The Big Picture: The Chesapeake Bayhawks will head north to face the Boston Cannons for a mid-day matchup on Saturday at 2 p.m., their second meeting this season. In their first face off back in week eight, the Cannons gave the Bayhawks a run for their money but the Bayhawks pulled of the 14-13 victory. The Cannons are looking to turn it around after their 17-13 loss last week to the Denver Outlaws. The first place Chesapeake Bayhawks will look to build off of their 11-7 win against the Ohio Machine from last week.
The Cannons are currently tied with the Rattlers for fourth place in the MLL standings with a 6-5 record. Chesapeake was able to clinch a playoff spot after last week’s win and is standing atop the standings in the MLL with a 9-2 record. The Boston Cannons need a win to stay in the playoff hunt and the Bayhawks are looking to get closer in clinching the No 1 seed with a win this week.
Cheapeake Bayhawks: The Bayhawks are coming off a playoff clinching win against the 2-9 Ohio Machine. They hope to keep up the momentum and not let off the gas pedal as they head towards the playoffs. The Bayhawks started off slow against the Machine by being tied 4-4 at half time but after the break, the Bayhawks put up seven goals in the second half to pull off the 11-7 victory. This week Coach Cottle expects his guys to play winning lacrosse. One of the keys to the Bayhawks success that Coach Cottle indicated for this week will be “stay(ing) with the guys around Paul Rabil and make them a one man band then our chances to win will improve.” The Bayhawks know that the Cannons are hungry for the win and they just have to play well enough to win the game. Expect the Bayhawks to make the Cannons earn every goal this weekend rather than just handing them to Boston.
Players to Watch: With the offense hitting the wall last week, look out for all of them to step up against Boston. Last time these two teams faced each other; Michael Kimmel had five points with three goals, one 2-point goals and an assist. Last week he only had two goals but should be able to turn it around this week. Also Kyle Dixon went off with two 2-point goals. Drew Westervelt has been extremely hot for the Bayhawks all season with 19 goals and 11 assists in 10 games. Keep eye on the Nicky Polanco, Michael Evans and Brian Spallina to hold back the Boston attack on defense this week. They played well together last week against the Machine.
Boston Cannons: The Cannons are coming off a frustrating loss to the Outlaws 17-13. They fell behind in the second quarter and could never recover. On a positive note, Boston’s top four points leaders were each able to score two points last week. They hope to build on that stat as they face the No. 1 seed Chesapeake Bayhawks. Coach Duffy is saying “We’re treating this game like a playoff game. This is a must win for us.” Coach Duffy also understands that his team is having some offensive hiccups saying, “We will look to shoot better. We haven’t shot well as a team over the last few weeks so we are going to look to improve on that.” The Cannons are 3-2 at home and with two home games left, they will look to play well in front of their crowd towards a possible playoff berth in the upcoming weeks. They know that this game is important if they want to have a chance to clinch a playoff spot. Expect the Cannons to come out strong on Saturday against the Bayhawks.
Players to watch: Paul Rabil had seven points last time against the Bayhawks. Look for him to put on a show this week. Ari Sussman was hot last week with three goals and an assist against the Outlaws. In just five games with the Cannons he has 19 points which is great. He has been swift on the field especially off the ball. Kevin Buchanan can cause Chesapeake to have matchup problems this week as he has had at least two goals in four of the past five games for the Cannons. If Paul is being covered, Ryan Boyle will be able to increase his play as he has also had at least two goals in the four of the past five games. He netted two against the Bayhawks last time around. Watch out for Chris Boland who Coach Duffy believes has been a steady player for the Cannons and has been doing well on the man up. Goalie Jordan Burke is currently the second lowest in the league with a 10.78 GAA.