By Kelsey Doherty | 8/9/13 12:00 PM
Charlotte Hounds at Chesapeake Bayhawks
Saturday, August 10, 7PM ET- Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Syndicated: CSN (Mid-Atlantic), TWC Sports Channel (Wisconsin, Ohio, KC Metro), MSG, mYTV12 (Charlotte)
Saturday night the Chesapeake Bayhawks will host the Charlotte Hounds at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in their final regular season game at 7pm ET live on ESPN3. Both teams have secured a place at Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink, but it is yet to be determined what number seed they’ll be heading into the playoffs.
The Hounds are 7-6 on the season, over .500 for the first time in club history. The Bayhawks are one game better, in third place with a record of 8-5. With a Charlotte win, the roles would be reversed and Chesapeake would drop to fourth place and the number four seed. If Chesapeake can win and Hamilton loses its game this week it could even push the Bayhawks into the second seed. There’s still plenty of opportunity for these teams to move up in standings in just one game.
Last time the Hounds and Bayhawks met, the Hounds grabbed a 16-15 overtime win thanks to a goal from Ryan Young, assisted by Matt Danowski. The Bayhawks put together an impressive first half, going up 10-6, but they let the lead slip in the final quarters. Charlotte’s six goals in the third and finally Peet Poillon’s goal in the fourth tied everything up at 15. Chesapeake’s John Grant Jr. and Drew Westervelt each slashed three goals in the game, as did Charlotte’s Young, while Danowski posted four. It’s expected that these same four players will be the difference makers in week 14, but quieter players like rookie, Mike Sawyer, or midfielder, Ben Hunt will also need to step up in this essential win.
Both teams are coming off of important victories. The Bayhawks defeated the Rochester Rattlers in a low scoring 12-8 game. Chesapeake’s defense put on a spectacular performance, and Kip Turner went 9 for 16 in saves, keeping Rochester at bay. This week they’ll need this same performance from Turner, but it won‘t be easy, as Charlotte is third in the league in goals (165), just one behind Chesapeake.
With two of the best offenses in the League going up against one another, this will be a test of defenses. Both Adam Rand and Tim Fallon have struggled from the “x,” each with less than a .500 faceoff win percentage. Whoever can grab the advantage in the faceoff could be the difference maker in the game, as both teams tend to maintain long possessions.
The Hounds are also riding the momentum of a huge win over Hamilton. Danowski made a case for MVP in the game, posting seven points on six goals and leading his team to the 14-11 win. Charlotte must be careful to not rely too heavily on their captain however, as he has not been especially consistent throughout the season, posting as few as one or two goals in a game, or as many as five or six. The young Charlotte team will need to turn to rookies like Sawyer and Jake Tripucka to compete against the Bayhawks’ powerful midfield and attack.
These two teams are surprisingly evenly matched. Both lead in two-point goals, Charlotte with 14, and Chesapeake with 11. While both teams boast almost the same number of goals on the season, the Hounds do have a better shot percentage with .290 a bit higher than Chesapeake’s .279. The Bayhawks are also 4-2 at home and Charlotte has struggled a bit on the road at only 3-3 this season. This will undoubtedly be in the back of the Hounds’ minds as they compete for a final win in Annapolis.
After this game both teams will enjoy a week off as they prepare for Championship Weekend presented by Smartlink in Philadelphia. To purchase tickets for the playoffs please visit www.MajorLeagueLacrosse.com/Championship-Weekend and watch the four best teams go head-to-head.