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The Boston-New York rivalry is alive and well in Major League Lacrosse, and both teams will come out firing this weekend to open the 2013 season. The Cannons look to bounce back from going 0-2 against the Lizards last season.
In the first meeting with the Lizards last season on June 9, the Cannons fought a long and hard battle in Boston. Quick goals by Brian Farrell and Matt Poskay pushed the Cannons ahead in front of a franchise attendance record of
11,894 at Harvard Stadium.
The teams continued going goal-for-goal and by the end of the first half, the Cannons took the lead, 8-7, with two goals by Brad Ross and one each by Poskay and Kevin Buchanan. The second half was an intense battle back and forth as Mike Stone and Paul Rabil continued the Cannons' scoring spree. Ultimately, it was not enough as the Lizard went on a 5-0 run to close out the game by a score of 13-10, and send the Cannons to a season record of 4-2.
The Cannons and the Lizards met for a second time on July 14 in Long Island. Poskay completed a hat trick in the first quarter to once again push the Cannons to an early lead. Buchanan and rookie Chris Boland finished off the quarter with one goal apiece to make the score 5-1 in favor of the Cannons. In the second quarter, Stone added a goal after the Lizards scored three to maintain the lead for the Cannons, 6-4. Unfortunately, this was not enough as the Lizards dominated the second half, outscoring the Cannons 10-5 in the third and fourth quarters. Poskay ended the day with five goals in the Cannons' 14-11 loss to the Lizards.
Both the Cannons and Lizards were knocked out in the semi-finals at MLL Championship Weekend by the Bayhawks and Outlaws, respectively.
Coach Duffy points to the additions the Lizards made in the off-season as a point of strength for the team. Perhaps most notably, Jack Reid will lead the Lizards defense in a tough game against his former teammates.
"They're always tough, especially at home," Duffy said. "We're looking forward to getting the season started with a win in New York."
New & Notes
Disappointing Finale at Harvard: Seeking a second consecutive MLL Championship at Harvard Stadium last August, the third-seeded Cannons (9-5) were knocked out in the semi-final round by the #1 Chesapeake Bayhawks, 15-10. The Bayhawks went on to defeat the Denver Outlaws to win their fourth Steinfeld Trophy.
Cannons Sweep League Scoring Titles: 2012 MLL Offensive Player of the Year Paul Rabil led the league with 72 points, setting the MLL single-season record. The Cannons all-time leader in goals, Matt Poskay, again paced the league in 2012 with 38. Finally, Ryan Boyle finished with a career-high 39 assists, more than enough to break the all-time assists record previously held by Conor Gill with 211. Boyle currently has 236.
Boyle Approaching All-Time Points Record: In addition to holding the assists title, Boyle’s 395 career points are four shy of the all-time record of 399 held by Casey Powell. Boyle’s fifth point of 2013 will break the record and make him the only member of the 400-point club.
2012 Weekly Awards: The following Cannons were recognized for outstanding play:
· Weeks 1 & 7: Jordan Burke, Defensive Player of the Week
· Week 12: Ryan Boyle, Offensive Player of the Week
· Week 13: Paul Rabil, Offensive Player of the Week
2012 vs Lizards: The Cannons lost both games to the Lizards last season. On June 9th at Harvard Stadium, the Cannons took an 8-7 lead into halftime but the Lizards closed out the game with a 5-0 run to take the 13-10 victory. In Long Island on July 14, Matt Poskay’s five goals were not enough as the Lizards again dominating the second half for the win, 14-11.
Rabil Climbing Cannons Scoring Chart: With his first goal of the 2013 season, Rabil will claim second place on the Cannons all-time goals list; he is currently tied with Dave Evans at 133. Matt Poskay tops the list with 208.
Early Season Roster Notes: With five veterans on the NLL Inactive List while they compete in the indoor playoffs - Mitch Belisle, Kevin Buchanan, Pat Heim, Paul Rabil and Kyle Sweeney - the active roster includes several new players, including Martin Bowes (Hartford '12, midfield), Tom Celentani (UMass '12, defense), Malcolm Chase (Whittier '01, defense), Kevin DeBenedetto (Saint Anselm, '10, defense), and JJ Gilbane (Cornell '12, midfield). Trade additions include Brent Adams, acquired from the Chesapeake Bayhawks for a fifth round pick in the 2014 Collegiate Draft; Colin Briggs, acquired from the Charlotte Hounds for a second round pick in the 2014 Collegiate Draft; and Tim Kaiser, acquired today from the New York Lizards for a third round pick in the 2014 Supplemental Draft.