6/15/10 4:33 PM
Bayhawks Week Six Preview
The Chesapeake Bayhawks look to remain number one in the MLL on their home field as the Denver Outlaws hope to earn their fourth win of the 2010 season this Saturday, June 19 at 7 p.m.
“They’re going to be hungry,” said Bayhawks’ goaltender Chris Garrity of the Outlaws. “I think with our 4-1 record and being one game up in the league standings we want to keep things rolling.” Although Denver will come out ready to try to knock the Bayhawks off sole possession of first place, Chesapeake isn’t worried. “We know everybody’s out to get us at this point,” said Garrity.
The Bayhawks’ main advantage: the number of players who can find the net. With 15 scorers overall and five contributing eight or more goals, virtually anyone in the Bayhawks’ offensive zone could score. Last week against Toronto, they scored a mere 10 points but nine players contributed goals. No other offensive unit can boast that kind of depth.
Peet Poillon remains at the top of the point board (currently tied with Boston’s Matt Poskay), tallying 13 goals and 10 assists. He can release the ball from any angle, making him a threat to the opposition and an asset to the Bayhawks.
“He’s a little shifty guy, gets his hands free and he’s able to let it go with tremendous velocity,” said Chesapeake Head Coach John Tucker. “If he were a little more accurate at times, he could be an even higher scorer.”
Just five games into the season, Kyle Dixon has six two-pointers with 11 goals overall. His quick release from behind the 16-yard arc has become essential to the Bayhawks in stretching leads and securing wins. Dixon has amassed 23 two-point goals for his five season career. He is well on his way to breaking the MLL Single-Season Two-Point Goal Record which is currently held by Mike Regan and Mark Frye at 11 two-point goals.
Michael Kimmel made his MLL debut last week and immediately showed why he was selected second by the Bayhawks in the 2010 MLL Collegiate Draft. The rookie registered two points with one goal and an assist, showing his ability to break down defenders and ignite the Bayhawks’ offensive unit. Tucker commented, “I can’t wait to see how he does once he becomes more acclimated to our team.”As he gets comfortable playing with the Bayhawks, expect to see more shots from this up-and-comer as the season progresses.
While the Bayhawks lead the league in goals with 73, Denver’s attack unit is an all out firing squad. Matt Brown, Brendan Mundorf and Drew Westervelt account for more than half of Denver’s goals. Brown is the team’s scoring leader with 14, while Westervelt has three from behind the two-point arc. Mundorf is an all around playmaker, contributing 13 goals and eight assists.
According to Garrity, as long as the Bayhawks limit the chances of the Outlaws’ key players, the Bayhawks will be in a good position. “I think Westervelt is a great right handed attackman and he can finish everything,” said Garrity. “Mundorf can make plays from nothing.”
The Bayhawks’ defense has been clicking more and more each week and will be essential in stopping the Denver attacks before they reach Garrity in goal. Michael Evans, Ray Megill and Joe Cinosky are clicking more and more each week. Evans said, “We’ve been working on playing as a cohesive unit and becoming comfortable with one another.” Garrity has full confidence in his teammates, saying, “I think they’ve done a great job working together, limiting opportunities, and giving the right opportunities that we want to see as a defense.”
Garrity anchors the defense in net. Lately, he has been phenomenal, earning the MLL Defensive Player of the Week for 18 saves and holding Toronto to single digits last Saturday. With an 11.30 goals against average and a .620 save percentage, Garrity is having the best season of his career. “He’s been seeing the ball really well,” said Tucker. “He’s a man on a mission—I think he came into the season with something to prove.” If Denver wants to crush Chesapeake’s perfect at home season, they will need to get past Garrity, who is on fire and doesn’t appear to be cooling off anytime soon.
With seven games remaining and sole possession of first place, Tucker said, “It feels good for now, but there is still a long way to go in this season.”
First stop: The Denver Outlaws at home on Saturday, June 19 at 7 p.m. Watch the Bayhawks attempt to go 5-1 streaming live on ESPN3.com. Log onto www.majorleaguelacrosse.com to participate in our live blog and chat coverage of the Bayhawks-Outlaws match up, coverage starts at 6:45 p.m.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com