For the second straight week, the Lizards faced the Denver Outlaws, but while the opponent was the same, the location was different, the stakes were higher, and the result was more disappointing.
Jeremy Sieverts scored the winning goal with 1:16 left in the fourth quarter to lead No. 2 Denver past the No. 3 Lizards, 14-13, Saturday in a semifinal of the Major League Lacrosse playoffs at Denver University's Barton Stadium. The Outlaws, who lost to the Lizards in last week's regular season finale, will play Rochester for the MLL Championship on Aug. 23 in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Tommy Palasek scored to give the Lizards a 13-12 lead 4:15 into the fourth, before Denver's Drew Snider equalized just over a minute later. Eight scoreless minutes followed, after which John Grant found an unmarked Sieverts just outside the crease, who converted to put Denver ahead.
Grant, the league's all-time leading scorer, had four goals and three assists, both game-highs.
Denver (10-5) started the game with a 4-1 run, but during the second and third quarters, the teams alternated on three separate 3-1 runs. The Outlaws led 7-5 in the second quarter before the Lizards tied it at 8 heading into halftime. The Outlaws then led 11-9 in the third before the Lizards scored three unanswered goals to take its first lead of the game at 12-11. Denver's Chris Bocklet equalized with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.
Drew Adams made 13 saves, Palasek scored three goals and Rob Pannell added two goals and an assist for the Lizards (9-6).
Inaccurate shooting was a problem for the visitors, although the Lizards were able to take 46 shots, only half were on target (the league average shot-on-goal rate is 62 percent).
Bocklet finished with three goals and an assist and Sieverts had two goals and an assist for the Outlaws.