MLL Saturday Results; Playoff Pairings Set

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Attackman Brendan Mundorf scored five goals and dished off three assists to lead the Denver Outlaws to a convincing 15-9 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday night in front of 8,517 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Mundorf, a sixth-year professional and four-time Major League Lacrosse All-Star, was the catalyst of a balanced offense that was clicking on all cylinders. The former UMBC standout was named Bud Light Most Valuable Player of the Game.

Chesapeake was without its top defenseman as two-time All-Star Mike Evans sat out with a hamstring injury. That forced the Bayhawks to move Dan Hostetler from long stick midfield to close defense, where he joined fellow first-year player Bray Malphrus a Virginia product who made his MLL debut last weekend.

"We had three rookies on defense tonight and I think they got a bit rattled in that first half," Chesapeake head coach Brendan Kelly said. "I was really proud of the way they settled down in the second half and gave up just three goals. I thought Barney Ehrmann, Dan Hostetler and Bray Malphrus showed a lot of character tonight."

Midfielder Peet Poillon and attackman Billy Bitter both totaled two goals and an assist for Denver (7-5), which clinched the second seed for MLL Championship Weekend. Attackman Drew Westervelt scored two goals for the Outlaws, who displayed tremendous accuracy by putting 34 of their 47 shots on cage.

"We wanted to play up-tempo like we did so well last weekend. We just had some unlucky breaks in the first half and once they got on a roll it was hard to stop the bleeding," Chesapeake short stick defensive midfielder Steve DeNapoli said. "We regrouped at halftime and played a lot better in the second half."

Attackman Danny Glading netted three goals to pace Chesapeake, which went almost 31 minutes without scoring. Goalie Brian Phipps went the distance with 19 saves for the Bayhawks, who closed the regular season with a 6-6 record and will be the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

Mundorf opened the game with an unassisted goal after beating his defender one-on-one to the front of the net. Midfielder Kyle Dixon answered for Chesapeake with a hard overhand shot that tied the score 1-1.

Denver took over from there, scoring 12 unanswered goals to grab a commanding 13-1 lead with 45 seconds elapsed in the third quarter. Mundorf had seven of his points in the first half for the Outlaws, who outscored the Bayhawks 8-0 in the second quarter.

"We're just not running enough. Tonight, we played too much settled offense and didn't get many transitions goals," Kelly said.

Chesapeake came alive in the second half as Dixon cranked in a 2-point goal to highlight a 6-0 run that cut the deficit to 14-8 with 8:52 remaining in the fourth quarter. Glading scored two goals during the rally, which came against backup goalie Adam Ghitelman a rookie out of Virginia.

"Our guys never quit. They showed some heart by coming back and making a ballgame," Kelly said.

Denver starting goalie Jesse Schwartzman made seven saves and allowed just one goal in the first half, but got the rest of the night off. Chesapeake could have made things closer by taking advantage of numerous penalties, but went 0 for 7 on the power play.

Alex Smith captured 16 of 26 face-offs for Chesapeake, which will take on top-seeded Boston (9-3) in the first semifinal at noon on Saturday, August 27 in Annapolis. Denver will meet third-seeded Hamilton (7-5) in the second semifinal (3:00 p.m.) with the winners playing for the Steinfeld Trophy on Sunday.

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