Saturday, August 24, 2013

Outlaws Season Ends with 17-14 Loss

PHILADELPHIA — It had been 364 days since the Outlaws lost a game, but that streak came to an end with a 17-14 defeat to Charlotte in the MLL Semifinals on Saturday.

After Denver scored the game’s opening goal, the Hounds went on an 11-2 run to jump out to a lead that the Outlaws could not recover from. Charlotte won 15-of-20 faceoffs in the first half and turned those possessions into the most goals that the Outlaws allowed in a first half all year.

“We didn’t play well," Head Coach Jim Stagnitta said. "It was a bad day not to play well. We started out tentative, we made every mistake you could possibly make, in the first half, everywhere from shot selection, to substitutions, to just basic fundamental mistakes and we dug ourselves a hole against a pretty powerful team.”

Attackman Eric Law was a bright spot for Denver in the first half as the rookie netted six of the team’s seven goals in the opening half.

“It’s tough. It’s the wrong time of the season to be on the losing end of one. We had a great regular season, but we just got outplayed today. That’s all there is too it.”

The Outlaws closed the half with back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to 13-7 at the break – just the second time the club trailed at the intermission all year.

Denver got back in the game after outscoring Charlotte 3-1 in the third quarter. After Brendan Mundorf netted his first of the game, Law found the back of the net for his seventh goal of the game.

The final goal of the frame turned momentum back to the Outlaws when goalie Jesse Schwartzman took the ball off a restart with :04 on the clock and lobbed a bomb down the field to Zach Greer. Greer jumped up to grab the pass and dumped it in the back of the net to make the score Charlotte 14, Denver 10 entering the final frame.

Denver started the fourth quarter with Eric Law’s MLL postseason-record eighth goal of the game that made it a 6-1 run for the Outlaws dating back to the end of the first half.

“We played better in the second half, but still didn’t play with the patience and take advantage of the opportunities we needed to, to win the game," Stagnitta said. "I give them a lot of credit, they played with a lot of energy and excitement. It just wasn’t out day.”

The Hounds stopped the scoring streak with a 3-0 run of their own that put the game out of reach. Mundorf netted his second of the contest with 2:50 to play and then Law scored his ninth of the game with 1:06 left on the clock.

Law’s nine goals set a MLL postseason record and tied the league mark for any game, as well as established Outlaws records in both categories.

“Right spot, right time,” Law said of the goals. “I was beneficial of guys’ great plays around me. A lot of credit goes to the other guys. ”

His output wasn’t enough however, as Charlotte closed the game with a save off a two-point attempt and ran the clock down to zeros to emerge with the upset victory.

“It doesn’t mean a lot with the loss,” Law said of his record-setting performance. “I’d rather have the win. We’ll get back to work and be ready to go next year.”

Watch Law's postgame interview below:

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