Rattlers, Outlaws advance to final
Semifinals each decided by a goal
In advancing to today's Major League Lacrosse championship match, the Rochester Rattlers and Denver Outlaws both showed a flair for winning in an exciting manner.
Casey Powell's goal 45 seconds into overtime gave the Rattlers a 16-15 victory over the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Barrage in yesterday's early semifinal at Harvard Stadium.
In the second match at the same venue, Jeff Sonke scored the final four goals for the Outlaws, including a 2-pointer with 3:37 remaining, to lift Denver to a 13-12 victory over the Los Angeles Riptide.
Top-seeded Rochester's victory in the opener was the franchise's first postseason victory in five tries, while fourth-seeded Philadelphia lost for the first time in six playoff games.
Joe Walters had a team-high four goals and three assists for the Rattlers (10-3), while Colin Doyle scored twice and added two assists.
Roy Colsey led Philadelphia (7-6) in a losing effort, scoring three goals with three assists.
Ryan Boyle added two goals and three assists while goalkeeper Brian Dougherty made 16 saves.
In second-seeded Denver's victory, which put the Outlaws (9-4) in the title game for the second time in three years, Sonke wasn't the only standout.
Ryan Powell, who will be facing his brother Casey in the final, added three goals and an assist, and goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman made 15 saves, including 11 in the first half.
Rookie Kevin Huntley was a bright spot for the third-seeded Riptide (7-6), scoring three goals, including a 2-point marker to start the fourth quarter. Chazz Woodson contributed a pair of goals and an assist.
The Rattlers and Outlaws have met just once in the regular season and never in the postseason. Last season, Rochester defeated Denver, 27-26, at Invesco Field.
Today's final, also at Harvard Stadium, begins at 1 p.m.