Jared Welsh, LTR Mid-Atlantic
The third game of day one of the Major League Lacrosse week long tournament featured the Denver Outlaws and the Connecticut Hammerheads. Unlike the previous two games, the stadium started to provide some shade for the 7pm start time.
Denver came out of the gate hot scoring the only goals in the first quarter. Charlie Hays got things going at the 10:27 mark. A fast break caused by Ryan Lee gave a great look to Chris Aslanian to make the score 2-0 just 12 seconds later. Ohio State grad Jack Jasinski scored with 5:51 left in the quarter. The final two goals came from Brian Kormondy and Daniel Buraco.
The Hammerheads would eventually get on the scoreboard as Ryan McNamara got things going in the second. However, Denver would not let up as league veteran John Grant Jr found Miles Silva 38 seconds later to add another tally for the Outlaws. Junior was at it again with an assist to Ryan Lee to take Denver up 7-1. Connecticut was able to get back to back goals from Cody Radziewicz to bring the score to 7-3. Once again, the Outlaws would not let the Hammerheads get comfortable as Ryan Lee picked up his second of the game. Lee wasn’t finished as he took advantage of some defensive ball watching and buried another goal from in front of the crease. Both of Lee’s goals in the quarter came by way of assists from Aslanian. Mike Schlosser wanted to break things up a bit as he got in on the assist to Lee game with 3:07 left, Lee was found roaming the crease all alone for the easy goal. The Outlaws would take a 10-3 lead in to the half time break.
It took until the 8:37 mark for the third quarter to get the first goal of the second half. Daniel Buraco drove from the X and carried his defender along the way. There was just enough separation for Buraco to send home his second of the day. The Outlaws continued to use one-on-one matchups to create scoring opportunities. Miles Silva backed up his defender to get close to the crease to get score his second and take the score to 12-3. Bradley Voigt would used a backwards sidearm shuffle shot to break the 21 minute scoring drought for the Hammerheads. In true Outlaws fashion, they come back with two unanswered goals by Jasinski and Buraco to end the quarter with a 14-4 lead.
A behind the back bounce pass from Dan Lomas a wide open Bradley Voigt got the scoring started for the Hammerheads in the final quarter. Less than a minute later, James Burr grabbed his own rebound put the Outlaws lead back to ten. Chris Aslanian took advantage of a defensive communication breakdown and put the bounce shot past Sean Sconone take Denver to a 16-5 lead. It would take 36 second for James Burr to find Miles Silva for another Outlaws goal. Right at the two minute mark, Voigt got open on the defensive slide and put home his third goal of the game for the Hammerheads. It would be Dan Bucaro that would answer back for the Outlaws and reach the 4 goal mark with less than a minute left to play, taking the score to 18-6.
RIT standout Ryan Lee finished the game with 4 goals and 1 assist, “it was a huge win for us to come out here, we didn’t know what to expect with two days of practice, so to come out here with a win like that was awesome for us to get the confidence going”. The 18 goal output was the most by any team in day one. When talking about the Outlaws defense Lee commented, “our guys are strong back there, they’re tough, they’re a big D back there. I bet they are pretty scary to play against”. Defensive coordinator Ken Clausen said, “I thought our short sticks played phenomenal, the poles did a good job getting out on guys”. Clausen mentioned using Zoom calls to help build the defense and discuss strategy knowing they would only get two days of practice. On the 18 goal output, Clausen said, “it takes a little pressure off. You understand things are going to happen. Teams are going to get goals. But when you have an offense that’s putting up points, it takes a little pressure off, allows us to play a little more comfortable and a little more freely”.
The Outlaws improve to 1-0 and will take on the Philadelphia Barrage (0-1) tomorrow at 4pm on ESPN2. The Hammerheads fall to 0-1 and will play the Philadelphia Barrage on Monday at 4pm on ESPN2.