Bayhawks Survive Late Rally, Beat Nationals 16-15
from press release
|John Grant Jr. pitched in three
points for the Bayhawks, who won despite being outscored 8-0 in the
fourth quarter on Saturday night.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Attackman Danny Glading recorded a season-high five points to lift the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a narrow 16-15 victory over the Hamilton Nationals in front of 9,832 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
Midfielder Kyle Dixon totaled four points for Chesapeake, which survived a furious fourth quarter rally to improve its record to 6-1 and maintain sole possession of first place in the Major League Lacrosse standings. John Grant Jr., Drew Westervelt and Steven Brooks contributed three points apiece for the Bayhawks, who have won four straight.
"We came out and played very unselfishly and grabbed a nice lead," said Glading, who was named Bud Light MVP of the Game. "It got a bit nerve-wracking there at the end, but that is what happens when you play man-down for almost the entire quarter."
Grant got Chesapeake started by driving in from behind the cage and scoring on a spectacular behind-the-back shot just 45 seconds into the game. Grant then assisted fellow attackman Westervelt on a power play goal to make it 2-0 with 2:10 elapsed.
Midfielder Michael Kimmel continued the early onslaught with a wicked crank shot past Hamilton goalie Brent Queener. Long stick midfielder Dan Hostetler then stunned Queener and fired up the entire team by finishing a fastbreak with a 2-pointer that gave the Bayhawks a 5-0 lead after only 5 ½ minutes of play.
Attackman Kevin Crowley and midfielder David Earl scored 35 seconds apart to give Hamilton some life, but Glading had a goal and assist as Chesapeake responded with a 3-0 run to increase the lead to 8-2.
Glading gave the Bayhawks a huge momentum lift by closing the first half with a surprising 2-point shot. Chesapeake was short-handed and seemed to be stalling away the final seconds when Glading suddenly turned and ripped a shot past the unsuspecting Queener, giving the home team a 12-5 advantage at intermission.
"I was just going to roll the ball out of bounds, but I looked at the clock and saw four seconds then I looked at the cage and saw a lot of traffic out front," Glading said. "I thought Queener might be blocked so I figured I might as well let it go and see what happens."
Dixon delivered a 2-pointer on a power play as Chesapeake outscored Hamilton 4-2 in the third quarter to move ahead 16-7. The Bayhawks then held on for dear life, narrowly surviving a furious comeback by the Nationals.
"I thought we executed really well on both ends of the field for three quarters. We had a bunch of good possessions and to hold them to seven goals through three quarters is really hard," Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. "Hamilton is a tough team to guard. When you play a lot of man-down against their sticks you're asking for trouble."
Chesapeake's offense went completely into a shell and was shut out in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, attackman Joe Walters dished off three assists as Hamilton outscored the home team 8-0 in the fourth quarter to pull within one.
Chesapeake committed four penalties totaling 5 ½ minutes in the fourth quarter and Hamilton took advantage by scoring three power play goals. Donny Moss and Brodie Merrill both fired in 2-point goals during the wild rally. Attackman Cody Jamieson scored an extra man goal off an assist from Walters to pull the Nationals within one with 2:41 remaining.
"The 2-point shot is what got us the lead and the 2-point shot is what brought them back," Cottle said.
Hamilton had two opportunities to tie, but Walters had a 10-yard shot stopped by Chesapeake goalie Kip Turner (10 saves) with 30 seconds left then got another good shot blocked by a defenseman with 2.8 ticks left on the clock.
"I could see the ball coming out of Walters' stick so I just had to find it and make the save," Turner said of the huge stop that preserved the win. "I'm a little disappointed in my fourth quarter performance as well as the team's. We need to focus on playing the full 60 minutes."