Major League Lacrosse
After trailing or being tied for most of the game, the host Rochester Rattlers came back with five unanswered goals in the final seven minutes to beat the Ohio Machine, 15-11, in the Major League Lacrosse semifinals Saturday. Rochester attackmen Kevin Leveille, Jordan Wolf and Miles Thompson each had two points in the final-quarter rally. Ohio (8-7) was playing in its first-ever playoff game. The Rattlers (11-4) also came back from an early 4-0 deficit, thanks to a six-goal performance from Leveille. Rattlers goalkeeper John Galloway finished with 16 saves, and faceoff specialist John Ortolani won 16 of 29 draws. With the win, the Rattlers advanced to play the Denver Outlaws in Saturday's final. … Host Denver won a close game against the New York Lizards, 14-13, in the second semifinal. The Outlaws (10-5) were led by attackmen John Grant Jr. and Chris Bocklet, who had four and three goals, respectively. New York (9-6) had three goals by attackman Tommy Palasek, and goalkeeper Drew Adams had 13 saves.
More: Galloway John Galloway was named Goalkeeper of the Year, as voted by MLL coaches and general managers. Galloway, who received 11 first-place votes for the award, made 194 saves this season and started in all 14 games. Denver's Jesse Schwartzman (Johns Hopkins, Pikesville) finished second, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks' Kip Turner (Severn) was fifth.
Mystics clinch playoff spot, then fail to get No. 2 seed
After clinching a spot in the WNBA playoffs Friday, the Washington Mystics lost their season finale to the New York Liberty, 73-61, on Saturday. Ivory Latta scored 15 points for the Mystics (16-18), but it wasn't enough as Liberty's Plenette Pierson scored 20 points to help New York end its three-game losing streak. The Mystics were fighting to get the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round. But their loss and the Indiana Fever's win over the Chicago Sky on Saturday clinched the second seed for Indiana.
National Women's Soccer League: The Washington Spirit clinched a playoff berth Saturday despite losing to visiting Sky Blue FC, 1-0. Sky Blue's Monica Ocampo scored in the 27th minute. Thanks to the Chicago Red Stars' 3-3 draw with the Western New York Flash later Saturday, the Spirit (10-9-5) advance to next weekend's playoff semifinals. The Spirit finished even with Chicago (9-7-8) on points but won the first tiebreaker by sweeping the three-game series. The Portland Thorns' game today against the Seattle Reign will determine whether the Spirit is the No. 3 or No. 4 seed. If the Thorns lose or draw, Washington will finish third and visit second-place FC Kansas City on Saturday afternoon. A Portland victory would send the Spirit to first-place Seattle next Sunday night.
—Steven Goff, The Washington Post
NHL: Since it was announced in December that the Washington Capitals would host the 2015 Winter Classic, it has been widely assumed that the most natural venue for the game was Nationals Park. NHL representatives visited Nationals Park, in addition to RFK Stadium and FedEx Field, and the ballpark had been pegged as the likely site for the annual New Year's Day game. But with one month left until the NHL preseason begins, and with the Jan. 1 game between the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks less than five months away, there still has been no official announcement of where it will be held, and a source with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday that hurdles remain.
—Alex Prewitt and Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post
Men's golf: Denny McCarthy of Rockville lost the 12th and 13th holes to pars and could not come all the way back, as Corey Conners held on for a 1-up victory in the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club
—From Sun staff and news servicesCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun