ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Goalkeeper Mike Gabel made 27 saves, including 17 in the second half, to lead the Rochester Rattlers (1-1) to their first win of the season, a 12-8 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (2-1) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
Gabel, who was honored as the Bud Light MLL Player of the Game, anchored a Rochester defense that held Chesapeake to a season-low six goals. The Bayhawks had averaged 15.0 goals per game in their first two games this year.
Led by two goals from midfielder Matt Striebel, the Rattlers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 12:14 of the game. Attackman Drew Westervelt and midfielder Steven Brooks ended the Rochester run with back-to-back goals in a 53-second span to narrow the gap to 4-2 with six seconds left in the period.
Attackman Ned Crotty, who made his season debut, scored two consecutive goals to regain the Rattlers' four-point edge at 6-2 with 6:42 remaining in the first half before attackman Ben Rubeor scored an unassisted marker to trim the deficit to 6-3 at the intermission.
After the teams traded goals to open the third quarter, midfielder Steven Boyle and defenseman Tom Montelli scored back-to-back goals to expand their advantage to 10-4 with 8:35 left. But, Brooks answered with a two-point goal to narrow the margin to 10-6 with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter.
Crotty scored an unassisted goal with 7:29 left in regulation to give Rochester an 11-6 advantage, but midfielder Kyle Dixon cut the Rattlers' advantage to 11-8 when he tallied a two-point goal with 5:41 left.
However, the Rattlers secured the victory when midfielder Roy Lang scored his first goal of the season with an unassisted marker with 1:00 remaining.
While Gabel led the Rochester defense, Crotty paced the Rattlers' offense with three goals while Striebel added two goals, including a two-point marker.
Brooks led Chesapeake with two goals, including a two-point marker, while Westervelt added a pair of goals.