DELAWARE, Ohio - Attackman Ryan Boyle scored two goals and added a game-high four assists as the defending Major League Lacrosse champion Boston Cannons overcame a two-point half-time deficit to earn an 18-16 victory over the Ohio Machine at Selby Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the win, the Cannons secured the third seed in the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior and will face the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the second semi-final at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, August 25 at approximately 4 p.m.
After the teams traded goals three times in the first 12 minutes of the game, the Cannons used back-to-back goals from attackman Matt Poskay and midfielder Mike Stone to claim a 5-4 lead just 35 seconds into the second quarter.
Rookie attackman Joe Cummings tied the game at 5-5 with an unassisted goal just under a minute later before the Cannons answered with three straight goals over a three-minute span to extend the advantage to 8-5.
The teams exchanged goals before the Machine put together a six-goal run to take a 13-9 lead with 8:02 remaining in the third quarter. Cummings and rookie attackman Steele Stanwick each scored twice during the run.
However, the Cannons answered by scoring six of the next seven goals to take a 16-14 lead with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter. Attackman Kevin Buchanan scored twice during the run while Boyle added a goal with an assist.
The Machine responded with back-to-back goals from attackmen Connor Martin and Jim Connolly to tie the game at 16-16, but Buchanan and Poskay tallied back-to-back goals to give Boston a two-point advantage it did not relinquish.
While Boyle led the Cannons with his six-point performance, Poskay added three goals with an assist. Buchanan and Stone each contributed three goals while midfielder John Ortolani won 22 of 36 face-offs with 10 ground balls.
Connolly and Cummings each scored three goals in a losing effort for Ohio while Martin contributed two goals with an assist.