Hamilton Nationals can’t overcome slow lacrosse start

DENVER, Colo. – Josh Sims’ five goals and an assist carried the Denver Outlaws (2-0), using a strong team effort, to win their second straight game, a 15-6 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Hamilton Nationals (0-1) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday night.

Sims, a midfielder who was the Bud Light MLL Player of the Game, scored all five of his goals during an 11-0 Denver run that covered more than 32 minutes. The game was the first this season for the Nationals while the Outlaws improved to 2-0. Hamilton plays again Saturday (May 12) in Boston against the Cannon. The Nationals make their home debut against the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Friday, May 18. Game time is 11 a.m. at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University.

Led by a goal and an assist from attackman Terry Kimener, the Outlaws sprinted out to a 3-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old. But, the Nationals closed the margin to 3-2 on back-to-back goals from attackman Jeff Zywicki and midfielder Tom Compitello.

With 2:01 remaining in the first quarter, Sims scored a shorthanded goal to ignite an 11-point run for the Outlaws. The run, which lasted through the end of the third quarter, extended the Denver advantage to 14-2.

Just 31 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Nationals ended Denver’s run when midfielder Brett Bucktooth scored off an assist from Rhys Duch to start a three-goal spurt that narrowed the margin to 13-5. Compitello and midfielder Dan Deckelbaum also scored during the run.

However, the Outlaws sealed the victory when Joe Yevoli scored an unassisted goal with 2:32 left in regulation.

While Sims led the Outlaws with his five-goal performance, attackman Jeremy Sieverts added his second straight “hat trick” with three goals, including a two-point marker. Goalkeeper Jesse Schwartzman made 12 saves and allowed just five goals in 58 minutes.

Compitello and Deckelbaum each scored twice to lead Hamilton in a losing effort while Zywicki contributed a goal with two assists.

The Outlaws outshot Hamilton by a 47-36 margin.