Bayhawks Grind Out Win over Rattlers
from press release
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Veteran goalkeeper Chris Garrity anchored a suffocating defensive effort as the Chesapeake Bayhawks opened defense of their Major League Lacrosse (MLL) title with an impressive 14-10 victory over the Rochester Rattlers in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night before a lively crowd of 7,916 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Garrity enjoyed a terrific 2010 campaign and picked up right where he left off in recording 13 saves to stymie a potent Rochester offense. Garrity got great support from a tough, physical close defense that was anchored by Shawn Nadelen, the longest-tenured member of the franchise.
"It always feels good to get that first win under your belt. I thought we grounded that one out," Chesapeake head coach Brendan Kelly said. "We were a little jumpy early on. We're playing some new faces and we had to get the guys to settle down and find some chemistry."
Attackman Ben Rubeor and midfielder Brian Carroll both notched hat tricks to lead a balanced offense for Chesapeake (1-0), which won its season opener for the second straight year. Michael Kimmel scored two goals and dished off an assist while fellow midfielder Kyle Dixon also had three points on a goal and two assists.
"We preach ball movement and sharing the ball and I thought we did that tonight," Rubeor said. "We don't care who scores as long as we get the win at the end. We started to click toward the end, but we were not nearly as sharp as we have to be. We still need to get a lot better on offense."
Chesapeake never trailed in the contest and took control with a 3-0 run midway through the second quarter. Midfielder Ben Hunt scored on a crank shot off a nice feed from Dixon at the 7:54 mark to break a 4-4 tie. Face-off specialist Alex Smith followed just five seconds later with an unassisted goal directly off the draw and Kimmel capped the charge by beating his man from up top and firing a wicked shot into the top corner to give Chesapeake a 7-4 lead.
Rochester refused to go away and got within one goal on two occasions (at 7-6 and 8-7), but could never net the equalizer. Chesapeake closed the contest in style, outscoring Rochester 4-1 over a seven-minute stretch to put the game away. Carroll, who was selected as the Bud Light Most Valuable Player, scored two goals while attackman Danny Glading had a goal and an assist during that decisive run.
"We're a very deep team. We run six midfielders nonstop so we know the third and fourth quarters are our time," Kelly said. "I thought our guys held together really well over the course of the game and wound up playing very well down the stretch."
Smith was dominant as usual, winning 16 of 28 face-offs while working against one of the league's best in Anthony Kelly. Midfielder Dan Hardy dished off two assists in his Bayhawks debut while attackman Blake Miller contributed an assist in his first action with the team.
Chesapeake now embarks on a four-game road trip and will not play at home again until June 25th against the Boston Cannons.
Attackman Ned Crotty scored three goals and dished off an assist for Rochester (0-1), which was formerly the Chicago Machine franchise. Goalie Mike Gabel made 13 saves while attackman Ari Sussman had two goals and an assist for the Rattlers, who were outshot 27-23.