Lizards offense stalls, season ends with loss to Denver
BOSTON -- The Lizards could not find the goal for the last 26:32 of Saturday's MLL playoff semifinal. It cost them.
The Denver Outlaws scored 10 goals in that time, winning, 13-12, to advance to Sunday's championship.
In the first 33:28, Long Island built up a 12-3 lead, including four goals in the opening 3:28 of the second half. But it did not last.
"The first half we played more as a group," coach Joe Spallina said. "In the second half, both offensively and defensively, when we got out to that lead, we started playing like individuals."
Long Island came into the game a No. 4 seed after an 8-6 season that most observers didn't expect. Spallina was named Coach of the Year, Drew Adams Goalie of the Year and Matt Gibson was Rookie of the Year.
"I don't think many people gave us much of an opportunity at the beginning of the year, and we played with a chip on our shoulder," Adams said. "We had a good season but unfortunately, it didn't end as we hoped."
Ryan Young put the Lizards on the board first, 5:07 into the game, and they allowed the Outlaws only a single goal in each of the first two quarters.
Eight Lizards scored; Stephen Payser, Max Siebald and Kevin Unterstein each had multigoal games. Payser had a hat trick, including one two-point goal.
But after the Lizards' quick onslaught to start the third quarter, the top-seeded Outlaws took over, closing out the quarter with four goals in 3:09 to make it 12-9. Chris Bocklet started the fourth quarter with two more goals, finishing with six in the game, to bring the Outlaws within one.
"We just couldn't get that next goal to stop the bleeding," Spallina said. "This one is going to sting for a while."
With 8:41 left to play, Jeremey Sieverts scored his second goal to give Denver its only lead -- the only one that mattered.