August 25, 2012

Cannons fall in MLL semifinals

Defending champs topped by Bayhawks, 16-10

Paul Rabil walks off the field after the Boston Cannons were defeated by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the MLL semifinals on Saturday. (photo: Getty Images)

Attackman Ben Rubeor scored five of his game-high six goals in the second half as the second-seeded Chesapeake Bayhawks used a strong second half to defeat the third-seeded and defending champion Boston Cannons by a 16-10 margin in the second semifinal at the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend at Harvard Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Bayhawks, who are attempting to become the first team in league history to win four titles, advance to Sunday's championship game, where they will face the top-seeded Denver Outlaws at 3 p.m. The Outlaws rallied from a 12-3 deficit to edge the Long Island Lizards by a 13-12 margin in the first semifinal.

After the teams traded goals to open the game, the Cannons used four consecutive goals, including a pair of markers from midfielder Mike Stone, to take a 5-1 lead with 3:18 remaining in the opening stanza.

But the Bayhawks answered by scoring three straight goals to trim the deficit to 5-4 with 13:55 remaining in the first half.

The Cannons extended their advantage to 7-4 with back-to-back goals from defenseman PT Ricci and attackman Ari Sussman before the Bayhawks used a five-point run, including a pair of two-point goals from midfielder Kyle Dixon, to take a 9-7 lead with 4:12 left in the first half.

A goal by defenseman Kyle Sweeney with 1:52 remaining trimmed the margin to 9-8 at the intermission.

After Stone tied the game at 9-9 with 8:56 remaining in the third quarter, the Bayhawks used three consecutive goals from Rubeor to take a 12-9 advantage with nine seconds left in the period.

The Bayhawks added four consecutive goals in the opening eight minutes of the fourth quarter, including a pair of markers from Rubeor, to increase the lead to 16-9.

With 23 seconds left, attackman Kevin Buchanan scored an unassisted goal to narrow the gap to 16-10, but the Cannons were unable to get any closer.

While Rubeor scored a game-high six goals to lead the Bayhawks en route to Player of the Game honors, Dixon added three goals, including a pair of two-point markers, with an assist.

Stone led Boston in a losing effort by scoring three goals with two assists.

The Bayhawks outshot Boston by a 54-44 margin and had a 30-29 advantage in ground balls.