ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Attackman Brendan Mundorf scored three goals and added two assists as the Denver Outlaws (11-3) secured the top seed for the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior after earning a 15-13 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (10-4) in front of 10,420 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Outlaws, who set a team record by winning their 11th game, will face the Long Island Lizards in the first semi-final on Saturday, August 25 at 1 p.m. at Harvard Stadium. Meanwhile, the Bayhawks claimed the second seed for the postseason and will face the defending MLL champion Boston Cannons in the second semi-final at approximately 4 p.m.
The Bayhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker from midfielder Kyle Dixon. After Mundorf closed the gap to 3-1, the Bayhawks added back-to-back markers from Dixon and attackman Drew Westervelt to increase their advantage to 5-1 with 9:05 left in the period.
Rookie attackman Mark Matthews closed the deficit to 5-2 by scoring off a Mundorf feed before the Bayhawks used a pair of goals from Westervelt and attackman John Grant, Jr. to expand their lead to 7-2 with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.
However, the Outlaws put together an impressive five-goal effort in the second quarter to tie the score at 7-7. Rookie attackman Chris Bocklet scored two goals during the run while Matthews added his second goal of the first half.
The Bayhawks regained their lead with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter when Dixon scored his second two-point goal of the game, giving Chesapeake a 9-7 advantage. Dixon's goal also snapped a 21-minute scoring drought for the Bayhawks.
But, midfielder Peet Poillon tied the game for Denver just over three minutes later when he scored on a two-point goal. After Dixon scored his second goal of the quarter to give Chesapeake a 10-9 edge, the Outlaws took an 11-10 lead on back-to-back goals from Bocklet and Matthews.
The Bayhawks answered with a pair of goals from midfielders Steven Brooks and Ben Hunt to reclaim the one-point advantage at 12-11 with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter before midfielder Justin Pennington evened the score at 12-12 off an assist from attackman Terry Kimener with 35 seconds left.
Led by a goal and an assist from Mundorf, the Outlaws used three straight goals to build a 15-12 advantage in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.
With 6:45 remaining, attackman Ben Rubeor narrowed the gap to 15-13 with an unassisted goal, but the Bayhawks were unable to get any closer.
While Mundorf earned Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors for the Outlaws with his five-point performance, Matthews added three goals with an assist for the Outlaws, who were outshot by a 48-43 margin.
Dixon led the Bayhawks in a losing effort by scoring four goals, including a pair of two-point markers, with an assist. He finished the regular season with an MLL-record 15 two-point goals. Westervelt and Rubeor each scored twice for the Bayhawks.