By Kerin Sweeney | 6/19/12 10:40 AM
Watch & Follow CBS Sports Network, Live Blog
The Big Picture: The Hamilton Nationals will be on the road this week to face Rochester Rattlers at 7 p.m. ET this Saturday, June 23rd. The Nationals and the Rattlers are currently tied for 5th in the MLL both with 2-4 records. The Nationals are coming off a close 16-15 loss to the Chesapeake Bayhawks, which broke their 2 game winning streak. The Rattlers also had a tough weekend, with a 16-12 loss to the Denver Outlaws. Last time these two teams met in Week 6 the Nationals came up on top, with a 17-8 win over the Rattlers.
The Hamilton Nationals: The Nationals played a very close game last week with the Bayhawks, who are ranked number one in the league right now. In the fourth quarter the Nationals scored six straight goals. Head Coach Regy Thorpe is aiming to keep up that momentum this weekend, "Hopefully we can bring that urgency that we had in the second half last week to Rochester." The Nationals are itching for a win this weekend to keep on the upper half of the MLL standings.
Players to Watch: Midfielder Joe Walters is the National's all-time leader with 48 goals and 44 assists. He scored a goal and three assists last week against the Bayhawks, reaching his 200th point of his MLL career. Walter needs just five points to become the first player in team history to record 100 points as a National. Stephen Keough had a game-high four goals last weekend, look out for him to keep up this momentum throughout the rest of the season. Kevin Crowley has consistently put up at least 3 points in every game this season. Crowley had 2 goals and an assist last week, adding to his 17 points so far.
The Rochester Rattlers: The Rattlers will have the home field advantage this weekend where they hope to pick up a win to turn their season in the right direction. On this week's Coaches Conference Call Head Coach Tim Soudan talked about how they have to pick up their game, "We have a lot of things to overcome after the past two weeks. We need to treat this like a playoff game." Both teams have been neck and neck throughout this season, each team trying to grab that last spot for the play-offs.
Players to Watch: Watch out for Brad Ross, a new face to the Rattlers who was acquired from the Boston Cannons last week. Ross recorded a "hat trick" in his Rochester debut with three goals, including a two-point marker. Kevin Leveille racked up two goals and an assist in last weeks game against Denver. Joel White had some amazing plays last weekend, his two goals both being on the top 10 plays of the week.
Next Match-Up: The Rochester Rattlers will play the Long Island Lizards at home on Friday, July 6th at 7 p.m. ET. The Hamilton Nationals will face the Boston Cannons, also at home on Saturday, July 7th at 7 p.m. ET.
MLL will host its marquee event in Palm Beach County, FL this year on Saturday, June 30! 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.