Attackman Ryan Boyle (Gilman) scored 1:26 into overtime to give the Boston Cannons an 15-14 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday night at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.
Boyle used an inside spin move to beat defenseman Michael Evans (Johns Hopkins, South River) from behind and fired a short shot past goalkeeper Kip Turner (Severn) to bring an end to a wild, back-and-forth affair.
Boyle, the all-time leading scorer in Major League Lacrosse with 410 points, finished with three goals and two assists. Midfielder Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins), a two-time MLL Most Valuable Player, totaled seven points on four goals (one of which was a 2-pointer) and two assists for Boston (1-3). Goalkeeper Mike Gabel made 17 saves while Chris Eck won 20 of 30 faceoffs for the Cannons.
"We lost a lot of faceoffs early, so we didn’t have the ball much," Chesapeake coach Dave Cottle said. "When we did get possession, we were kind of in hurry mode. We didn’t do a good job of giving our defense a rest by possessing the ball on offense."
Attackman John Grant Jr. scored five goals, almost all of the spectacular variety, to lead Chesapeake (3-1). Grant also had an assist to finish with six points in his second game since rejoining the Bayhawks after the indoor professional season.
Midfielder Steven Brooks scored two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, and dished off two assists to total five points for Chesapeake, which went just 1-for-5 on power-play opportunities. Standout short-stick defensive midfielder Matt Abbott had a hat trick for the Bayhawks, who were beaten 37-24 on ground balls. Turner finished with 14 saves. Attackman Ben Rubeor (Loyola High) scored one goal for the Bayhawks, extending his point streak to 33 games.
“We’ve got to fix the things that are wrong and we need to continue to improve,” Cottle said. “I thought we fought hard and played together. We’ll get better from this game because of the adversity that we had to fight against.”
Abbott and Grant scored consecutive goals to open the second quarter to give Chesapeake its first lead at 5-4. However, Boyle scored two goals while Rabil had two assists during a 4-2 run that put Boston back ahead 8-7 at halftime.
It was a similar story in the third quarter as Grant scored unassisted on the power play and Abbott scored off an assist from midfielder Kyle Dixon (Archbishop Spalding) to put the Bayhawks back up 9-8. Once again, Boston responded with Rabil scoring two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer, to key a 4-0 run that put the home team on top 12-9.
Chesapeake closed the third stanza strong as Grant fed midfielder Matt Mackrides for a goal and Brooks fired in his first 2-pointer of the season to tie the contest at 12.
After three quarters of offensive fireworks, the game suddenly turned into a defensive struggle in the final frame. Neither side scored for the first 11 minutes of the fourth period.
Midfielder Mike Stone finally broke the scoreless stretch, taking a beautiful feed from Boyle and firing in a short shot from the crease to put Boston ahead 13-12. However, Grant provided a quick answer, beating his defender with a swim move and scoring while diving into the crease to retie the score 48 seconds later.
Grant then put an exclamation point on a phenomenal night with a behind-the-back goal as the Bayhawks went ahead 14-13 with 2:28 remaining. However, Rabil responded 1:17 later, executing a textbook inside roll and firing a shot from the doorstep to forge the 10th tie of the contest.
Chesapeake held for the last shot and Grant got a great opportunity from on top of the crease, but his shot was wide.