ANNAPOLIS – The Chesapeake Bayhawks looked to avenge their fifth consecutive loss to the Rochester Rattlers on June 11 to remain in second place in the Major League Lacrosse standings. Unfortunately for the Bayhawks, they continued to be bitten by the Rattlers, and have now been swept by the team in each of the last […]
ANNAPOLIS – The Chesapeake Bayhawks looked to avenge their fifth consecutive loss to the Rochester Rattlers on June 11 to remain in second place in the Major League Lacrosse standings.
Unfortunately for the Bayhawks, they continued to be bitten by the Rattlers, and have now been swept by the team in each of the last three seasons after falling18-8 in a blowout at home.
The game started off tightly contested defensively with the Bayhawks and Rattlers remaining deadlocked at one until the five minute mark of the first quarter. Rochester then took its first lead of the contest and added another score with roughly three minutes remaining.
The back and forth struggle continued. Jesse Bernhardt pulled the Bayhawks within one with a gorgeous spinning backhand shot off of a pass from Matt Abbott. However, Rochester answered immediately and took a 4-2 lead into the second quarter.
“Obviously we wanted to have a better performance tonight, but it wasn’t our night and you’ve got to give them credit,” said Abbott, a Bayhawks defender. “We didn’t make plays when we needed to and we’ve got to look at it as one game and learn from our mistakes going into this bye week, because then we have three games in 10 days against the top teams in the league. We’ve just got to fix our mistakes and be better.”
The Bayhawks started the second with a two-man advantage and Drew Westervelt made it a 4-3 game with a scoring strike. Joe Walters continued his hot streak too as he took control and tied the game at four.
Rochester continued to press and regained the lead right before the half, as the Rattlers expanded it to 8-5 with the Bayhawks’ play turning very sloppy in transition.
“They were scoring in transition, and in this league if you keep giving up transitions, they’re hard to stop,” said Bayhawks attacker Brendan Mundorf. “Everyone is so talented that when a team gets in transition you can pretty much count it as a goal.
“John Galloway played well in net for them. A big turn in the second quarter was when he stopped three shots and they all led to transitions and goals. That’s where the turn of events happened,” he said.
The second half started with the Bayhawks making a 3-1 run to cut the deficit to 9-8. Rochester again snaked back into the lead and extended it to 10-8 going into the fourth.
In the final quarter, the Rattlers continued to strike relentlessly by scoring seven straight goals to jump out to a commanding 17-8 lead with four minutes remaining. They added another late score to make it 18-8 to win their sixth straight contest against Chesapeake dating back to 2014.
“I’m pretty embarrassed by the way we performed here and I take full responsibility for that,” Bayhawks Head Coach Brian Reese said. “We weren’t ready to compete. Either we didn’t have the right guys out there or we weren’t doing the right things, but we’ve got to fix it in our next bye week and get ready for our big stretch coming up here in the next few weeks.”
Chesapeake enters its bye week with a 4-3 record before it faces a daunting schedule, playing three of the league’s top five teams in 10 days. The Bayhawks will face the Boston Cannons (4-4), the Ohio Machine (6-2) and longtime rival the league-leading New York Lizards (5-1) in a stretch that will shape the playoff landscape.
“We’ve just got to focus,” Mundorf said. “It’s nothing complicated. We’re running all the same stuff we’ve been running on offense and we just weren’t burying the shots or getting great looks down the stretch, but it’s all about going out and every guy being ready to do what he needs to do to be ready in two weeks.”