7/23/11 6:00 PM
(Boston, July 23)... The Hamilton Nationals roared back in the second half with eight goals to defeat the first-place Boston Cannons 16-12 at Harvard Stadium tonight. Unheralded defensive midfielder Donny Moss netted his third professional goal and first game winner to help the Nats move into a three-way tie for second (5-4).
Brett Bucktooth opened the game with back-to-back goals as part of a season-high five-point night. In his first marker, he grabbed the rebound and dove from behind the right-side of the net and tucked it in at 5:17. Bucktooth made it 2-0 on a pretty inside feed from Joe Walters at 7:14.
“The first one kind of bounced my way and I just dunked it in a half-open net,” said Bucktooth. “I didn’t really do anything great out there. Our middies did a good job finding the open man and I was fortunate enough to be open in transition. It’s just my job to bury them.”
Hamilton made it 3-0 with 10 seconds to play in the first with as man-up goal by Jeremy Boltus. Scott Rodgers stopped Boston’s Max Quinzani with two seconds to play in the quarter. Rodgers was named the Game MVP with 20 saves and limited Boston to three goals in three quarters.
Boston’s high-powered offense got to Rodgers only in the second quarter, scoring nine points. But it wasn’t Paul Rabil (2+0), Ryan Boyle (1+2) and Matt Poskay (4+0) leading the charge, but Kevin Buchanan (3+1+0). The Boston midfielder scored twice with the first getting his team started on a 5-0 run. His next strike opened up a one-goal game as he hit from two-point range. Before the Boston goal, Bucktooth connected from 10 yards out to make it 6-5.
Hamilton continued to hang tough as Jamieson and Geoff Snider scored goals just 21 seconds apart to trim the deficit to 8-7. Rabil and Hamilton’s Matt Dolente traded milestone goals nine seconds apart for a 9-8 Cannons lead at the break. For Rabil it was his 100th professional goal and for Dolente it was his first pro goal.
In the third quarter, it Hamilton’s turn for a 5-0 run. The Nats’ Jordan Hall opened the comeback as he drove to the cage and beat Jordan Burke with a bounce shot to tie the game at nine at 2:34. Bucktooth then ripped it past Burke in transition to help Hamilton regain the lead 10-9. It was Bucktooth’s fourth of the game. Hamilton pulled in the lead by three on Jamieson’s third of the night and David Earl’s first for a 12-9 advantage. Poskay ended the quarter with his third and fourth goals of the game to narrow the deficit to 12-11. Yet, Moss ripped a long-range goal in for a 13-11 Hamilton lead after three.
“My guys have faith in me and I have a pretty hard shot. Brodie (Merrill) passed me the ball and no one slid to me because I am a D-middie. I just let it rip,” said Moss.
Merrill had a strong night as well, leading the way with 13 ground balls to become only the second player in Major League Lacrosse history to reach the 500 mark. He also chipped in two assists and was all over field, while limiting the league’s top scorer, Paul Rabil, to two goals.
In the fourth, Buchanan opened another quarter with a goal to bring it to 13-12 Hamilton at 24 seconds. Joe Walters (2+2) then took over with two late goals to give the Nationals a 15-12 lead. He netted his last goal with 1:04 to play. Bucktooth finished off a five-goal night with an empty netter.
Next weekend, the Nationals stay on the road as they travel to play the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday, July 30th at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.