Jared Welsh, LTR Mid-Atlantic
What could very be a preview of the Major League Lacrosse championship game, the two undefeateds faced-off Wednesday night as the Chesapeake Bayhawks took on the Denver Outlaws. The game started 15 minutes late due to weather in the Annapolis area.
Mikie Schlosser of Denver got things started just 25 second into the game getting a step on Isaiah Davis-Allen and flinging a shot past Brian Phipps. The Bayhawks would tie it up with Brendan Bomberry getting some daylight just above goal line extended. The long pole, and 18th overall draft pick, Chase Levesque would take the ball down and shoot off balance to give the Bayhawk their first lead of the game. A minute later, at the other end of the field, Chris Aslanian ripped a stinger by Brian Phipps to tie the game at two. The Bayhawks would respond with the number two league leading goal scorer, Andrew Kew a minute later to go up 3-2. Kew would come up big again as the ball popped up in the air in front of the goal. Similar to a basketball player, Kew timed the rebound and put the ball into the back of the goal. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Brian Kormondy would blow by Davis-Allen with a sharp shooting stinger to get the Outlaws within one, 4-3.
RIT standout Ryan Lee got a great feed on the run and finished with a dive to tie the game for Denver in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Lee was not finished. Getting the ball behind goal line extended, Lee dove away from the crease and gave Denver the lead. However, Luke Anderson would take the lead for the Bayhawks with a 2 pointer wll behind the line. Ryan Lee would score the hat trick off a rebounded shot to tie the game at 6 for the Outlaws. The score would remain tied going into halftime.
The third quarter opened up with Lyle Thompson taking the catch, spin, shoot approach with a rocket of a shot to up the Bayhawks up 7-6. Denver followed up with Ryan Lee getting his 4th of the night, this time from about 12 yards to tie a 7. Lee would follow up with another goal of a Chris Aslanian assist all alone in front of the net to take the lead. The Bayhawks would answer back when Nick Manis fakes a shot, drawing defenders, and sprints by for the one on one goal; the first of his career. The final two minutes of the quarter would be huge for the Bayhawks. Towson graduate Grant Maloof would also tally his first career goal to put the Bayhawks up one. Thirty seconds later, while fixing his helmet on a brush, Maryland standout Colin Heacock would muscle in a goal to put Chesapeake up two to end the quarter.
Daniel Bucaro came out quick for Denver with a goal 1:02 into the final stanza. Lyle Thompson would use the backhand shot in the upper corner to put the Bayhawks lead back to two. Thompson would repeat with the exact same goal to give the Bayhawks their biggest lead of the night. It would not last long as Mike Schlosser and Chris Aslanian would put in a goal each 34 seconds apart. The Outlaws were able to tie the game with 7:20 left in the fourth off a Daniel Bucaro goal. That score would hold and send the game to overtime.
With 6:41 left in the overtime period, Brian Kormondy would get the ball coming out of the substitution box. Using an all out speed dodge, Kormondy got by Nick Manis for an open look that won the game for Denver.
The win takes Denver to 4-0 and they will face Boston (2-1) on Friday at 7pm. Chesapeake drops to 3-1 and will play Connecticut (1-2) on Friday 4pm.