By Hannah McCaffrey | 8/2/13 12:00 PM
Rochester Rattlers at Chesapeake Bayhawks
Saturday, August 3 – 7:00 p.m. (EST) – Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
With only two regular season games left this year, both the Rochester Rattlers and the Chesapeake Bayhawks will leave it all on the field Saturday night when they face off at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 7:00 p.m. (EST).
The Chesapeake Bayhawks and the Rochester Rattlers last met in the first week of the MLL season. The Bayhawks opened the season with a 17-14 win against the Rattlers, but a lot has happened in the weeks following the season opener. Veteran midfielder Kyle Dixon led the Bayhawks to their first win of the season notching seven points and scoring three 2-point goals, tying the MLL record. Midfielder Ben Hunt also contributed heavily to Chesapeake’s offense that night scoring two 2-point shots and putting up six points in total. Midfielder Matt Striebel anchored the Rattlers offense with two 2-pointers and midfielder Rob Rotanz had four total points, but it was not enough for The Rattlers to come out on top.
Last weekend The Bayhawks played a tough back and forth game against the undefeated Denver Outlaws, which ultimately resulted in a 14-12 Chesapeake loss. Despite the loss, the Bayhawks arguably gave the Outlaws their toughest game of the season with goals coming from seven different Bayhawks including four from attackman Drew Westervelt. Both Westervelt and attackman Ben Rubeor rank in the MLL’s top ten goal scorers with 29 and 25 goals, respectively. Chesapeake is known for strong defensive play and midfielder Matt Abbot currently ranks thirteenth in the league with 41 ground balls this season. Goalie Kip Turner is one of the most influential Bayhawks with a 10.41 GAA and .578 save percentage. The Bayhawks need to continue to score goals collectively to do well in post-season play.
The Rochester Rattlers had a huge 13-12 win last weekend to eliminate the New York Lizards from playoff contention. Rookie midfielder David Lawson had a tremendous game, scoring five goals to earn the Player of the Game title. Goalie John Galloway had eleven saves between the pipes and has been consistant for the Rattlers defense all season. Galloway ranks fourth in the league with a .546 save percentage and 11.84 goals against average. Attackman Ned Crotty leads the Rattlers offense with 29 points so far this season, 17 of which are assists. Rochester has not been a stand out team so far this season but if they can continue to put points on the board the Rattlers can make a run for the playoffs.
Both teams’ playoff hopes are on the line Saturday. Chesapeake’s easiest path to Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink is beating the Rattlers and clinching a spot, but the Bayhawks stand a chance even with a loss. Due to the three-goal margin of victory in their first meeting, Chesapeake will still advance to the playoffs with a loss to Rochester by two goals or fewer coupled with losses by Charlotte and Boston.
Be sure to tune in to ESPN3.com Saturday at 7:00 p.m. (EST) as the Rochester Rattlers face off against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.