The Rochester Rattlers (6-3) defeated the Denver Outlaws (7-2) 19-14 Sunday afternoon at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, NY. It was an impressive and deserving win for Rochester against the number one team in the league.
The question before this afternoon's game was simple: would the Rattlers be able to hang with the elite Denver Outlaws? The answer is yes. The Rattlers have become a team to beat in the MLL.
The Outlaws found the net first, when midfielder Jeremy Sieverts beat Joel White and shot it past goalie John Galloway. The Rattlers, however, dominated for the remainder of the game. Dave Lawson scored two consecutive goals early on. With a feed from Jordan MacIntosh, rookie Miles Thompson flew toward the cage and netted his first shot on goal. Justin Turri, leading scorer for the Rattlers, kept the momentum with a spin move against Justin Pennington and dove across the net to make it 4-1.
Eric Law fired a shot past Galloway, but stepped into the crease before the ball found the net. His goal did not count for the Outlaws.
Just over ten minutes into the game, sensational Rattlers rookie, Jordan Wolf, used his remarkable speed to defeat the Outlaws defense. He ended the quarter scoring the fifth goal for Rochester.
The Outlaws started to show some life in the second quarter, but they couldn't outshine the Rattlers efficiency. Cockerton and Lawson both found the net, giving the Rattlers a 7-goal streak.
Eric Law, finally able to break that momentum, tallied one for Denver. Cockerton answered during a man up advantage for Rochester. MacIntosh followed suit and beat Lee Zink, firing it past goalie Jesse Schwartzman.
Denver Drew Snider answered with his 15th goal of the season. Law scored his second goal of the day with a feed from Sieverts.
Denver was showing a bit of fire, but Rochester refused to back down. Wolf was able to execute with a tough angle on Schwartzman and scored his second of the day. Cockerton wrapped up the quarter and notched a first half hat trick. The Rochester rookies looked powerful and restless, proving their worth against the toughest team in the MLL.
White seemed to walk right through the Denver defense to score for Rochester 14 seconds into the second half. Dickson answered for the Outlaws tallying his first goal of the day.
A minute later, Turri shot low to make it past Schwartzman. The Big Bad Wolf scored his third goal of the day at the 3:17 mark. At this point, Charlie Cirpriano replaced Schwartzman in net, which seemed to give a push to the struggling Outlaws.
Denver scored two consecutive goals from Law and Snider. Lawson answered for Rochester on the power play with his fourth goal of the game. Denver came storming back and scored two goals, a two pointer from Sieverts and hat trick for Snider. The third quarter ended 15-10 with the Denver Outlaws attempting to crawl their way back from an unexpected deficit.
The fourth quarter displayed back and forth efforts from both teams. The Denver Outlaws tried to even out the score, but the Rattlers were relentless. Former UVA star, Mark Cockerton earned a hat trick in the fourth quarter (six goals total), earning himself Coca-Cola Player of the Game. John Grant Jr., Snider, and Dickson each tallied a goal for Denver but it wasn't enough to come out on top. MacIntosh scored what was expected to be the last goal of the afternoon. With four seconds left in the game, Grant tallied one more for Denver leaving the final score 19-14.
The Rochester Rattlers have displayed tremendous improvement since their 2013 season. The firepower draft picks this year combined with experienced players such as Lawson and Galloway will make this team a serious threat going into the playoffs.
Jesse Schwartzman's out-of-character performance made it difficult for the Denver Outlaws to match up with the Rattlers this afternoon. However, due to their outstanding performance overall this season, the Outlaws remain at the top of league standings.
Next week, you can watch the Denver Outlaws take on the Boston Cannons at home Friday, July 4th at 9:00 PM, on CBS Sports Network. The Rochester Rattlers will travel to North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday, July 5 at 7:00 PM.
- Rookie Mark Cockerton had a career high of six goals against the Outlaws earning Coca-Cola Player of the Game.
- Five players earned hat tricks today. For Rochester: Mark Cockerton (6), Dave Lawson (4), and Jordan Wolf (3). For Denver: Eric Law (3) and Drew Snider (4).
- Denver Jeremy Sieverts continues to lead the league in 2-point goals with six total.