Editor’s Note: Please welcome Chuck Richardson of EvoShield back to LaxAllStars! Chuck is the man behind lacrosse at EvoShield, a true game grower (we saw it in action in Jamaica!), and will be following the Chesapeake Bayhawks for the rest of the MLL season.
The Chesapeake Bayhawks have clinched a playoff berth with one week left in the regular season, keeping them in the hunt for the first back-to-back MLL Championship since the now defunct Philadelphia Barrage. The Bayhawks started this last game quickly with a goal from Westervelt, followed by 2 more from Matt Mackrides and Michael Kimmel, to give Chesapeake a quick 3-0 lead over the visiting Rattlers. Rochester’s Dave Lawson would respond with a goal, followed by Levielle to close the lead to 3-2 in the first quarter.
Photo Credit: Kim Black
The pace of play wouldn’t slow in the second quarter with the Bayhawks opening on another 3 goal run from Abbot, Mackrides, and Reynolds. Rochester’s Manley would slow the Bayhawks barrage , only to be matched by Rubeor’s first goal of the night sending the Bayhawks into the half with a 7-3 advantage.
The Rattlers would come out of the half ready to play but with a lot of ground to make up. Lawson struck quickly to start the charge, followed by a 2 pointer by Ned Crotty bringing the Ratz within one at 7-6.
With the playoffs on the line, the Bayhawks would turn up the heat offensively from the sticks of Abbot and Grant giving them a 3 point lead at 9-6. Rochester’s Steven Boyle answered with a goal off a Crotty feed to keep the Rattlers in the game. Chesapeake would pull away off back to back goals by the teams leading scorer Drew Westervelt.
As he did all night, Rochester’s Ned Crotty would continue to pressure the Bayhawk defense by finding the back of the net to bring the score to 11-8, but it would be too little to late. The final goal would come from Baltimore’s Kyle Dixon, sealing the Bayhawk victory and place at the table for Championship Weekend.
The home crowd in Annapolis were able to give their nerves a break after back to back weeks of tight games and walking the tight rope of playoff eligibility. The Hawks played a solid game from start to finish, never loosing the lead and continuing to show late season improvement going into the playoffs, while the struggling Rochester Rattlers were eliminated from the playoff hunt. Chesapeake plays their last regular season game next week against Matt Danowski and the playoff bound Charlotte Hounds in Annapolis, and that will help decide seeding for both teams at Championship Weekend.