MLL Notebook: Dallas Extends Winning Streak to Six Games

PHOTO BY JERMAIN RANGASAMMY/PRETTY INSTANT

Dallas Rattlers midfielder Ryan McNamara scored three goals, including two 2-pointers, and added two assists in a seven-point performance Sunday at Chesapeake.


The Dallas Rattlers came into Week 12 as the hottest team in the league, riding a four-game winning streak. A tough weekend was looming, however, with back-to-back road games against the two teams tied for first place.

Tough competition and a tough schedule couldn’t stop the Rattlers, however, as they were victorious in two tightly contested matchups. They defeated the Boston Cannons 13-10 on Saturday, and turned around Sunday to beat the Chesapeake Bayhawks 14-13.

With the two victories and a loss by the Atlanta Blaze, Dallas now sits one game behind Atlanta for the final spot in the playoff chase.

Boston, which defeated Dallas twice during the Rattlers’ season-opening seven-game skid, scored the first two goals of the game. As has become its calling card, however, Dallas responded favorably. The Rattlers scored the next nine goals to take a lead that the Cannons could not completely eliminate, no matter how much they chipped away and closed the gap late in the game.

Sean Sconone, Dallas’ rookie goaltender who has garnered a lot of attention since his debut, made 16 saves.

“They are a much, much more balanced team. Dallas is always well coached with Coach Warder and his staff,” Cannons head coach Sean Quirk said in an interview on Lax Sports Network. “I thought defensively, they played much more consistent and aggressive. Sconone in goal, he was excellent. He made some big saves particularly late in the game. Offensively, they’re starting to gel a little bit more than how they were playing earlier in the season.”

Against the Bayhawks, both teams were playing on consecutive nights. Chesapeake’s win at Atlanta on Saturday bolstered the Rattlers’ postseason hopes. It wasn’t until a goal from Dallas’ Lucas Wittenberg that a team was able to extend its lead to three goals Sunday.

While Sconone only had 11 saves against the Bayhawks, he still caught the eye of Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle..

“I thought their goalie made some big saves in the fourth quarter,” Cottle said in a release on the team’s website.

The two victories extend the Rattlers’ winning streak to six games and is a big turnaround from the seven consecutive losses with which the team opened the season.

“We lost a lot of guys last year. Coming back, it was a process to get everyone on the same page,” Rattlers midfielder Ryan McNamara said in a postgame interview with Lacrosse Talk Radio Mid-Atlantic. “It took seven games, I guess, starting off 0-7, and now, we’re all on the same page. We’re playing together. We do everything together. It’s a great team vibe, and we’re playing well.”

Grant Sets Another Record, Pulls Denver Out of Slump

July is a month of celebration for the Outlaws, who get to enjoy a huge game on Independence Day.

August, however, was not so kind to Denver. After losing the last game of July right before the All-Star Game, Denver lost its first three games of August and carried a four-game losing streak into Week 12.

A banner night for John Grant Jr., however, helped the Outlaws end their slump and ensure that Denver did not go oh-for-August.

Grant tallied a season-high seven points on two goals and five assists to lead the Outlaws past the Lizards 16-13 on Saturday.

While Grant broke the league’s scoring record for regular season and postseason combined back in Week 3, he passed Paul Rabil for the top spot on the league’s all-time regular season points total with 571.

“We needed a win,” Grant said in a televised postgame interview on Stadium. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to play or for how long, but our team worked extremely hard in practice today and last night, and I had to coach because I just didn’t think I had anything to give them other than the 60 minutes tonight. It was a good hard-fought win. We needed that. It’s been a long kind of month, but we have a lot more work to do.”

Grant may not have known how effective he was going to be against the Lizards. Six of his seven points came in the first half, prompting New York head coach BJ O’Hara — who coached Grant for many seasons with the Rochester Rattlers and Denver Outlaws — to wish the two were back together.

“I think it’s past his bedtime. I think he should go home and go to bed,” O’Hara joked in a televised sideline interview at the start of the second half. “I love him. I love his game. I wish he was on our team.”







Noteworthy

Dallas rookie Bradley Voigt scored three goals against the Boston Cannons. … Jack Curran had two hat tricks this weekend, scoring three goals and adding one assist against the Cannons and scoring another three goals against the Bayhawks. … Noah Rak had a strong weekend facing off for the Rattlers, going 14-for-26 with 10 ground balls against the Cannons and then 18-for-28 with 11 ground balls against Chesapeake. …

The Boston Cannons were led by midfielder Kyle Denhoff, who scored three goals, including a 2-pointer. … Rookie all-star Justin Pugal caused three turnovers for the Cannons. … Mark Cockerton and Connor O’Hara each scored two goals for Boston. …

Chesapeake defenseman Warren Jeffrey held Atlanta’s Randy Staats without a goal in the latter’s return from an injury. … Chesapeake attackman Steele Stanwick had five points in back-to-back nights, scoring two goals and adding three assists in the Bayhawks’ 16-13 victory over Atlanta and adding one goal and four assists against Dallas. … Against Atlanta, Matt Abbott scored two goals, added an assist, and picked up three ground balls, giving him 400 for his career. … Lyle Thompson scored two goals in each of Chesapeake’s games in Week 12. …

Despite not scoring, Randy Staats did lead Atlanta with four assists. … Shayne Jackson and Tommy Palasek each scored three goals for the Blaze while Brendan Sunday, Christian Mazzone, and Mark Matthews each scored two goals. …

Mikie Schlosser returned from injury and scored two goals for the Outlaws. … Ryan Lee and Chris Aslanian each tallied five points on three goals and two assists apiece. … Max Adler had another impressive night, winning 20 of 31 faceoffs and picking up 11 ground balls. … Eli Gobrecht caused three turnovers and picked up two ground balls. …

Dylan Molloy led the Lizards with six points on four goals and two assists. Rookie Brandan Kearns also scored four goals for New York. … Rob Pannell was limited to one goal and one assist. … New York goalie Austin Kaut made 14 saves.

Player of the Week
Ryan McNamara, M, Dallas Rattlers

McNamara’s two-goal performance against the Boston Cannons Saturday night was nice, but it was his play against the Chesapeake Bayhawks Sunday night that made him stand out. He scored three goals, including two 2-pointers, to go along with two assists for a total of seven points.

McNamara’s first goal tied the game at 8 in the third quarter, and his second 2-pointer broke an 11-11 tie in the fourth quarter and helped propel Dallas to an undefeated weekend.

“Honestly, the first one, I wasn’t even thinking of it. It just kind of happened,” McNamara said in an interview with Lacrosse Talk Radio Mid-Atlantic. “When you don’t really have any risk, you’re going to get the ball right back because of a penalty. It’s nice to pull up and get the ball right back if you miss it.”

Play of the Week
Mark Matthews, A, Atlanta Blaze

Although it came in a loss, Mark Matthews proved why Atlanta Blaze general manager Spencer Ford was so excited to sign him from the player pool. On this one-handed goal, Matthews was able to maintain possession of the ball despite a big hit and being double-teamed, shooting one-handed across his body. The Blaze tweeted this play out three different times, along with shares from Lax Sports Network, Warrior and Major League Lacrosse.

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