The Rochester Rattlers (8-3) moved one game closer to securing a spot in the 2014 MLL playoffs with a 10-7 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (3-8) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD, thanks to rookie Mark Cockerton’s five-goal performance.
The Rattlers, one of the hottest teams in the league winning four straight games, now sit alone atop the MLL standings.
Chesapeake struck first just 47 seconds into the game when Drew Westervelt put home a cross crease pass from Joe Walters. 30 minutes would pass before the next Bayhawks goal as the Rattlers dominated on both ends of the field.
Cockerton, a two-time All-American from the University of Virginia, netted the Rattlers first five goals in impressive fashion, finishing from the outside, on the crease, and in transition.
“Every time [Mark] shoots our guys yell “He doesn’t miss!” said Rochester Head Coach Tim Soudan at halftime about his stellar rookie, “It’s uncanny how high his shooting percentage is.”
In a game that witnessed both teams with disjointed lineups due to the World Lacrosse Championships, Chesapeake struggled to find chemistry until mid-way through the 3 rd quarter.
Midfielder Joe Walters was the quarterback of the Bayhawks offense and sparked the Chesapeake attack that outscored the visiting Rattlers 6-3 in the third frame to even the game at seven.
Walters finished the game with four points, including two goals and one assist during the 3 rd quarter. He was Bayhawks ball distributor, and helped initiate the offense from the midfield, due to Brendan Mundorf’s absent at attack.
However, another Rochester rookie emerged in the 4 th quarter to secure the victory: Ty Thompson. The former Albany Great Dane flew into Annapolis Wednesday night from Denver, where we was an alternate on the Iroquois Nationals roster, to make his MLL debut.
Thompson was quiet in the first half, but gained confidence and looked more comfortable with the speed of the MLL play in the 4 th quarter. He assisted Steven Boyle on the game-winning goal and scored his first career goal, blasting a shot over the shoulder of Bayhawks Goalie Tyler Fiorito, to put the game out of reach at 10-7.
Fiorito ended the day with 12 saves. John Galloway recorded 14 stops in the victory for Rochester.
Rochester can secure a playoff spot next Saturday with a victory over the visiting Charlotte Hounds (4-6). Chesapeake faces playoff elimination when they travel to New York (6-4) to face the Lizards next Sunday.
-Mark Cockerton as named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game.
-Rochester has won three straight road games.
-Chesapeake’s John Ortolani went 11-for-21 on faceoffs. Stephen Robarge finished 10-for-21 for the Rattlers.
-4 of Rochester’s top 5 scorers were not in the lineup.