CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Attackman Matt Danowski scored two of his three goals in the first half as the Charlotte Hounds ended their inaugural season with a 15-14 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Rochester Rattlers in front of 6,034 fans at American Legion Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.
Led by Danowski, the Hounds built a 13-7 first half lead and held off the Rattlers to earn a victory in their season finale. In addition, the Rattlers were eliminated from postseason consideration with the loss.
After Rochester built a 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of the opening period, the Hounds responded by scoring four consecutive goals, including a two-point marker from Danowski, to take a 5-3 advantage with 2:01 remaining in the stanza.
With 1:20 remaining in the first quarter, rookie Kevin Drew tallied a two-point goal for the Rattlers, tying the game at 5-5 before rookie Rob Rotanz gave Rochester a 6-5 edge just over two minutes into the second quarter.
The teams traded goals before Charlotte ended the first half by going on a seven-point run to build a 13-7 advantage at the intermission. Danowski and defenseman Ricky Pages each scored a two-point goal during the run while attackman Billy Bitter added a goal with an assist.
Trailing by six points, the Rattlers began to make a comeback in the third quarter by scoring three of the next four goals, including a pair of Rotanz markers, to narrow the margin to 14-11.
Just under four minutes into the fourth quarter, midfielder Matt Striebel added a two-point goal for the Rattlers to close the gap to 14-13. The teams traded goals later in the period, but the Rattlers were unable to get any closer.
Danowski earned Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors after leading Charlotte with his five-point performance while attackman Eric Lusby added three goals for the Hounds, who were outshot by a 43-42 margin.
Rotanz led Rochester in a losing effort with four goals and an assist while midfielder Roy Lang added three goals.