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Nationals edge Lizards 14-13 in MLL semifinal

August 22, 2009 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Hamilton Nationals News Release

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - In a dramatic rain-soaked semi-final game, the Toronto Nationals defeat the Long Island Lizards by a score of 14-13 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

Stephen Berger opened scoring for Long Island with a goal 2:31 into the game. Joe Walters answered back for the Nationals with an unassisted goal a minute later followed by a powerplay goal by Delby Powless. Berger netted his second of the match past Nationals goalie Doc Schneider followed by Stephen Peyser and Chris Fiore, all on the powerplay to end the first with Long Island up 4-2.

Sean Lindsay and Tim Goettelmann extended the Lizard lead to kick off the second quarter. Brodie Merrill stepped in to halt Long Island scoring with a goal for Toronto, but was shorted lived as Lindsay netted his second. Brad Ross, the rookie out of Duke, struck next for the Nationals firing a two-point goal past netminder Brian Dougherty. Toronto attackman Merrick Thomson followed Ross' lead with an unassisted goal with four minutes left to bring the score within one. Matt Zash and Keith Cromwell answer back for Long Island to end the first half with a 9-6 lead.

Matt Danowski struck first for Long Island in the second half. Toronto's faceoff man Geoff Snider answered back, followed by Thomson's second of the game, on the man up. The Lizards' Berger collected his hattrick with a shot past Schneider for the 11-8 lead.

The weather took a turn for the worse in Annapolis, and the game was put on a weather delay as lightning stuck nearby.

The game restarted after a 35 minute delay with a Thomson goal, his third of the rain-soaked game followed by Peyser's second for the Lizards to end the third quarter with Long Island up 12-9.

The final quarter started with a Nationals surge started by back-to-back Walters goals. Jeff Zywicki tied the game at 12, and Shawn Williams chipped in to give Toronto their first lead of the game. Danowski scored his second to tie the game up with three minutes left. Thomson answered back with his fourth, and the Toronto lead. The Nationals held out for the win by a score of 14-13.

Joe Walters was named BudLight game MVP for his three goal performance that sparked the Nationals in their come-from-behind win.

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