The Defending MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks moved to 4-2 on the season after defeating the New York Lizards 21-8 on Thursday night. The nationally televised game, played at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island, marked the first time Major League Lacrosse played a game in New York City.
There was plenty of hype on the Lizards coming into the game; it marked the first time that Cornell teammates Rob Pannel and Max Siebald suited up in the same uniform since their overtime loss in the 2009 NCAA Lacrosse National Championship game. That coupled with the addition of rookie Jo-Jo Marasco, who’s now almost two weeks removed from playing in the 2013 NCAA National Championship with Syracuse, was supposed to lead to big things on offense for New York. Unfortunately for the Lizards and their fans, that didn’t happen. They were unable to put up double-digit goals for only the second time this season. The last time this happened was in a 9-3 loss to none other than the Bayhawks down in Annapolis, Md..
The first quarter, which started with a quick goal from Bayhawks midfielder Drew Westervelt on a Kyle Dixon assist, was pretty close. Chesapeake got out to a 4-1 lead on three more goals from Westervelt. New York kept it close with goals from Mark Matthews, Tommy Palasek and Stephen Peyser to make it 4-3 at the end of quarter number one.
Four to three, however, was the closest the score would be for the rest of the game. The Bayhawks used five second quarter goals, including two-pointers from Dixon and Michael Kimmel and a SportsCenter Top 10 worthy around-the-world goal from John Grant Jr., to jump out to a commanding 11-4 lead heading into halftime.
The third quarter was more of the same. New York struggled to find any offense and Chesapeake kept putting goal after goal past Lizard’s goaltender Drew Adams. With three more goals from Westervelt, two from John Grant Jr. and another from Ben Rubeor, the Bayhawks found themselves sitting pretty with a 17-5 lead.
New York finally found some offense in the fourth quarter on goals from Tommy Palasek, which completed a hat trick, and Mark Matthews and Mike Uterstein. Chesapeake didn’t let up and scored four more of their own, highlighted by John Grant Jr.’s fourth and Westervelt’s eighth goals.
Player of the Game honors went to Westervelt, whose eight goals broke his career high, which was previously set at six in a game against Boston back in July of 2009.
All time MLL leading goal scorer and Chesapeake attackman, Tim Goettelmann, who played 11 seasons for the Lizards, was activated this week from his two-year retirement. He contributed to the Bayhawks’ offensive show with two goals of his own. Bayhawks rookie long pole Jesse Bernhart (Maryland) recorded five ground balls and Lizard’s rookie midfielder Marasco (Syracuse) came away with one ground ball and two shots on goal in their MLL debuts.
Next week, the Lizards host another Thursday night game, again from New York City, this time against the currently undefeated Hamilton Nationals. Chesapeake heads home to take on the red-hot Denver Outlaws (5-0) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday June 15th. Both games will be broadcast locally and also nationally on ESPN3.com.
Bayhawks attackman, Ben Rubeor, extended his consecutive point streak to 35 games
Last week’s Cascade Rookie of the Week, Rob Pannell, only recorded 2 assists and 5 shots on goal
Bayhawks attackman Tim Goettelmann increased his MLL record career goals to 270
New York’s Jo-Jo Marasco (Syracuse) and Chesapeake’s Jesse Bernhardt (Maryland) made their MLL debut