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Cannons jump to big lead, hang on to win MLL title

Attackman Matt Poskay scored all three of his goals in the first half as the Boston Cannons built a three-goal lead in the first half en route to winning their first Major League Lacrosse championship with a 10-9 victory over the Hamilton Nationals on Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Playing in the MLL title game for the second time in their 11-year history, the Cannons held off a second-half surge by the Nationals to win the title.

Midfielder Pat Heim contributed a pair of goals for Boston, which outshot Hamilton 49-38. Goalkeeper Jordan Burke, who had nine saves, was named as the MLL Championships Most Valuable Player.

Attackman Casey Powell scored a game-high four goals to lead the Nationals. Midfielder Cody Jamieson scored twice. Scott Rodgers made 16 saves in the first half while Brett Queener contributed four saves.

Boston attackman Ryan Boyle scored just 1:41 into the first quarter, but the Nationals used back-to-back goals from midfielders Kevin Crowley and Jamieson to take a 2-1 advantage with 7:12 left in the first quarter. Poskay then scored twice in a four-minute span for a 3-2 lead with 1:44 remaining in the period.

Powell tied the game at 3-3 just over three minutes into the second quarter before the Cannons answered with three consecutive goals for a 6-3 lead. After midfielder Mike Stone scored an unassisted goal, Poskay converted a feed from Boyle to increase the lead to 5-3. Less than a minute later, midifelder Brad Ross took a pass from midfielder Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) and scored past Rodgers, upping the Cannons' advantage.

Powell scored just over a minute into the third quarter to trim the deficit to 6-4 before midfielders Heim and fellow midfielder Matt Smalley tallied back-to-back goals to increase the Cannons' cushion to 8-4.

The Nationals scored three straight goals to narrow the margin to 8-7 with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter. Powell led the run by scoring two goals for Hamilton.

The teams traded goals before midfielder Kevin Buchanan gave Boston a 10-8 lead when he scored on a diving shot past Queener with 3:03 remaining.

With 32 seconds left, Jamieson scored an unassisted goal to trim the margin to 10-9, but the Cannons won the ensuing faceoff and ran out the clock to claim the championship.

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