The weather didn't cooperate, but the Bayhawks christened Ravens Stadium as a lacrosse venue, anyway, last night.
The Bayhawks downed Nationals Division rival Rochester, 13-10, in front of an announced crowd of 3,625, although a driving rainstorm through much of the first half took some luster from the Major League Lacrosse opener at the NFL stadium.
"The rain slowed the field down, and the sticks were affected," said attackman Mark Millon, who led the Bayhawks with three goals. "But just being out on the field, it was special. We were all excited."
Josh Sims added two goals and two assists, and goalie Greg Cattrano made 17 saves to lead Baltimore, which gave player-coach Gary Gait his first victory as a pro coach.
"You have to be happy with the win," said Gait, who scored a first-quarter goal. "Guys just stepped up and made plays. But if you ask anybody, we can get better, and we will."
Despite playing without last year's league MVP Ryan Powell, last year's offensive MVP John Grant, scorers D'Arcy Sweet and Tracey Kelusky, and recent first-round pick John Glatzel, the Rattlers hung tough throughout and even created some tenuous moments by cutting a six-goal Bayhawks lead to two late in the game.
Powell and Glatzel are hurt. Grant, Sweet and Kelusky are skipping the MLL this year because of their commitment to Team Canada and this summer's world championships.
"Teams are so good, if there is any brief letdown, it becomes very hard to stop," Millon said.
Millon, who now owns the distinction of netting the first goal at Ravens Stadium, scored on a nifty jump shot to the far post at the 5:03 mark of the third quarter, giving the Bayhawks a 7-5 lead.
Later, stationed to the left of Rochester goalie Brian Dougherty, who had 19 saves, Millon slam-dunked Tom Marechek's pass, and the Bayhawks closed the quarter with a 10-6 advantage.
"They can create some easy opportunities, because they're so ... fast, and they did it to us a couple of times tonight," said Rattlers coach Guy Van Arsdale, whose team got two goals each from Craig and Cory Kahoun, Josh Coffman and Tim Soudan.
"Gary did a great job in holding us together," Sims said of his team's player-coach. "It's a tough situation to be in, but we did well."
Rochester 0 3 3 4 - 10
Bayhawks 3 3 4 3 - 13
Goals: R-Co. Kahoun 2, Soudan 2, Cr. Kahoun 2, Coffman 2, Bishko, Hahn; B-Millon 3, Sims 2, Shek 2, Gait, Marechek, Radebaugh, Cantabene, Frye, Collins. Assists: R-Bergey, Soudan, Co. Kahoun, Lockwood; B-Sims 2, Marechek 2, Sonke, Frye. Saves: R-Dougherty 19, Schreiner 0; B-Cattrano 17.