By Thomas Livingston | 6/28/14 10:10 PM
The Charlotte Hounds (4-5) defeated the visiting Boston Cannons (4-5), 15-12 Saturday evening at American Legion Stadium in Charlotte, NC. The two teams are now tied for the fourth and final MLL playoff spot.
Hounds rookie sensation Justin Ward opened the contest’s scoring when he fired a shot over the shoulder of Cannons goalie Jordan Burke on the first man advantage of the evening. Kevin Buchanan, the MLL leading goal scorer, answered for the Cannons just over a minute later with a quick finish from steps inside the arc, assisted by Paul Rabil. The two teams would exchange goals to finish the first quarter tied 3-3.
Throughout the first half, both teams possessed the ball well and enjoyed scoring opportunities, but were unable to convert. Boston’s Will Manny gave the Cannons a 5-3 lead late in the first half, when he scored back-to-back goals, however the Hounds responded with two goals of their own to tie to game at 5-5.
Charlotte head Coach Chris Cerino was pleased with his player’s effort especially dominating the groundball battle, however he realized the missed opportunities.
“We left a lot of goals on the table that half, [Boston] has done a nice job on defense of course,” said Cerino.
The third quarter was all Cannons, as they went on a four-goal run and took a comfortable 9-6 lead. Boston controlled the faceoff X, which translated into extra possessions and quality shots. Combined with undisciplined Charlotte turnovers, the Cannons cruised into the fourth quarter in control of the contest.
But the Hounds roared back. Mike Sawyer ignited the Charlotte offense with a 2-point score, his second of the season, to open the quarter and pulled Charlotte within just one goal of the Cannons. Charlotte continued to score six of the next seven goals, including three scores within just 18 seconds, from Matt Danowski, Geoff Snider, and John Haus, that gave them a commanding 14-10 lead with five minutes to play in the game.
Boston pulled to within three goals, but ran out of time as Hounds Captain Matt Danowski held the ball as the final 40 seconds ticked off the clock to secure the third consecutive Hounds home victory and Charlotte’s first ever win over the Boston Cannons.
-Charlotte Midfielder John Haus was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game. He scored three goals, two of which came during the Hounds 4th quarter comeback.
-Boston’s Kevin Buchanan scored two goals; he is tied with Ohio’s Peter Baum as the MLL scoring leaders, with 26 goals each.
-Boston’s Faceoff Specialist Chris Eck went 16-for-25. He leads the league with the top faceoff percentage.
-The two teams split the season series; Boston won the first meeting, 14-6, on May 17th.