Di Miller, Correspondent Denver Outlaws
Lacrosse is Awesome©
The Denver Outlaws (9-7) headed east to face the Chesapeake Bayhawks (10-6) on Friday night September 20 in a rematch of the meeting of the two teams less than a week before. If the Outlaws could walk away with the “W” they would lock in the No. 1 Seed in the MLL. They were without their scoring powerhouses of Ryan Lee; Zach Currier; Chris Aslanian; and John Grant, Jr. Also missing was Dillon Ward; and Max Adler. Back up net-minder Christian Knight; and face-off specialist Zack Melillo would get their first career starts. But a slow start and the absence of several key players were too much and they were unable to defeat the Bayhawks for the second week in a row. In his MLL debut, Kohta Kurashima, first year attackman for the Denver Outlaws became the first ever Japanese-born player to score a goal in an MLL game. Final Score: Bayhawks 13—Outlaws 11.
The Outlaws would be first to score off Jack Jasinski (1g, 1a) around the screen he’d find the back of the cage on a low shot 2:28 into the contest. Chesapeake got on the board off a rifle shot from midfielder Michael Panepinto (1g) who made his MLL debut scoring his first career off the skip pass from Nick Mariano stick side high at the 5:30 mark. Denver would answer back less than a minute later with one from Kohta Kurashima (1g) who also scored his first career MLL goal in his debut, an unassisted beauty with his shoulders going away from the cage; he fired it across his body far side high putting the Outlaws up 2-1. Both net-minders were top notch in catch fighting off the bullets that were being fired on their cages. It took close to five and half minutes before Denver would break the silence. Brendan Kavanagh (1g) came around the back door and somehow found a low spot on the outside corner from goal line extended, faked high and shot low with 2:55 left in the frame giving them a two goal lead. Just as quick as the Outlaws got the lead, CJ Costabile (1g, 1 2ptG) ripped it from about ten feet outside the two point arc and sent a laser past Christian Knight far side high to tie it at three apiece 34 seconds later. With 36.5 left on the ticker Colin Heacock (4g, 1a) had a nice left handed front shot off the Jesse Bernhardt screen to give them the lead at the end of one. The Outlaws led in SOG 8-6; face-offs 4-3; and turnovers 4-3; while the Bayhawks led in GB 7-2. Score at the end of one: Bayhawks 4—Outlaws 3.
The second quarter was a complete battle of the net-minders with a combined four goals. Denver would open and close the frame with Chesapeake sandwiched in the middle. Andrew Newbold (1g, 1 2ptG, 1a) would get it started driving across the field, he released low dropped his shoulder and fired it five hole 1:28 in to tie the game at four apiece. It took six minutes before another goal would go up on the board and it would be Chesapeake. Heacock would get his second sneaking through traffic, he turned and fired it straight up the middle and hit far side with 7:27 left. Another five minutes of spectacular goal tending before the Bayhawks would find twine. Chris Fennell would get the turnover, dish the ball to Costabile who would stick fake and send one pass Knight on the off stick side high giving the Bayhawks a two goal lead 6-4. With less than a minute left in the half, Bayhawks net-minder Brian Phipps attempted the clear, Newbold picked it off, dished the ball to Kyle Marr (2g, 1 2ptG, 1a) who was wide open in front of the cage and with no defenders near the cage had a wide open shot low to high and clanged it off the post with 51.7 seconds on the clock. Denver still led in SOG 6-5; face-offs 4-1; turnovers 7-6; but GB were even at 6 apiece. Score at the end of two: Bayhawks 6—Outlaws 5.
Chesapeake dominated the third outscoring Denver 4-1. They would go on a four goal run with Nick Mariano (1g, 2a) getting it started 1:16 in. He’d get the cross field pass, shoot as he was falling to the ground and somehow found a way to find the back of the cage. Heacock was next with a nice juke move giving him his hat-trick 50 seconds later. Steele Stanwick (1g) on the give and go would increase the lead 9-5 with 9:51 remaining; and Matt Abbott would score off the catch and crank off hip side on the far pipe at the 8:10 mark. The lone Outlaws goal to stop the run and the final goal in the third was an unassisted shot from Max Tennant when he scooped the ground ball and fired a back hand shot with 3:38 left on the clock. The Bayhawks had gained the lead in SOG 6-3; the Outlaws still led in TO 4-3; and face-offs 4-2; while GB were still tied at 6 apiece. Score at the end of three: Bayhawks 10—Outlaws 6.
In the final frame, the goals were equal with three apiece, with Denver putting up two 2-point goals. The Bayhawks would increase their lead 11-6 off another beauty, this time a BTB no look no angle goal from Heacock 3:21 into the quarter. Denver would score back-to-back another coming from Marr when he got the GB off the rebound he’d make the bounce shot on the front door and hit far side. The second on a man-up off the Isaiah Davis-Allen unsportsmanlike on the ensuing face-off. He’d get hit with a one-minute penalty giving the Outlaws a perfect opportunity to close the gap and they did just that. Mr. Two-Pointer Andrew Newbold found an opening and took the shot straight up the pipe and fired a curve ball past Phipps 13 seconds into the penalty closing the gap 11-9. Chesapeake would hit back with two more, another from Abbott on the pick and roll, Mariano would draw the defense leaving Abbott wide open and he sent the high heat under the cross bar with 5:40 left in the game increasing the gap 12-9. The next would come on the man-up for the Bayhawks off an illegal cross check on Denver. Andrew Kew (1g) on the give and go would score from the left wing giving them a four goal lead 13-9 and only 3:42 remaining. After a few changes of possessions, Outlaws defenseman Andrew Newbold got the turnover, dished the ball to Kyle Marr who was set up outside the two-point arc, he split the defenders and sent a laser high to high past Phipps with 53.3 seconds left giving him the hat-trick and closing the gap 13-11. Unfortunately for Denver, they couldn’t gain possession on the ensuing face-off, and Chesapeake was able to run out the clock for the win. Final Score: Bayhawks 13—Denver 10.
The league standings would be determined after the Dallas vs. Boston game today. Because Dallas has defeated Boston, this puts Chesapeake as the No. 1 Seed; Denver as the No. 2 Seed; Boston as the No. 3 Seed; and Atlanta as the No. 4 Seed.
Playoff Weekend in Denver Colorado is on October 4, at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on the campus of Denver University. The games are set to start at 7:00 p.m. EST and the second game will start 10:00 p.m. EST. The games can be seen on ESPN2.
The Championship game will be on Sunday October 6, 2019 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park, in Commerce City, CO, game time 1:00 p.m. EST. The game can be seen on ESPN2.
Di Miller, Correspondent Denver Outlaws
Lacrosse is Awesome©