SEABROOK – Ten Chesapeake Bayhawks players were selected to participate in this year’s Major League Lacrosse (MLL) All-Star game which is to be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on July 27.
Attackman Steele Stanwick and midfielder Nick Mariano will be playing on the Team Fire, captained by New York Lizards attacker Rob Pannell.
Meanwhile, the Bayhawks’ Lyle Thompson will lead Team Ice and will be joined by the remaining eight Chesapeake players chosen. The list includes fellow attackman, Colin Heacock; midfielders Matt Abbott, Brendan Bomberry, Isaiah Davis-Allen and CJ Costabile; defenseman Jesse Bernhardt and goalie Niko Amato.
This will be the first MLL All-Star appearance for Thompson, whose indoor commitments forced him to miss most of the season and left him ineligible. MLL started later this year and that has allowed Thompson to play in every game for the Bayhawks. He now he leads the league in both goals (25) and points (37).
During the Bayhawks’ 13-11 road win over the Dallas Rattlers on July 14, Thompson accumulated four points off of two goals and two assists.
Both assists helped Stanwick score two of his three goals in the game thanks to the one-handed flip passes in perfect positions.
“Lyle is such a special player and does things on the field that are just amazing. To be honest, I’m still getting used to playing with him,” Stanwick said. “Lyle draws so much attention that you have to figure out the best way to play off him. Lyle will get you the ball if you’re open.”
Meanwhile, Stanwick, who re-signed in the offseason to a one-year deal, is currently second on the Bayhawks with 24 points and will play in his third All-Star game. The former Tewaaraton Award winner was an MLL All-Star in 2013 and participated in the contest as a member of Team USA in 2014. The Towson native leads the team in assists with 14, which also ranks him fifth in the league.
“Steele Stanwick is an outstanding player, and more importantly, a great person,” said General Manager and Head Coach Dave Cottle. “We are excited to have him back in the locker room to serve as a leader on this team and build off his success last season.”
Heacock, a former University of Maryland star, will also be making his All-Star debut after a breakout season in 2018 where he led the Bayhawks with 38 points. The now third-year veteran is fourth on the team with 11 points this season.
Bayhawk veteran and fan-favorite Abbott has been a perennial All-Star most of his professional career and he has made another All-Star team for the ninth time in his 11 seasons of MLL. The two-way midfielder is the longest-tenured member of the Bayhawks also ranks in the Top 10 in MLL history in games played (140) and has been a cornerstone for the franchise for many years.
Mariano is a rookie to the All-Star game but after emerging as a serious scoring threat in his first season with Chesapeake, a shock that he made the team. Mariano, who previously played for the Florida Launch, is second on the Bayhawks in scoring with 10 goals.
Back in the net is Amato, who is also the 2018 Brine Co-Goalie of the Year. Amato will be making his first All-Star appearance. The former Maryland Terp has posted a 48.37 save percentage this season, but his ability as one of the league’s best rebound controllers. By only giving up 46 rebound saves, it is expected that Amato will be the starter for Team Ice.
The hosting Bayhawks lead all teams with their 10 all-star selections, followed by the Boston Cannons (8), Denver Outlaws (7) and New York Lizards (6).
Tickets are now available to the public for the 2019 MLL All-Star Game in Annapolis, Maryland. Gates open for the “fan zone” and tailgate at 5:00 P.M. and will feature “happy hour food and drink” until 6:00 P.M. highlighted by Tito’s Vodka Airstream and Bud Light Bar.
There will also be fun for the whole family, featuring live music, fastest shot competitions, face painters and much more.