By Josiah Kaan, Denver Outlaws Writer
In a day of upsets, the Denver Outlaws lost to the Long Island Lizards 16-12 in the second MLL semi-final of the day – following the Boston Cannons 13-9 loss to the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Long Island Midfielder Stephen Berger won the Bud Light MVP for his five goal, one assist performance,
while Attackman Zack Greer contributed four goals of his own. Attackmen Dan Hardy and Brendan Mundorf and Midfielder Max Seibald led the Outlaws with two goals apiece.
“This wasn’t our best performance. We were out-played at crucial times of the game,” Head Coach Brian Reese said. “Berger and Greer played great for them. Berger dodged our poles very well and got to the goal. Whenever we slid, it seemed like Greer got opened and finished”
The Lizards opened up the game scoring two quick goals, courtesy of Attackman Keith Cromwell and Berger, respectively. Rookie Midfielder Sean DeLaney put the Outlaws on the board just over six minutes into the first quarter, but the goal was quickly answered by Lizards Attackman Matt Danowski to bring the score to 3-1 midway through the first.
Seibald narrowed the gap with his first goal of the game, before Berger and Mundorf traded goals to end the quarter with a 4-3 score.
Hardy and Attackman Drew Westervelt gave the Outlaws a one-goal lead to open up the second quarter scoring, before Berger netted his second goal of the game. Attackman Matt Brown regained the lead for Denver but Berger found the back of the net for the second time in the first six minutes of the quarter to tie the game up halfway through the second.
The Outlaws went on a three goal run to take the lead, as Mundorf, Attackman Brian Langtry and Midfielder Kevin Unterstein all scored in a three-minute span. Long Island matched the Outlaws run, scoring three goals from Greer, Face-Off Specialist Stephen Peyser, and Attackman Tim Goettelman to bring the score to 9-9 at the half.
Greer and Seibald exchanged goals to open up the second half, before Midfielder Chris Fiore, Greer and Attackman Joel Dalgarno all scored to give the Lizards 13-10 lead halfway through the third quarter.
Hardy nailed his second goal of the game to cut the deficit to two, but Greer netted his fourth goal to bring the Long Island lead back to three heading into the fourth quarter.
Berger and Peyser both netted goals in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, respectively, before Defenseman Nate Watkins netted the Outlaws only goal of quarter and last goal of the season just over three minutes into the quarter. The Long Island defense held strong the rest of the quarter, holding off the Denver attack and ending the game with a 16-12 score.
“It’s really hard to look to next year,” Reese commented. “We had a good year but we didn’t reach our goal and that hurts. We were still pretty young, especially at midfield, but we need to get better if we want to win championships.”
With the loss, both the number one and two seed were knocked out of championship contention in the semi-finals.
For a complete box score, click HERE.