By Ally Annear | 5/11/12 12:00 AM
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The Big Picture: The Chesapeake Bayhawks will host the Rochester Rattlers this Saturday at 7 p.m. (ET). The Bayhawks defeated the Rattlers in all three of their meetings last year, but Rochester was able to keep the game within four goals each time. The Bayhawks are currently 2-0 for the season and are coming off of a 23-11 win at home over the expansion Ohio Machine. The Rattlers are coming off of a bye week and a 15-3 opening weekend loss to the Boston Cannons.
Chesapeake Bayhawks: The Bayhawks are at home again this week and look to continue strong performances from their midfield.“Our middies have played at a very high level [so far]. They’re dodging hard, they’re shooting the ball hard, they’re very unselfish and we’ve been limiting the transitions of our opponents,” says Head Coach Dave Cottle.Kyle Dixon had a record-breaking performance in the game against the Machine last weekend, scoring 4 goals, 3 of which were 2-pointers, and tallying 3 assists. He is now the all-time leader with 34 career 2-point goals. Ben Hunt had 4 goals including a 2-pointer and Steven Brooks had 4 goals and 1 assist. T.C. DiBartolo had 6 saves with 8 goals-against and Joey Kemp had 10 saves with 2 goals-against while they split time in goal last weekend.
Cottle knows that they are going to see a completely different Rattlers team than the one that lost against Boston with the addition of Ned Crotty and Dan Hardy. “At the same time we’re adding some guys ourselves and will try to integrate them to our team.” Rochester is going to be a tougher match-up offensively this week for the Bayhawks, and Cottle sees defense as being a weakness for his team. “I don’t think we quite trust each other or have established rules enough on the defensive end.” He believes the key for them will be playing 6-on-6 defense.
Players to Watch: MLL Offensive Player of the Week Kyle Dixon set a MLL record for the most 2-point goals in history with 34 and matched the record for the most 2-point goals in one game with 3. Ben Hunt and Steven Brooks each had four goals and Adam Rand won 22 of 33 face-offs in the Bayhawks’ win over the Ohio Machine last weekend.
Rochester Rattlers: The Rattlers were held to just three goals in their season opener against the Boston Cannons two weekends ago. Their roster was not at full strength due to a few key players still active for their indoor teams, as well as a few new additions from the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft still in playoff contention for their college teams. This week the Rattlers add Ned Crotty, Dan Hardy and defensemanJohn Lade, which they believe will add the strength they need. “Matt Striebel, Crotty and Hardy give us an improved midfield and attack,” says Head Coach Tim Soudan. “We are a much improved team with our line-up this week.”
The Rattlers faced the Boston Cannons in Week 1 and now face the Bayhawks, two of the toughest teams in the MLL through two games. “I feel a lot of urgency to win. I want guys to start feeling like they can win,” says Soudan. “Two keys for a win are to win face-offs and we can’t give up 2-point goals.”
Players to Watch: Ned Crottyis expected to return this weekend. He was the co-leader in points for
the MLL last season and was honored to play in the MLL All-Star Game. He was also named to the All-MLL team. MLL veteran Kevin Leveille made his return to MLL in Week 1 and is a proven goal scorer and an offensive threat. Dan Hardy also returns and Coach Soudan is confident he will strengthen their midfield.
Next Match-Up: The Bayhawks will face the Rattlers next on Saturday, July 14 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY.
MLL will host its marquee event in Palm Beach County, FL this year on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. To buy your tickets now, click here. To learn more about the 2012 MLL All-Star Game presented by Moe's Southwest Grill, click here. The 2012 MLL All-Star Game will feature the best lacrosse players in the world, all on one field and will be aired live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.