August 11, 2012—
6,034 fans packed into American Legion Memorial Stadium last night to see if Charlotte could end the final 7 games of the season above .500, as well as ruin the playoff chances of the Rochester Rattlers who had previously beat Charlotte 14-5 at home. Rochester seemed to be in to give Charlotte a similar fate after starting out with a 3-0 lead before Eric Lusby scored after an assist from Justin Turri. Just under a minute later, Matt Danowski scored his 100th career goal off of an assist from attackman Brian Carroll that went for two points, tying the game up a 3-all and electrifying a strong Charlotte crowd. Kyle Wimer and Eric Lusby both took matters into their own hands, scoring unassisted goals within 20 seconds of each other to extend the Hounds run to 5-0. Rochester and Charlotte exchanged goals to start the second quarter, giving Rochester a 7-6 lead. Loyola alum Eric Lusby scored a hattrick in just 18:01 minutes of play in the first start of his professional career. A passionate Charlotte crowd rocked the stadium, and the momentum for Charlotte started. Matt Danowski and long-pole Ricky Pages scoring back-to-back two point goals and ended with a drive from Stephen Berger with 4.6 seconds left in the half to put Charlotte up 13-7 after the 7-0 run. 13 goals were the most goals the Hounds had scored in a half of a game, and by far went over the measly 5 goals they scored just a few weeks before in Rochester. Rochester wouldn’t go down easy though, this was basically Â a playoff game for the Rattlers, you win, you keep playing, you lose, you go home. Rochester went on a 4-1 run in the third quarter with Rob Rotanz’s two unassisted goals leading the way. Danowski joined Eric Lusby in the hattrick club, scoring unassisted as the only goal the Hounds would score in the third quarter. After allowing a 6-1 run, most home fans would just be growing bored or uneasy, the Royal Legion of the Hounds beat their drums
louder than they had all game, the PA announcer got the crowd going with “LETS GO HOUNDS, LETS GO HOUNDS!” Kyle Mimer’s unassisted goal just under 12 minutes into the low scoring 4th quarter proved to be the difference in the game, Blur’s Song Two blared throughout the stadium as the Hounds took a two goal lead. Tempers flared with 5:15 left in the game as Charlotte’s Joe Cinosky earned a one minute unreleasable, Rochester’s Kevin Leveille earned the tougher end of the draw, earning both a one minute and five minute non-releasable unsportmanlike penalty, keeping Rochester man-down for the final 5:15 of the game. Ryan Flanagan and Adam Ghitelman tightened down with successful clears and stopped the man-down Rattlers to hold on for the 15-14 win. Fans scrambled to get the autographs of the Hounds after the game, having noise contests to win the sticks of players, and all-around having a good time. Although the season ended in 6th place, the 4-3 finish was strong for the Hounds and they certainly have momentum moving into next year with an outstanding fan base and promising young players mixed in with savvy veterans. Danowski after the game said that if the team matures, they really do have a lot of potential. I would have to agree, the players looked like they were out there doing what your supposed to do when playing the fastest game on two feet, having fun.
MajorLeaugeLacrosse.com MVP of the game: Matt Danowski, Attack, CHA
Key State of the Game: Geoff Snider, Midfielder, CHA went 18-28 on faceoffs (64.3%) with seven ground balls
Ball Hog: Joel White, LSM, ROC had five ground balls
Wise Words Quote of the day: Eric Lusby, Attackman, CHA: “I was excited to get out there and play, I mean I haven’t played since July and before that I haven’t played since the NCAA tournament, so it’s been awhile since I played at such a high level, I definitely Â need to get in shape but it was definitely fun and I was excited to play.”