For the second consecutive week, the Denver Outlaws (7-0) established themselves as the top team in Major League Lacrosse with a 13-9 road victory over the defending champions Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-3).
“Last time we played them they completely took us apart,” Stagnitta said about the 2012 MLL Championship game Denver lost to Chesapeake. “Some of the things we’ve tried to do while building a team were to try to compete better with the Bayhawks.”
Denver only trailed in the game for a short time during the first quarter, and was able to weather Chesapeake scoring runs to grind out their team-record 13th-straight regular-season win. Rookie attackman Eric Law took home his second-consecutive Player of the Game award after leading the Outlaws scorers with five goals off of a perfect shooting night.
“I think on of the reasons that he (Law) was able to integrate so well was just because of the way we play offense,” Stagnitta said about Law’s success since joining the Outlaws. “If you are open and you are off-ball, our guys are going to give you the ball. We constantly talk about that – not the first shot, the best shot.”
Both goalies turned in an above-par performance, keeping two of the league’s top offenses to their lowest scoring output this season. After leaving the game a week prior with a minor injury, Denver goalie Jesse Schwartzman had a solid performance saving 17 of 26 shots and helped stave off Bayhawks comebacks late in the game.
While Law had Chesapeake goalie Kip Turner’s number all evening – not missing a shot in a 5-for-5 shooting performance – former Bayhawk Jeremy Sieverts found the back of the net three times against his former team.
“Our offense is clicking and playing well together and taking advantage of man-up opportunities. Our defense is locking down,” midfielder Anthony Kelly, who went 13-26 in face offs for the game, said. “Anytime we hold a team under 10 (goals) is awesome.”
Law not only started the scoring off for the game, but netted the initial goal in each quarter. After scoring the initial goal of the game, Chesapeake responded with two goals of their own to take a one-goal lead before attackman Chris Bocklet tied the game up at two goals a piece to end the first quarter.
Again, Law put in the first goal of the quarter – off an assist from former college team mate defender Dillon Roy – before Sieverts put in his first of the game. The Bayhawks ended the early second-quarter run with their third goal of the game, but were unable to keep Denver out of the back of the net the rest of the quarter. Defending league MVP attackman Brendan Mundorf put his mark on the end of the 1st half with an unassisted goal, before setting up the final goal of the half to give the Outlaws a 6-3 halftime lead.
Law scored within the first minute of the third quarter, which Chesapeake answered shortly after with a power-play goal. Sieverts netted two unassisted goals in the middle of the quarter, however it was the Bayhawks that scored the final three goals of the third to bring the score to 9-7 after three quarters.
Law scored his fourth goal of the game to open the fourth quarter, and midfielder Drew Snider put his first goal of the game in to give Denver a four-goal lead. The Bayhawks were able to temporarily stop the bleeding with two mid-quarter goals, however a slew of two-point attempts from Chesapeake were in vain as Schwartzman and the defense didn’t allow another goal.
Similar to the start of the fourth quarter, Law scored his fifth goal of the game late in the quarter and Snider finished nailing the coffin shut with Denver’s final goal of the game to give the Outlaws a 13-9 victory.
The win puts Denver securely two-games ahead of the second placed Hamilton Nationals for the top spot. The Outlaws return home June 22 to finish their season-series against the Ohio Machine (1-6) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.