapeake improves to 2-5.

About Justin Lafleur
Justin is an MLL and NCAA columnist for ILWT. He also works with the Lehigh sports department.