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MLL Week 9 Recap: Playoff Standings Get Interesting

The playoff standings for Major League Lacrosse have gotten even more interesting. How, you ask? Read our MLL Week 9 recap to find out more.

MLL Week 9 Recap

Doubleheader: Chesapeake Bayhawks v. New York Lizards – Chesapeake sweeps 11-9, 24-7

Playoff Implications

After discussing playoff scenarios in our Week 9 preview, everything went right for Chesapeake as it swept the New York Lizards 11-9 and 24-7 in its doubleheader this weekend, in addition to Atlanta losing to Dallas. The Rattlers winning was a bit of a surprise as it was only their second win of the season. But, nevertheless, Dallas is now on a two-game winning streak while the Blaze has now dropped to .500 on the year.

This is important for Chesapeake because it is now are tied for first in the league along with the Outlaws and Cannons after Boston’s win over Denver, and have a 1.5 game lead over Atlanta in the fourth spot that they will try and build on.

But, enough talk. Let’s talk about how Chesapeake was able to pull off the sweep.

Saturday’s Matchup

Well, the first person we should talk about is MLL All-Star Colin Heacock. The former ‘Terp doubled his former career high goals scored total with six, helping the Bayhawks to the 11-9 win.

Some of the credit can be given to the coaching of Dave Cottle, as the Bayhawks head coach saw a weakness in the Lizards defense and switched Heacock to attack. It paid off, and the Bayhawks came out the victors.

Another performance that should be mentioned is the job that Kenny Massa did at the faceoff-X. He went 18-for-23 on the draw, allowing for lots of possessions for Chesapeake.

Sunday’s Matchup

While Saturday’s game had a narrow margin of victory, Sunday was a whole other animal.

Instead of only Heacock having a big game this past weekend— who had another great performance with four goals — Steele Stanwick and Lyle Thompson both made their presences felt as Stanwick had three goals and two assists, while Thompson had three goals and added an assist of his own. Nick Mariano also had four goals for the Bayhawks in what was an offensive explosion and defensive masterpiece for the now first-place Bayhawks.

“I thought we were pretty doggone good today,” Chesapeake Head Coach Dave Cottle said after the game. “We felt it was important to get off to a strong start and we did that. We shared the ball on offense and we worked really well together on defense.”

Boston Cannons – 16, Denver Outlaws – 13

With the first and second place teams before this weekend of play going head-to-head, there was bound to be a bit of a shakeup in the standings as three teams are now tied for first.

Denver is now on a two-game losing streak after having lost to Dallas in Week 8. The Outlaws will need to make adjustments in order to maintain their lofty status in the league standings.

Cannons goalkeeper Nick Marrocco had another great week in cage, saving 16-of-29 of his shots.

Will Sands had six points to lead the Cannons with three goals and three assists. Former Virginia-standout Zed Williams had four goals and an assist to help in the winning effort.

Denver will face Chesapeake next week in what will be a potential battle for the outright first-place spot in the league should Boston lose to Atlanta earlier in the evening. The Blaze are currently 1-1 against the Cannons this season, while Denver is 1-0 against Chesapeake.

Dallas Rattlers – 16, Atlanta Blaze – 14

In what was a record-setting performance for Alex Woodall — the rookie out of Towson broke the Atlanta Blaze single season records for faceoff wins and groundballs through ten games, while also setting the career record for faceoff wins — the Blaze still came up short against Dallas on Saturday night.

The Rattlers scored six goals on seven shots in the first 15 minutes of play, helping the team build a 6-0 lead in the first.

Atlanta would battle back in the second as it would cut the margin to two goals for an 8-6 score.

Dallas would then go on a six-goal run in the third to put the game away, as both Dallas and Atlanta would score only a combined four goals in the fourth quarter.