MLL Saturday Results; Playoff Pairings Set

In the first quarter, the Cannons took a quick two-point lead over the Rattlers with goals from Matt Poskay and Mike Stone. Rochester was able to tie up the game at 2 before Rabil scored to end the quarter with Boston leading 4-3.

Rochester fought back in the second quarter as Ned Crotty scored the first goal. Kevin Buchanan, Brian Farrell, Ross and Rabil scored to come back and lead the Rattlers into halftime, 9-7. Rabil's goal in the closing seconds of the quarter marked his fourth two-point goal of the season.

The second half was a battle as Rochester kept within one point going into the final fifteen minutes of play. The Rattlers grabbed the 15-14 lead after a goal from Martin Cahill, but their lead was short as Buchanan, who recently earned MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time, tied it up with only three seconds remaining in the game.

Heading into overtime, Boston was fired up and gained immediate possession of the ball. After a quick time out, Ross found the back of the net to seal the victory.

With a win over Chesapeake in two weeks, Boston will play for the Steinfeld Cup on August 28th at 3:00 PM EST against either the Hamilton Nationals or Denver Outlaws.

In addition to Rabil's award, the team named goalie Jordan Burke team Most Valuable Player, Mitch Belisle Defensive Player of the Year, Brian Farrell Rookie of the Year, and JJ Morrissey was given the 11th Man Award, for his contributions on and off the field.

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Rookie midfielder David Earl scored three goals and added an assist as the Hamilton Nationals (7-5) secured the final berth for the 2011 Sports Authority Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend with a 14-8 victory over the Long Island Lizards (5-7) at James M. Shuart Stadium on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Nationals will make their second playoff appearance in the last three years and will face second-seeded Denver in the second semifinal at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday, August 27 at 3:00 p.m.

Led by a goal and an assist from midfielder Jordan Hall, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening 13 minutes of the first quarter. However, the Lizards trimmed the deficit to 5-2 before Hamilton used goals from Earl and rookie midfielder Kevin Crowley to increase their advantage to 7-2 with 7:35 left in the first half.

After midfielders Stephen Peyser and Stephen Berger scored back-to-back goals in a two-minute span for the Lizards, the Nationals used a pair of goals in the final four minutes to take a 9-4 lead into the intermission.

With three straight goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Nationals upped their lead to 12-4 as attackman Cody Jamieson scored a goal with an assist during the spurt. With 2:53 left in the period, rookie attackman Ryan Young ended the Nationals' five-goal run with an unassisted marker.

After Earl opened the fourth quarter by scoring an unassisted goal, the Lizards trimmed the deficit to 13-8 with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker from attackman Matt Danowski with 6:54 left.

But, defenseman Brodie Merrill sealed the victory by scoring his fourth goal of the season with 5:36 remaining, upping the Nationals' cushion to 14-8.

Earl earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors after recording his third "hat trick" of the season while matching his season high with four points. Meanwhile, Crowley added three goals for the Nationals, who were outshot by a 40-36 margin.

Danowski scored a two-point goal with two assists to lead the Lizards in a losing effort while attackman Tim Goettelmann contributed a pair of goals. Goalkeeper Drew Adams made 11 saves for the Lizards, who ended the regular season by losing their last two games.

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