Pat Riley once said, “You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.”
The Boston Cannons (6-4) have missed their chance twice to clinch a playoff spot while still holding onto sole possession of first place. They have no choice but to travel to Denver once again to defend their first place spot and claim a chance at the Steinfeld Cup.
Dropping two games in a row after winning five of six may not seem so bad. That is until you focus in on what the Cannons are trying to accomplish this season. With a very talented team of veterans and contributing rookies, the Boston Cannons are the only inaugural season team that has not won a championship. With an appearance in the playoffs 8 times, including six years in a row from 2001 - 2006, the Cannons were unable to capitalize. This year could be their year, but they must clinch that playoff spot first.
Last weekend Major League Lacrosse witnessed three upsets with Long Island (4-5), Rochester (2-7) and Hamilton (5-4) all winning and holding onto their chances to make the playoffs this season. With a lossThursday night to Long Island, Rochester is out of luck in making the playoffs despite handing Denver two losses in a row. Hamilton sits in a three way tie for second with Chesapeake (5-4) and Denver (5-4) while Long Islandremains a contender.
Boston has exhibited the teamwork needed to win this season. On July 23rd, Hamilton started out hot in the first quarter against the Cannons, keeping Boston off the scoreboard. Despite the early setback, the Cannons scored 8 goals in the second quarter in order to grab the 9-8 lead at half. However, the Nationals were able to accomplish what they set out to do; steal the win from the Cannons. Matt Poskay scored four goals in the loss while Kevin Buchanan stepped up for 4 points including a 2-point goal. Paul Rabil currently leads his team and the league with 39 points this season while Poskay is leading the league with 24 goals.
With two losses on their backs, the Cannons travel to Denver in hopes to keep their first place spot and clinch a playoff berth. In their last meeting, Boston was able to fight back in the second half and win at Invesco Field. In front of a record breaking MLL crowd of 27,184 people on July 3rd, the Cannons were able to comeback after a 7-3 halftime lead by the Outlaws. Denver scored 5 goals in the second quarter including a 2-pointer by Max Seibald. Entering into the third quarter, Boston was able to step up and cut the Outlaws' lead to 2 going into the fourth. After a 2-point goal by Paul Rabil to end the third, Max Quinzani scored two goals back to back in the fourth quarter in order to tie the game at 11. Boston kept the pressure throughout the last minutes of the game in order to score 6 goals to Denver's one and take the win. The 15-12 win gave Boston sole possession of first place in the league, which they have held onto for three weeks.
Denver has suffered two major upsets to the last place team, Rochester. In there last game against the Rattlers, Denver took a quick beating by halftime as Rochester led 9-3. Despite trading goals in the second half, Denver was unable to make up the difference and Rochester took off with the 15-8 win. Drew Westervelt was the sole offensive leader on July 23rd with 4 goals in the loss to the Rattlers.
Brendan Mundorf is still leading the attack for the Outlaws with 31 points this season.
The Boston Cannons travel to face the Denver Outlaws on July 30th in another battle at Mile High Stadium. The game will air live at 9:00 PM EST on ESPN3.com.