The Boston Cannons won their season opener against the Denver Outlaws on Saturday, 16-13 at Harvard Stadium.
The team submitted an impressive performance considering star midfielder and 2009 MLL MVP Paul Rabil was busy helping the Washington Stealth win the NLL championship game.
In his stead, midfielder Matt Poskay lead his team with four goals and an assist, winning the game MVP honors.
"I was lucky to find some good lanes tonight," Poskay said after the game. "[Rabil returning] is obviously going to help; he's one of the best players in the leauge. It will create some match-up problems for teams down the road and that's going to help some other match ups for guys, finding short sticks [defending them]."
Boston led by as many as five goals in the third quarter, but Denver began to chip away in the fourth. Unlike last year, when the Cannons lost several fourth quarter leads, the team was able to stem the bleeding and hold on for the win.
"You could feel it; guys were looking at the scoreboard and saying, 'oh no, not again,'" Poskay said. "But we calmed down a bit, and we got some stops."
Boston's defense was solid in set six-on-six situations for the majority of the game; the team struggled, however, to slow down Denver's run-and-gun transition offense.
"It's very frustrating, because that was one of the goals we talked about in last night's team meeting," said Cannons head coach Bill Daye. "They're very good in transition, as you saw, but mentally we're not doing the right things. You just can't do that in this league; teams are too good, and they're going to put the ball in the back of the net.
"Six-on-six, we matched up very well with them," Daye continued. "We've got a solid defense and a veteran group; we've got work to do, but I kind of like the way we're going."
Max Siebald led the Outlaws with four goals, including a two-pointer, on seven shots.
Midfielder Justin Smith had three goals for Boston. Cannons goalie Kip Turner saved 14 of 26 shots.
Denver coach Brian Reese was ejected in the third quarter after bumping a referee disputing a call.
National Lacrosse Examiner Kat Hasenauer was also in the house on Saturday: check out her take on the game and the rest of the MLL here.
Click here to check out the team's summary of the game.
Click here for the final box score.