COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Former University of Maryland men’s lacrosse All-American Joe Walters has helped build a Lacrosse Dynasty in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y.
On Saturday, May 31, Walters helped lead the Rochester Knighthawks to the National Lacrosse League’s Championship Cup for an unprecedented third-straight season.
The Knighthawks trailed the Calgary Roughnecks 1-0 in the Championship Cup series when the two met in the second game on Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks defeated the Roughnecks, 16-10, which forced a winner-take-all 10-minute mini-game to determine the Cup winner.
That’s when Walters took over for Rochester.
Calgary jumped out early in the mini-game with two goals, but the K-Hawks comeback started with Walters threading the needle with a pass through three Roughnecks to Craig Point, who cut the Roughnecks lead in half.
After a key defensive stop by the Knighthawks, Walters stepped up again, ripping a shot past Calgary’s goalie to tie the mini-game at 2-2 with 1:23 left on the clock.
Rochester won the ensuing faceoff and Walters initiated the offense from the right side. He tried to repeat the dodge that he scored the game-tying goal on, cutting to the middle of the field trying to free up his left hand, but Calgary learned from its earlier mistake and slid to double Walters. Instead of forcing the shot, Walters slipped a pass through the two Roughneck defenders to Point, who ripped home the game-winner with 58.5 seconds left on the clock.
On the night, Walters finished with two goals and six assists combined from Game 2 and the mini-game.
“Down 2-0 in the mini-game with five minutes left, the odds are against you," said Walters following the victory. “But that just shows you the heart and the character of this team — never give up, keep clawing back, and that's what we've been about all year. We know what we have in this locker room and I'm just so proud of this team, it's unbelievable.”
For the season, Walters was fifth on the Rochester squad in scoring, totaling 41 points on 15 goals and 26 assists in 16 games.