5/19/14 9:11 AM
Annapolis, MD - Midfielder Steven Brooks scored three goals, one of which was a clutch 2-pointer, but a furious comeback fell short as the Chesapeake Bayhawks were beaten 15-12 by the Florida Launch at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Midfielder Peet Poillon scored two goals and dished off an assist for Chesapeake (1-3), which almost rallied from a nine-goal deficit. Attackmen Brendan Mundorf and Ben Rubeor scored two goals apiece while running mate Drew Westervelt dished off two assists for the Bayhawks, who trailed 13-4 at one point in the third quarter.
“I thought we kept battling. At 13-4 we had a chance to not be a very good team. We had to find out who we were,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. “I thought our energy level and intensity picked up. That last quarter was the best quarter we’ve played all season.”
Legendary attackman Casey Powell scored a goal and dished off six assists to lead Florida (3-1). Powell is now the all-time leading scorer in Major League Lacrosse with 428 career points, overtaking Ryan Boyle of the Boston Cannons. Rookie attackman Kieran McArdle scored five goals while goalie Brett Queener made 19 saves for the Launch.
“They have two really good feeders in (Powell) and (Kevin Cunningham) and then they just set picks and pops and moved around a lot,” Cottle said. They really take advantage of you off the ball. If you’re worried about sliding to (Powell) and (Cunningham) then they undress you a little bit.”
It was a defensive struggle in the first quarter with Brooks and Mundorf opening and closing the scoring with unassisted goals as the Bayhawks battled the Launch to a 2-2 tie.
Powell, a key figure in Chesapeake’s championship run last season, assisted on three goals as Florida opened the second period with a 4-1 run to take a 6-3 lead with just over nine minutes elapsed. McArdle scored two goals during the run and had a hat trick by halftime.
Poillon fired up his teammates and the home crowd with a spectacular goal, beating a short stick defender from the left wing and leaping into the air to score from the doorstep before landing in the crease. However, Powell prevented the Bayhawks from gaining momentum by bouncing a behind-the-back shot past Turner to put the Launch back ahead, 7-4, with just under two minutes to go and it stayed that way until intermission.
Florida outshot Chesapeake 28-17 and won the ground ball battle 24-13 in the first half. The Bayhawks did not take advantage of penalties, going 0-for-3 on the power play.
Midfielder Kevin Crowley, the MLL Offensive Player of the Year in 2013, opened the third quarter scoring with a wicked overhand crank shot and attackman Kevin Cunningham followed with a hard sidearm laser from point-blank range as Florida took its largest lead at 9-4 with 2:22 elapsed.
With Chesapeake unable to get anything going on its offensive end, Florida was able to increase the advantage with attackman Garrett Thul scoring two goals and assisting another as the visitors took a commanding 13-4 lead. Powell had three assists in the third stanza as the visitors outscored the Bayhawks, 6-1.
Mundorf scored with 1:02 remaining in the third period to snap a nearly 18-minute scoreless stretch for Chesapeake. Poillon then made a terrific move to slip inside and fired in a short shot from out front as time expired as the Bayhawks pulled within 13-6 going into the final frame.
Chesapeake’s rally continued into the fourth quarter with Rubeor scoring an unassisted goal on a power play then alertly rebounding a shot that had been stopped and flipping the ball into an open net to make it 13-8 with 12 minutes remaining.
Long stick defensive midfielder Jesse Bernhardt increased the Chesapeake run to 5-0 with a tremendous individual move. Bernhardt circled through the defense on a clear and suddenly found himself with an unimpeded path to the goal, waltzing right to the cage for an unassisted goal that made it 13-9 with 6:09 left. The Bayhawks then pulled within three a minute later as midfielder Matt Mackrides took a feed from Westervelt and fired in a cannon blast from about 10 yards out.
McArdle put an end to the 6-0 run with his fifth goal of the game with 2:31 to go. However, Brooks kept hope alive for the home team by blasting a left-handed crank shot from beyond the 2-point arc to make the score 14-12 with 1:37 left on the clock.
However, Florida won the ensuing faceoff and Mario Ventiquattro scored a clinching goal with 45 seconds remaining as the visitors escaped with the victory.
“I thought we played tough at the end, but we’re still one pass, one shot, one slide away. We’ve got to get better,” Cottle said.
Chesapeake suffered a serious injury during the game as veteran starting defenseman Brian Spallina is believed to have sustained a broken jaw.
The Bayhawks 2014 Season Tickets are now available and can be purchased over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Visit us at www.thebayhawks.com for the full schedule. This season, the Bayhawks and Lexus are giving away an ES350 to one lucky Season Ticket Holder at the last game of the season. Every Season Ticket purchased will amount to one entry into the giveaway.
2014 MEDIA CREDENTIALS
Please send requests for media credentials for the upcoming season to Heidi Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-99-HAWKS extension 1308.
For Chesapeake Bayhawks media relations or to request an interview, please contact Heidi Evans at email@example.com or 866-99-HAWKS extension 1308.
For Chesapeake Bayhawks Team, Ticket, and Apparel Information: www.thebayhawks.com or 866-99-HAWKS.
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