Brooks, Hardy Bust Bayhawks Out of Skid
from press release
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Midfielder Dan Hardy scored three goals while fellow midfielder Steven Brooks recorded four points to lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a 13-11 victory over the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday night before a crowd of 8,410 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
It was the first hat trick of the season for Hardy, who had scored just two goals in four previous games. Brooks, who had netted only three goals in five games, also broke out of a season-long slump.
"I thought the Brooks, Hardy, (Justin) Smith midfield line was tremendous tonight," Chesapeake head coach Brendan Kelly said. "It was good to see Brooks and Hardy have big games. We changed the offense a bit to give those guys more room to operate and they really responded."
Rookie goalie Brian Phipps turned in another strong performance by stopping 21 shots for Chesapeake (4-3), which snapped a two-game losing streak. It was second straight game that Phipps had established a career-high for saves. The former University of Maryland standout, who had 17 saves last Saturday against Boston, was named Bud Light Most Valuable Player of the game.
"Phipps was outstanding once again. That's why he is an all-star," Kelly said. "Phipps is playing with a lot of confidence in the cage and the defense is doing a good job of making teams take bad shots."
Attackman Ben Rubeor totaled two goals and two assists for the Bayhawks, who never trailed in the contest. Faceoff specialist Alex Smith had a dominant outing, winning 16 of 26 draws to help the Bayhawks control possession.
Brooks was instrumental in helping Chesapeake get off to a strong start, assisting Matt Abbott on a transition goal then firing in a 2-pointer off a left-handed crank shot as the host team jumped out to a 5-1 lead.
"The coaches told me to keep shooting and eventually the ball would start going into the back of the net," Brooks said. "I worked hard all week on my shooting. It was just a matter of getting back to the proper fundamentals."
Brooks scored off another lefty laser during a 3-0 run that gave Chesapeake a commanding 8-3 lead at the 11:33 minute mark of the second quarter. That was one of two times during the game when the Bayhawks led by five goals – the second coming after an unassisted goal by Hardy made it 12-7 with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
To its credit, Rochester never folded and back-to-back goals by rookie midfielder Jovan Miller got the deficit to two goals with just under two minutes remaining in the game, but the Chesapeake defense shut the door the rest of the way. Phipps sealed the game by stuffing a point-blank shot by All-MLL attackman Ned Crotty.
Attackman Danny Glading had a goal and two assists for Chesapeake, which beat Rochester 35-26 on ground balls. Abbott contributed a goal and an assist for the Bayhawks, who will enter the Major League Lacrosse All-Star break tied for third place with Hamilton.
Miller and attackman Jordan McBride scored three goals apiece for winless Rochester (0-7), which was playing its first game under new head coach Tim Soudan. Crotty, the Rattlers' leading scorer with 26 points, was limited to just two assists by Bayhawks' defenseman Joe Cinosky.
"It was a great team effort tonight. We got scoring from a lot of different people and I thought the defense was rock-solid," said Kelly, who held a team meeting last week after watching his squad lose three out of four games.
"We talked about committing to each other and committing to the team," said Kelly, who had t-shirts printed with the words "All In."
Chesapeake, which has a league-high 10 players nominated to the MLL All-Star teams, will return to action on July 16 at Hamilton.