By Matt Scully | 8/17/11 2:00 PM
The defending champion Chesapeake Bayhawks return to postseason action as the fourth seed – just as they were a year ago – and will face the same Boston Cannons team that they knocked out in the semi-finals last season. The single elimination format of Major League Lacrosse’s playoffs ensures that each team must bring their “A” game to survive and emerge as MLL Champions and keepers of the coveted Steinfeld Trophy.
The 2011 version of the Bayhawks has many familiar faces with a few new ones added to the mix. One returning star from last season’s championship roster is attackman Danny Glading, the team’s leading scorer. Glading, in his third-year in the league out of Virginia, has shown steady improvement throughout his career culminating with a breakout 2011 season in which he has registered 23 goals and 15 assists.
The improvement Glading has shown in the pro game is marked by steady scoring increases along with the consistent all-around production for which he is known. With each season, his scoring totals have jumped, from 15 points in his rookie season to 26 points last year and now up to 38 points this season – which ranks him fifth in the league in scoring.
His coach certainly appreciates all that he brings to the team. “Danny is a player who does all the little things week in and week out and has been our most consistent player every game,” said Bayhawks Head Coach Brendan Kelly. “He has worked hard in the off season to make himself one of the best players in the MLL and we look forward to making another run at a championship with Danny leading the charge.”
Glading’s championship resume is not limited to his experience in Major League Lacrosse. While a freshman at Virginia, Glading was a member of the 2006 NCAA Champion squad that finished 17-0. When asked to compare his college championship and his MLL championship, Glading couldn’t really differentiate saying, “winning a championship at any level is a great feeling. Both championships were similarly satisfying after working through highs and lows, as a collective group towards a common goal.”
Looking ahead to Championship Weekend, Glading knows the Bayhawks face a difficult road to repeat. With balance and parity throughout the league, it truly does come down to playing your best when it matters most. “I think it is important to forget about everything that happened during the regular season, and focus on the task at hand,” said Glading. “Whoever wins will come down to which team makes more plays on that given day”.
Glading and the Bayhawks will defend their title against the top-seeded Cannons at noon on Saturday August 27th with the second-seeded Denver Outlaws battling the Hamilton Nationals at 3:00 p.m. Both games will be televised live on ESPN2.
2011 Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend Presented by Warrior
Tickets for the 2011 Sports Authority Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior are available by calling the MLL at 617-787-6638 or by clicking here. Lower level sideline weekend packages are just $30.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, August 27 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. while the MLL Championship Game will be played on Sunday, August 28 at 3 p.m. All three games will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.