Monday, August 27, 2007

MLL Barrage Repeat!

Philadelphia Barrage become the MLL's first ever repeat champion with 16-13 victory over L.A. Riptide

The Philadelphia Barrage capped off the MLL Championship weekend with their second straight MLL Title, and third in four years. Championship game MVP Matt Striebel sniped three in the forth the help the Barrage come from behind and capture the title, 16-13, over the L.A. Riptide.

The team's entered the forth tied up 11-11, after L.A. ended the third with a 3-0 run. The Riptide also started off the forth with a tally, but the Barrage would respond just 47 seconds later, as Striebel went left, then rolled right, firing a side-arm shot to find rope, and tie the game back up at 12-12. The teams exchanged goals and it was tied up again... the seventh tie of the game, making the score 13-13 with under seven minutes to play.

That tie would be broken by Stiebel (pictured right) at the five minute mark. He got inside Downing and dove cross-crease to beat Riptide tender Mickey Jarboe. Then, thanks to an unsportsmanlike call against Gill, Striebel again converted, this time on the man-up opportunity, to give the Philadephia Barrage a two-goal lead with just 2:02 to play. The tally capped Striebel's six point night (3G, 3A) and sealed the deal for the Barrage.

Philly would win the ensuing face and with the Riptide over-extending, Prossner was able to beat the D and cement the victory. The final: 16-13 Philly.

Jarboe struggled in cage for L.A., saving just 10 and allowing 16. Dougherty made 14 saves for Philly, while Keenan finished with one save and six in two games filling in time for Dougherty who played through injury.

Seth Goldberg added four goals for Philly while Roy Colsey, the hero and MVP for the Barrage in the semis, finished with two. Colsey netted four in the semis, including the OT winner, as the Barrage nearily defeated the Denver Outlaws, 13-12, to advance to Sunday's Championship game.

L.A. also got to the the Championship game with a one-goal victory, on a tally that came with just one second to play. The Riptide grabbed a 15-14 victory over John Grant Jr. and the Rochester Rattlers in the other MLL semifinal Saturday. With 12 seconds remaining, Levin carried it up field, fed Powell up top, who quickly found Doyle on the crease. Colin pivoted and fired with one second left to seal it. Clutch.

Grant was named MVP of the MLL, the first time a player's been named Most Valuable Player in both pro league's the same year. But he said: "We didn't win the championship, so this year means nothing to me."... ahh.. we don't know if he means that. Grant is a selfish player who likes his hardware. But he definitely likes to win too. Normally a clutch performer, Jr. had just 1G, 1A in the semi.

Here is your complete 2007 All-MLL team: Attack: Ryan Boyle (Philadelphia), Spencer Ford (Los Angeles), John Grant, Jr. (Rochester). Midfield: Kyle Dixon (Washington), Sean Lindsay (Los Angeles), Matt Striebel (Philadelphia). Defense: Brodie Merrill (Rochester), Brian Spallina (Philadelphia), Kyle Sweeney (Philadelphia). Goalkeeper: Brian Dougherty (Philadelphia). Face-off Specialist: Alex Smith (Rochester)

The MLL final was aired live on ESPN2. Gate attendance was 5,288. Attendance for both the semis neared 7,700. Philly is the MLL's first ever repeat champion, and the league's first three time champion.