By MLL Statistics and Information | 7/30/11 10:03 PM
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Led by three goals from midfielders Jordan Hall and Stephen Keogh, the Hamilton Nationals (6-4) jumped out to a commanding 10-2 lead to earn their fifth win in the last six games, a 16-6 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (5-5) in front of 7,962 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
The win allowed the Nationals to remain in second place in the MLL standings while Chesapeake falls into a tie with Long Island for fourth place in the MLL standings.
“We are getting a lot of good leadership from our older guys and the young guys are really buying into it,” Hamilton Coach Regy Thorpe said. “Everyone is going in the right direction now and while reaching the play-offs is our goal, we want to have a good regular season.
“We haven’t won anything yet though,” Thorpe added. “We are going to enjoy the win tonight and get ready for Boston next week.”
Attackman Cody Jamieson gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead with 10:20 remaining in the first quarter before the Bayhawks answered with back-to-back goals from midfielder Steven Brooks and attackman Ben Rubeor.
But, the Nationals responded by scoring nine consecutive goals to take a commanding 10-2 lead at the intermission. Keogh and rookie midfielder David Earl each scored twice during the spurt while defenseman Brodie Merrill tallied a pair of assists.
“The transition game on our end was really working in the first half,” Thorpe said. “We had a lot of opportunities and the guys buried their shots. It was a really good team effort, especially in transition from defense to offense.”
The Bayhawks ended a 20-minute scoring drought in the opening minute of the third quarter when midfielder Brian Carroll scored off a feed from Brooks, trimming the deficit to 10-3.
However, the Nationals scored three straight times to extend their advantage to 13-3 with 1:18 left in the third period. After rookie attackman Jeremy Boltus scored off a feed from Merrill, Hall upped the Nationals’ advantage to 12-3 with an unassisted goal. Midfielder Joe Walters extended the cushion to 13-3 with his second goal of the game off a feed from rookie attackman Kevin Crowley.
After Hall scored off a feed from Boltus to give Hamilton a 14-3 lead just under four minutes into the fourth quarter, the Bayhawks ended another lengthy drought with consecutive goals from attackman Danny Glading and Carroll, cutting the margin to 14-5.
But, the Nationals used goals from Keogh and Hall to put the game out of reach for a 16-5 advantage with 5:48 left.
Glading added his second goal of the quarter to close the gap to 16-6, but the Bayhawks were unable to get any closer.
While Keogh and Hall each led the Nationals with three goals, Walters and Boltus each contributed two goals with two assists. Merrill, who leads all MLL defenders with 11 assists and 15 points, earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors after posting a season-high three assists with nine ground balls.
“As valuable as Brodie is on the field, he is just as valuable in the locker room,” Thorpe said. “He really has the guys believing and buying into what we want to do.”
Carroll and Glading each scored two goals for the Bayhawks, who have lost four of their last six games.
The Nationals outshot Chesapeake by a 42-34 margin and had a 44-34 advantage in ground balls.
The Nationals return home next Saturday to host the Boston Cannons at Ron Joyce Stadium at 7 p.m. while the Bayhawks visit Rochester next Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Major League Lacrosse: Hamilton Nationals 16, Chesapeake Bayhawks 6
Hamilton (6-4) 3-7-3-3 / 16
Chesapeake (5-5) 2-0-1-3 / 6
Goals: HAM – Stephen Keogh 3, Jordan Hall 3, Joe Walters 2, David Earl 2, Jeremy Boltus 2, Steven Waldeck 1, Kevin Crowley 1, Cody Jamieson 1, Jeremy Thompson 1; CHES – Brian Carroll 2, Danny Glading 2, Ben Rubeor 1, Steven Brooks 1. Assists: HAM – Brodie Merrill 3, Joe Walters 2, Jeremy Boltus 2, Kevin Crowley 2; CHES – Danny Glading 1, Steven Brooks 1. Saves: HAM – Scott Rodgers 13 (57:53, 6 goals allowed), Brett Queener 1 (2:07, 0 goals allowed); CHES – Brian Phipps 5 (30:00, 10 goals allowed), Chris Garrity 4 (30:00, 6 goals allowed). Shots: HAM – 42; CHES – 34. Power-Play Opportunities: HAM – 4 for 4; CHES – 0 for 3. Attendance: 7,962.