Not much went right for the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday, either offensively or defensively.
The end result was a 19-13 defeat at the hands of the Boston Cannons at Memorial Stadium, the Hounds’ fourth straight loss in a Major League Lacrosse game.
A seven-point run in the second quarter essentially put the win away for the Cannons (3-3), who won their second straight behind five goals from Will Manny and four from Kevin Buchanan.
“It really didn’t go right tonight,” Charlotte coach Mike Cerino said. “We really struggled in our transition defense. This was probably the toughest outing we’ve had, no doubt.”
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The Hounds (1-5) actually had some advantages in Saturday’s game – they outshot the Cannons 42-27, and Brendan Fowler was 20 of 34 on faceoffs.
But that was more than offset by Boston’s offense, which scored on 8 of 10 shots (including a pair of 2-point goals) in the first half against Charlotte goalkeeper Pierce Bassett. Backup Jack Runkel made eight saves in the second half.
The Cannons’ defense also did their part, with goalkeeper Jordan Burke making 29 saves – the third consecutive game an opposing keeper has made 20-plus saves against the Hounds.
Yet there were some bright sports for Charlotte – namely, rookie attacker Joey Sankey and newly-acquired attacker Kevin Cunningham.
Sankey, making his first MLL start after finishing his collegiate career at North Carolina, had five goals and three assists for the Hounds. Cunningham, picked up in a trade last week from the Florida Launch, added two goals and an assist.
“It was a rough first half for myself, and the whole offense in general. Once I kinda got a sense of the fast pace of the MLL, that you have to be a little more aggressive, I tried doing that in the second half and had a little more success,” – Sankey.
Mike Sawyer had two goals and an assist for Charlotte, with four others – Josh Hawkins, Terry Kimener, Kevin Drew and John Haus – adding one goal each. … The Hounds played without midfielder Jake Tripucka (hamstring) and defender Brett Schmidt (groin), and had Sawyer, Fowler and defender Michael Ehrhardt all spend time with the trainer during Saturday’s game.
The Hounds host the New York Lizards – at 6-0, the league’s only undefeated team – at 7 p.m. May 30 at Memorial Stadium.