Bayhawks ambushed in 16-6 thrashing by Hamilton

Nationals 9-0 run stuns Chesapeake, which falls to 5-5

July 30, 2011|By Matt Castello, The Baltimore Sun

The first two regular season games between the Chesapeake Bayhawks and Hamilton Nationals produced results you might expect when two playoff caliber lacrosse teams collide.

The Bayhawks managed to hang on and win both north-of-the-border games in close fashion, beating the Nationals by four goals in May and one goal two weeks ago.

However, the outcome of Saturday night's contest was anything but predictable.

The Bayhawks suffered their most lopsided loss this season as a flurry of first-half Hamilton goals led to a nine-goal run by the Nationals that lasted from 3:19 left in the first quarter until Brian Carroll scored one minute into the second half.

In a showdown featuring two teams jockeying for playoff berths, Hamilton was never truly tested in the last half, trampling the Bayhawks by a final score of 16-6 in front a crowd of 7,962 at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis.

"I don't think we even took a shot in the second quarter," Bayhawks coach Brendan Kelly said. "So it's tough when you don't have the ball. We're not playing smart lacrosse right now, but I think the positive in all this is we've been in this position before."

The Bayhawks were in a similar position last year, sitting at .500 with the playoffs approaching. Chesapeake went on to win their third MLL Championship.

Early Saturday, it appeared the Bayhawks and Nationals would continue their trend of close games.

A slash from Bayhawks defender Michael Evans handed the Nationals the game's initial power-play chance and the Canadian squad quickly converted.

A little more than four minutes in and 20 seconds into the penalty, Kevin Crowley threaded a pass through the short-handed Chesapeake defense to the stick of Cody Jamieson, who pumped and then tallied the contest's first score past Bayhawks goalie Brian Phipps, a Maryland graduate.

Chesapeake then churned out the best offensive stretch it would experience all night, as lefties Steven Brooks and Ben Rubeor beat Hamilton goalie Scott Rodgers on perimeter shots to take a 2-1 lead with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Attackers Stephen Keogh and midfielder David Earl each scored goals before the end of the quarter for Hamilton as the lead seesawed back in favor of the Nationals.

Then the floodgates opened.

Following a pair of tricky saves from Rodgers, the Nationals (6-4) extended their one-goal lead as defender Steven Waldeck whipped in his first goal of the season 3 minutes and 38 seconds into the quarter.

Over the next two and a half minutes, Kevin Crowley, Jeremy Boltus and Earl each scored goals, extending Hamilton's advantage to 7-2.

The Bayhawks (5-5), who looked impatient on offense and flawed on defense, were not able to climb back and put any pressure on their opponent.

Chesapeake coach Brendan Kelly pulled Phipps at the start of the second half and inserted backup Chris Garrity. Garrity faired better than his predecessor, allowing six goals on 10 shots, compared to Phipps' 10 goals on 15 shots.

"It's never good giving up 10 goals in a half and I'll take all the blame for that just because it goes by me at the end," a dejected Phipps said. "I always have the chance to make the save and come up big, but it didn't happen today, so we just have to come back to work ready for next week and start a playoff run now."

Hamilton's Brodie Merrill (Georgetown), who leads all MLL defenders in points, had three assists and scooped up a game-high nine ground balls. The Nationals finished the game with a 44-34 edge in ground balls.

Bayhawks leading scorer Danny Glading recorded his second goal, and the final of the game, with 54.2 seconds left. The point allowed the Bayhawks to avoid tying the lowest point total in MLL League History (five goals), but their six-goal output was still the lowest mark thus far this season.

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