OUTLAWS BEAT BAYHAWKS ON INDEPENDENCE DAYBy Josiah Kaan, Denver Outlaws writer
DENVER — Despite rainy and overcast conditions, a patriotic crowd of 23,433 lacrosse fans packed INVESCO Field to watch the Outlaws battle the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a physical 12-10 win.
Denver Defender Matt Bocklet stole the Bud Light MVP with his three goal, five groundball performance, which was accompanied by Midfielder Max Seibald’s three goals and two assists. Chesapeake Midfielder Ben Rubeor added three goals and one assist in a losing effort.
“With Matt [Bocklet] scoring three goals; it’s pretty huge for a long-stick defender to do that,” Outlaws Head Coach Brian Reese said. “He scored some huge goals and got the momentum going.”
The Bayhawks took control of the opening day face off, but the Outlaws took the first Independence-Day lead off a goal from streaking Bocklet. Chesapeake Midfielder Jeff Reynolds evened the score up two minutes into the first quarter, before Bayhawks Attacker Chazz Woodson and Outlaws Attacker Brendan Mundorf traded goals to bring the score to 2-2 halfway through the first.
Midfielder Brian Vetter reclaimed the lead for the Bayhawks with a goal just inside the two-point arc, before Bocklet scored his second goal of the quarter and ended a six-minute scoring drought. After a physical, low-scoring quarter of play, both teams found themselves deadlocked at 3-3.
Seibald gave the Outlaws their second lead of the game with his inaugural Fourth-of-July goal, but Rubeor initiated the fourth tie of the game as he scored his first goal of the match. Midfielder Brian Carroll followed Rubeor’s goal with his first goal for Chesapeake, before Rubeor scored again to give the Outlaws a 6-4 deficit halfway through the second.
Mundorf found Midfielder Brian Langtry in prime scoring position to bring Denver within one, before Seibald made his presence felt again, knotting the game up at six with his second goal of the half and sending the game into halftime with a 6-6 score.
Bocklet started off the second half his hat-trick goal twelve seconds into the third quarter, before Midfielder Sean DeLaney slashed his way through the defense for his first goal of the game. The Outlaws started to gain momentum, as Seibald netted his third hat-trick of the season which Defender Eric Martin followed shortly with a short-handed, unassisted goal, putting Chesapeake in a 10-6 hole halfway through the third quarter.
As the pouring rain started forcing the crowd to take refuge in the dry comforts of INVESCO Field, Denver Midfielder Alex Hopmann extended the lead to five with his first, unassisted goal. Rubeor ended the Outlaws seven-goal scoring streak with his hat-trick goal, before Woodson brought Chesapeake within three, ending the third quarter with an 11-8 Denver lead.
The conditions were crazy and really sloppy,” Reese said. “It’s hard to play our best lacrosse but we followed through and played pretty well.”
Despite the wet conditions and stifling Outlaws defense, Chesapeake Attacker Danny Glading started the fourth quarter scoring with a power-play goal, before a thirty-minute lightning delay stopped play with eight-and-a-half-minutes left.
“This game was awesome,” Reese said. “I wish the weather would have been better but those guys stuck it out and were enthusiastic the whole time.”
Chesapeake cut the lead to one after play resumed off Glading’s second goal but a driving DeLaney found Langtry for his second goal, giving the Outlaws a two-goal cushion with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the fourth. The rain created swamp at INVESCO made scoring difficult and the added pressure of the air-tight Denver defense made it impossible, as Denver held the Chesapeake attack at bay to win the Fourth-of-July spectacle 12-10.