PHILADELPHIA — PHILADELPHIA - Ryan Boyle made a big impression in his debut for Major League Lacrosse's Philadelphia Barrage. But the Bayhawks' Gary Gait had the last word.
Gait's one-handed, underhand goal with 8:23 remaining in overtime helped the Bayhawks escape with a 19-18 victory over the Barrage before 2,495 at Villanova Stadium last night.
The Bayhawks moved back into a first-place tie in the National Division with Rochester, despite surrendering a five-point lead and getting little offense in the second and third quarters.
"We decided we weren't going to call timeout," Gait said. "I got to the inside. I went with my high-percentage shot - the one-hander. Instead of going low, I went high."
The Bayhawks trailed the entire second half and were behind by three after Boyle's third goal of the game with 3:02 remaining.
But Paul Cantabene converted a behind-the-back shot to cut the margin to 18-16, and Jeff Sonke hit his second two-point shot with 1:04 left to send the game to overtime.
The Bayhawks (3-2) scored just two points in each of the second and third quarters after a big opening period in which they opened a 7-2 lead behind goals from Gait, attackmen Mark Millon and Bobby Benson, midfielder Mark Frye and a two-point goal from Sonke.
Philadelphia midfielder Blake Miller almost single-handedly turned the five-goal deficit into a two-goal lead in the second quarter. Miller scored four times in the period and assisted on another to lead an 8-1 run. His goal with 6:10 left in the second quarter gave the Barrage (1-4) its first lead of the game at 9-8. Miller extended that to 10-8 just 56 seconds later.
"We weren't sharp," said Gait, who finished with three goals. "We haven't been sharp for a while. We made plays when we needed to."
Boyle (Gilman) recorded three goals and assisted on two others in his first game with the Barrage. His first assist came on a goal by Roy Colsey with 6:05 to go in the first quarter that brought Philadelphia within 3-2. Boyle scored his first goal 35 seconds into the second quarter to start the comeback.
"As lame as it sounds, the sun was a big factor [in the second quarter]," Boyle said. "There was a bad section, and we were smart enough to know if [Bayhawks goalkeeper Mike Levin] couldn't see from a certain spot, we'll go there."
Another factor in slowing down the Bayhawks was Barrage goalkeeper Greg Cattrano, who made 31 saves against his ex-team to tie a league mark.
The Bayhawks were looking to get back to the offensive output they displayed in their first three games when they topped the 20-point mark each time. Though they were inconsistent, the Bayhawks did enough to keep pace with Rochester, which improved to 3-2 with a 17-11 victory Friday over New Jersey.
"Any win's a good win," Bayhawks attackman Tom Marechek said. "It's big. Nobody wants to be down at any time in the league. ... We haven't played a good game yet. Maybe that's good. Maybe we'll jell late."
Bayhawks 7 2 2 7 1 - 19
Philadelphia 2 8 4 4 0 - 18
Points: B-Sonke 5, Gait 4, Cantabene 2, Fulks 2, Marechek 2, Millon 2, Benson, Frye; P-Colsey 5, Miller 4, Boyle 3, Cromwell 2, Shanahan 2, Prager, Striebel. Assists: B-Gait 3, Collins 2, Sonke 2, Benson, Catabene, Langtry, Millon; P-Cromwell 3, Boyle 2, Miller 2, Striebel 2, Colsey. Saves: B-Levin 12; P-Cattrano 31.