Bayhawks goalie Greg Cattrano knows the main purposes of the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game are to have a good time and to put on a show for the fans.
But he also knows how little he appreciates it when the fun is coming at his expense.
"As a goalie in this game, I knew I was going to face a lot, but they [the American Division team] scored on their first four shots," Cattrano said. "I said to myself, 'Let's save one, you don't want to let up 20.' It was mostly fun, but I didn't want to be embarrassed in front of all these people either."
Cattrano rebounded from the rough start and made nine saves on 34 shots in the first half. Several other Bayhawks also turned in impressive showings to lead the National Division team to a 21-16 victory over the American Division yesterday before 5,817 at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie.
New Jersey Pride attackman Scott Urick captured game Most Valuable Player honors and a $2,500 check after registering four goals and one assist for the Nationals. Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Urick fed his New Jersey teammate, Jesse Hubbard, for a goal that broke a 16-all tie.
Culminating a game of runs, the Nationals outscored the Americans 5-0 in the fourth, with Hubbard getting two of the goals and assisting Urick on one.
"It was absurd playing with all this talent," said Urick, a former Georgetown star. "Playing on New Jersey is like being with an All-Star team, but this was even better. I don't know how you go about trying to stop these teams."
As expected, there was little defense played in the game, where intensity rarely reached the levels it does in regular-season games. However, speed and skill, the calling cards of the MLL, were at a premium.
Former Severn star and current Bayhawks midfielder Josh Sims, who had two goals and an assist, had perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing goal of the game. Running behind the net, he needed all of his 6-foot-2 frame to lunge in front and score.
"It's the kind of thing you visualize, and you'd like to try a few times," Sims said. "A game like this gives you the opportunity."
As usual, Bayhawks and Nationals player-coach Gary Gait, who scored two goals, put together a slew of highlight-reel plays. Other Bayhawks who played well include attackmen Mark Millon, who had three goals and an assist, and Tom Marechek, who scored twice. Midfielder Paul Cantabene had a goal and won eight faceoffs.
Even defender Brian Reese, known far more for his stick checks than his stick skills, scored a goal.
Greg Traynor of the Long Island Lizards, scored three goals, while teammate Casey Powell had two goals and an assist for the Americans, who trailed 10-5 after one quarter and 12-10 at halftime.
"Whenever you play, you want to win," said Nationals coach John DeTommaso of the Lizards. "It was 16-16 in the fourth quarter. It just wasn't a good day to be a goalie."
NOTE: During the halftime skills contest, Gait electrified the crowd by winning the freestyle portion of the competition with the Air Gait move he patented at Syracuse.
However, he added a new twist, doing a 360 before putting the ball in the back of the net.
Boston Cannons attackman David Evans, a Dundalk native, won the fastest shot competition with a 108-mph blast.
American 5 5 6 0 - 16
National 10 2 4 5 - 21
Goals: A-Traynor 3, Powell 2, Regan 2, Haugen, Cromwell, Gonnella, Battista, Byrnes, Evans, Denihan; N-Urick 4, Millon 3, Marechek 2, Gait 2, Sims 2, Hubbard 2, Cantabene, Reese. 2-point goals: A-Hanford; N-Abrams, Kahoun. Assists: A-Powell, Watson, Byrnes, McCabe; N-Sims, Jalbert, Urick, Millon, Reese. Saves: A-Carcaterra 8, Spruyt 12; N-Cattrano 9, Dougherty 5.