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Outlaws squeak past Boston 11-10 in semifinal

August 22, 2009 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Denver Outlaws News Release

DENVER - The Denver Outlaws made their mark in Annapolis, Md. today, beating the Boston Cannons 11-10 following a late-game rally in Major League Lacrosse's (MLL) first semifinal. Denver's play on both sides of the ball came to life in the second half, led by midfielder Josh Sims (Princeton) who scored four goals, including three consecutive tallies in the fourth quarter. Attackman Brendan Mundorf (UMBC) and midfielder Kyle Harrison (Johns Hopkins) also played well, combining for five goals (three and two respectively). Goaltender Jesse Schwartzman (Johns Hopkins) stood on his head between the pipes, making 18 saves and recording six ground balls while keeping the Outlaws close.

After a couple tight possessions in the opening quarter Boston struck first by capitalizing on an extra man opportunity when Matt Alrich scored off of a Ryan Boyle pass.Mundorf saw his own opportunity 36 seconds later and cut across the crease from behind the net to bury a shot which tied the game at 1-1. After a few minutes of even play Greg Downing scored an unassisted goal to put the Cannons up 2-1. Mundorf came through for the Outlaws once again with a goal almost identical to his first (a question mark dodge after cutting from behind the net) at 14:09.

The second quarter started with Boston retaking the lead on a goal from Kevin Cassese 19 seconds in. At the 4:52 mark the Cannons added another goal when Boyle scored on a no-look pass from Paul Rabil. Brandon Corp completed the three-goal run just under four minutes later when he squeeked by midfielder Casey Cittadino (Towson) for an open look. Looking to take back momentum, Mundorf blasted in a low shot through two defensemen on a pass from attackman Drew Westervelt (UMBC). Sims followed suit with a goal 26 seconds later to pull the Outlaws back within one. After a Boston goal from Rabil, Cittadino made up for his earlier mistake by taking the ball the length of the field to score at 14:25. Going into the locker room Denver was down by a goal at 6-5.

Boyle scored first for the Cannons in the third quarter (5:56 from Morris) when he found himself alone in front of Schwartzman for an easy look. Alrich than added his second goal on a diving shot across the crease at 8:39. Midfielder Jeff Sonke (North Carolina) gave the Outlaws a spark with a goal at the 9:19 mark. Not to be outdone, Harrison scored on a jump shot after a smooth split dodge at 10:01 to pull Denver back within one (8-7). The quarter's final goal came from Alrich with 2:32 remaining on another assist from Morris.

For the first time in the game, the Outlaws found the back of the net before Boston to lead off the fourth quarter. At the 1:57 mark Sims scored his second goal off a rebound. This was just a taste of things to come from Sims though, as the veteran (playing in his 15th post-season game) fired in a screamer to tie the game at 7:31. Less than a minute later (6:47) Sims scored his fourth goal to give Denver a 10-9 lead. Harrison then recorded his second goal of the game when he danced around Boston defenseman Matt Casey and fired a shot into the top-right corner (5:47). In one of the tightest finale's this season the Outlaws' D buckled down to maintain the lead. Alrich gave Denver a scare by scoring with 1:09 remaining but after two key Schwartzman saves and 45 seconds of keepaway ball the Outlaws had clinched the win.

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