BOSTON - Philadelphia midfielder Roy Colsey didn't exactly reveal a trade secret yesterday while analyzing the Barrage's 13-11 victory over the Boston Cannons in the Major League Lacrosse championship game.
"Defense does win championships, and I think we went out there and proved it," Colsey said after a postseason-record crowd of 8,279 left Nickerson Field. "We couldn't ask for any more than having Nicky [Polanco], the Defensive Player of the Year, and Greg Cattrano, who's the best goalie in the world. Good things happen when you play great defense in this league."
Polanco guarded Michael Watson (St. Paul's), who scored 39 goals during the season and added three goals and two assists in a 26-14 semifinal victory against the Bayhawks on Friday. Watson scored one goal and was not a factor.
Cattrano, who was traded from the Bayhawks to Philadelphia (9-5) in October, made 19 saves and held the Cannons to their lowest output this season. A three-time MLL Goalie of the Year, Cattrano was voted Player of the Game as he stopped the Cannons (9-5).
Boston's David Evans summed up his team's frustration.
"Greg was great today," Evans said. "You get good looks and it's tough [when you don't score]. Late in the game I got a feed off the crease and I thought it was no sweat. But he made an insane save.
"I couldn't really be mad because that's where I put it every time. It was a huge save."
The Barrage, who completed a worst-to-first season, came up huge in the fourth quarter that began with the game tied 10-10. And it was after a third quarter that ended with Boston outscoring Philadelphia 3-0 in the last 2:19.
Blake Miller scored unassisted at 2:06. Philadelphia then caught a break when Ryan Curtis was penalized for unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct on the same play. Colsey scored a key power-play goal at 2:40 and Matt Striebel added the clincher at 9:41.
Moments later, Cattrano robbed Evans and despite Chris Rotelli's goal at 11:40, the Cannons fell short.
Cattrano stopped Kevin Leveille midway through the second quarter with the Barrage leading 6-3. But just when it appeared Philadelphia might break it open, Mike Battista (Loyola) fired home a two-point goal and Leveille tied it at 13:44.
Goals by Philadelphia's Doug Shanahan and Ryan Boyle gave the Barrage an 8-6 lead at halftime.
"It was going to take us a few games to get used to playing with each other and yet picking up Boyle was huge for us," Cattrano said. "We were 0-3 and I remember thinking to myself 'We're much better than this.' We have a solid team and if we just play our game, we will turn the season around.
"We have great team chemistry. I don't think I've ever played on a team where there wasn't one individual who wanted to do his own thing."
Cattrano had problems with the Cannons during the season, especially during a 20-18 loss when he stopped only 21 of 41 shots. In contrast, he blocked 19 of 30 shots yesterday.
"The three games this season [against Boston] I think my save percentage may have been under 50 percent," he said. "I try not to think of those things going into a game. Fortunately, I've had experience in the playoffs and it helps.
"We've been under fire for the last eight games, ever since we were 2-5. Every game has been a playoff game. I try to play five minutes at a time and make one save at a time. I felt some pressure, but that's why I play goalie. I love it."
Philadelphia 4 4 2 3 - 13
Boston 3 3 4 1 - 11
Goals: P-Colsey 4, Shanahan 2, Cromwell, Springer, Boyle, Prager, Miller, Russo, Striebel; B-Dusseau 3, Evans, Watson, Regan, Rotelli, Leveille, Silcott. Two-point goal: B-Battista. Assists: P-Cromwell 2, Boyle, Colsey, Prager, Srpinger; B-Evans 3, Fiore 2, Battista. Saves: P-Cattrano 19; B-Garrity 19. A: 8,279.