Late Run Pushes Hamilton to First Win
from press release
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Midfielder Joe Walters scored four goals and added four assists as the Hamilton Nationals used a late run in the second half to earn their first win of the season, an 18-17 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Charlotte Hounds in front of 6,843 fans at American Legion Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.
Walters, who was named as the Bud Light MLL Player of the Game, tallied five of his eight points in the second half as the Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.
Led by three goals from midfielder Stephen Keogh, the Nationals sprinted out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. After a marker by attackman Jeremy Boltus ended the Nationals' run, Hamilton answered by scoring three consecutive goals in the final four minutes of the opening stanza to extend its advantage to 8-1.
The Hounds responded by scoring the first three goals of the second quarter, including a goal and an assist from Boltus, to trim the deficit to 8-4. Following a goal by attackman Garrett Billings, the Hounds continued its second quarter surge by tallying four straight points, including a two-point goal by attackman Matt Danowski, to cut the margin to 9-8 at the intermission.
After the teams traded goals to open the third quarter, midfielder David Earl ignited a three-goal run by the Nationals by scoring twice, which expanded the lead to 13-9 with 4:22 left in the period. But, the Hounds answered with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker from midfielder Stephen Berger, to close the gap to 13-12.
The Hounds continued their comeback by scoring the first three goals of the fourth quarter to take a 15-13 lead with 10:27 left in regulation.
After the teams traded goals twice to give Charlotte a 17-15 advantage, the Nationals rallied with three goals in the final five minutes to earn the victory. Attackman Kevin Crowley scored off a feed from defenseman Brodie Merrill to close the margin to 17-16 before attackman Casey Powell tallied back-to-back goals in a 64-second span to give Hamilton an 18-17 lead.
While Walters led the Nationals with his eight-point performance, Keogh contributed four goals for Hamilton, which was outshot by a 55-46 margin.
Berger led Charlotte in a losing effort with three goals, including a two-point marker, with two assists while Boltus contributed three goals with two assists.