Sunday’s victory — a 13-7 win, which was highlighted by Lyle Thompson (four goals) and Andrew Kew (four goals) — took place at Gillette Stadium and was a part of the PLL’s opening weekend for its third season.
In addition to Thompson and Kew, the Cannons received two goals from Paul Rabil while Nick Marrocco earned his first win between the pipes with 11 saves.
The Cannons LC led the Waterdogs by four goals (5-1) after one quarter before securing a 9-2 advantage at halftime. The Waterdogs would outscore the Cannons, 5-4, during the final two sessions, but it was not enough to erase a seven-goal deficit at the break.
The city of Boston had something to celebrate on Sunday when the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) captured its second championship in franchise history by defeating the Denver Outlaws, 13-10.
Sunday’s game between Boston and Denver occurred at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, which was the home site for the 2020 MLL season.
The Cannons’ three-goal win over the Outlaws was highlighted by John Uppgren (five goals, one assist), who guided Tufts University to a pair of NCAA Championships in 2014 and 2015.
Mark Cockerton contributed three goals and one assist while Bryce Wasserman, Ben Spencer, and Challen Rogers each recorded two points (one goal and one assist), respectively.
Duxbury native Nick Marrocco, who played college lacrosse at Georgetown University, ended Sunday’s championship match with 10 saves.
The championship win was the first for coach Sean Quirk, who was hired to lead the Cannons on October 8, 2015. Quirk became the Cannons’ sixth head coach after guiding the Endicott College men’s lacrosse program for 17 seasons.
“We’ve certainly been watching him closely,” Quirk added.
Considered one of the best face-off specialist in the collegiate game, Baptiste enters his team’s second-to-last weekend second in NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse history in face-off wins (1,076) and ground balls (594). He needs 41 face-off wins to match Kevin Massa (Bryant University), who currently holds the record of 1,117 face-off wins. Massa also holds the record for ground balls in a career with 753.
This season, Baptiste has won 197 of 254 face-offs, while scooping a team-high 113 ground balls.
In addition to Baptiste, Boston also selected Will Sands (Bucknell University), Tom Kennedy (Bryan University), Kevin McGeary (University of Pennsylvania) and Anthony Johnson (Bryant University).
All five selections will certainly be counted on when they join the Cannons later this season – Boston officially begins it 2018 campaign this Saturday, April 21st when they visit the Charlotte Hounds. Face-off between the Cannons and Hounds is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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Coach Sean Quirk said on Monday that the Boston Cannons’ focus for the 2018 season is to compete for a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) championship.
Boston hasn’t won a MLL crown since defeating the Hamilton Nationals in 2011 (the Cannons scored a 10-9 win in Annapolis, Maryland), but Quirk and his team seem optimistic about accomplishing their goal this upcoming season.
“Our number one focus, challenge and goal going into (a new) season is to compete for a MLL championship, “said Quirk during Monday’s Boston Cannons Media Day.
“It is certainly a realistic goal (and) one that we know our staff and players believe they can achieve.”
For Boston to achieve its preseason goal of winning its first MLL crown since 2011, they will need to get off to a strong start. Boston is one of nine teams that competes in the MLL, so early season wins are critical for any squad in the league that hopes to compete for a title in late August.
“It’s critical,” Quirk said of getting off to a good start.
“In any sport (or) any league, but particularly in the MLL because there are nine teams (in the league and) four make the playoffs, so those early games before teams start to get their NLL (National Lacrosse League) guys and their draft pick guys are critical, so those early season wins are important just like any game throughout the season.”
Last season, Boston secured an opening day win over the Florida Launch, but struggled over the next few weeks, dropping close games to the Atlanta Blaze, Chesapeake Bayhawks and Rochester Rattlers (now the Dallas Rattlers) before returning to the win column in its fifth game against the New York Lizards.
Boston did defeat the Denver Outlaws a few weeks after its second win over New York, but never returned to the win column afterward – the squad would drop its final five contests, including a 21-9 setback to Rochester in mid-July.
An opening day win next month against the Charlotte Hounds would certainly be a great way for the Cannons to start a new campaign.
Boston recently began preparations for its upcoming season last weekend at Endicott College, but will reconvene in a few weeks for two more practices before heading to Charlotte on Saturday, April 21st.
“We certainly feel really good going into any new season, but I think that training camp from this past weekend showed that we have a lot of pieces there to certainly compete for a championship and keep getting better,” said Quirk.
Following the team’s opener against the Hounds, the Cannons will visit Atlanta on Saturday, April 28th before welcoming Dallas to Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 5th.
After finishing last season in a seven-way tie for first place, the Boston Cannons, who did not qualify for the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) postseason due to tie-breakers, will attempt to earn a spot in this summer’s postseason as they begin their 2017 campaign this Sunday, April 23rd when they visit the Florida Launch.
Boston, which recently concluded its two-week training camp, will be led by captains Will Manny, Max Seibald, Josh Hawkins and Justin Turri. Manny led all players last season in points (50), while Hawkins enjoyed his best season as pro with a career-best 11 goals and 14 points.
All four will certainly be counted on this Sunday when the Cannons take on a squad they defeated last year in their season finale at Harvard Stadium.
Boston and Florida have met three times in the past two seasons with the Cannons claiming all three contests.
Last season, the Cannons overcame a three-goal deficit at the break to defeat the Launch, 11-10. The win bumped Boston’s record to 8-6 overall, however, due to other outcomes that particular day, the Cannons were eliminated from the 2016 MLL playoffs.
In addition to the team’s four captains, Boston will lean heavily on veterans Mitch Belisle, Kevin Buchanan and Brodie Merrill, along with last season’s NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis. Additionally, look for the 2016 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Rob Haus to step-up this season, too.
Florida, which finished its 2016 slate 3-8 overall, will look to bounce back this season. They will be led by Kieran McArdleand Connor Buczek.
The Launch should also receive a boost this season from Jason Crane, who was acquired earlier this week, according to the team’s website. Crane, who competed for the Chesapeake Bayhawks, could certainly be an important leader for the team’s backline.