By Hannah McCaffrey | 5/31/13 12:30 PM
Hamilton Nationals at Chesapeake Bayhawks
Saturday, June 1—7:30 p.m. (EST) —Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
National TV: CBS Sports Network
The Hamilton Nationals look to continue their undefeated streak as they travel to Annapolis, Md. to face the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m., in a game televised nationally on CBS Sports Network
The Hamilton Nationals and Chesapeake Bayhawks last met in June 2012 in Annapolis, when the Bayhawks defeated the Nationals 16-15 in what was almost a fantastic Nationals comeback. After trailing in the first three quarters, the Nationals rallied in the fourth to score eight unanswered goals from six different players. The Nationals brought the score deficit to one goal, but the Bayhawks held out strong for the win. With this season’s much-improved Nationals team and the Bayhawks hungry to redeem themselves from their tough loss in Boston, this week’s Nationals-Bayhawks matchup is one to watch.
The Hamilton Nationals seem unstoppable this season with a 4-0 record thus far. With one-goal wins against the New York Lizards (12-11) in Week 2 and the Charlotte Hounds (16-15) in Week 3, the Nationals battled to earn their undefeated record. An integral part of the Nationals success is Midfielder Kevin Crowley who currently leads the MLL in points with 20 on the season, and scored a career-high five goals last week in the 16-9 Nationals win against the Ohio Machine. Midfielder Joe Walters, who scored 12 points in just two games since his return from the indoor season, is creating a great chemistry with Crowley, which has helped the Nationals offense become unbeatable. An effective offense combined with the defensive skill of Brodie Merrill and goalie Brett Queener, who boasts the highest league save percentage of .692, gives Hamilton a great shot at extending their undefeated record.
Chesapeake heads into this weekend with a 3-1 record. The Bayhawks offense has been strong throughout this season so far, only failing them in their heartbreaking 15-14 OT loss May 15 against the Boston Cannons. Attackman Ben Rubeor has been huge for the Bayhawks with a .406 scoring percentage and 15 points on the season. Both Rubeor and Midfielder Kyle Dixon were named MLL offensive players of the week in Week 1 and Week 2, respectively. As expected, attackman John Grant Jr. has also played a large role in the Bayhawks offense in the past two games against the Boston Cannons and the Ohio Machine, scoring five goals accompanied by 2 assists. Goalie Kip Turner has been solid in the net with a .656 save percentage so far this season. The Bayhawks will need to continue their strong offensive game to end the Nationals win streak this weekend.
Next the Bayhawks visit the New York Lizards on Thursday, June 6 at Carl Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island in New York City, while the Nationals travel to Denver to face the Outlaws in a battle for first place on Saturday, June 8.