5/8/10 3:41 PM
SEVERNA PARK, MD – Attackman Danny Glading scored three goals while goalkeeper Chris Garrity made eight saves in just over a half of play as the Chesapeake Bayhawks lost a tight battle with the Denver Outlaws, 9-7, in an exhibition game between two of the top teams in Major League Lacrosse.
Attackman Andrew “Buggs” Combs had one goal and one assist for the Bayhawks, who were held to single digits despite firing 45 shots on Denver goalies Jesse Schwartzman and Adam Fullerton.
“It was a great test for both teams. I thought we played well against a very talented Denver club,” Bayhawks head coach John Tucker said. “Denver has two phenomenal goalkeepers and they took away some goals tonight. However, I thought our shooting wasn’t particularly great.”
Midfielders Brian Vetter and Peet Poillon along with attackman Josh Coveleski scored the other goals for the Bayhawks, who are working in several newcomers to the offense and thus still developing chemistry.
“They stretched out on us defensively and applied a lot of pressure. That said, we have some improvements to make in our offensive sets and movement. Motion off the ball is going to be key,” Tucker said.
Schwartzman and Fullerton combined to make 14 saves for Denver, which lost in the Major League Lacrosse Championship game last season.
“I think we really made their goalies look good tonight. We had some trouble shooting offensively,” said Bayhawks midfielder Ben Hunt, who knows the unit is capable of consistently scoring in the high teens this season. “We have unlimited talent on our offense. Every player that steps onto that end of the field is a threat. We just need to work on meshing a little bit. Once we develop some chemistry and get the ball moving a little better our shots will start dropping.”
Chesapeake’s defense was outstanding with Mike Levin taking over goaltending duties in the second half and making four saves. Returning starter Mike Evans has been joined on close defense by offseason pickups Ray Megill (Boston Cannons) and Joe Cinosky (Toronto Nationals), who played together at Maryland.
“I thought the defense was great. They were real physical and got the ball to the ground a lot. It’s a shame we weren’t able to reward those guys on the other end of the field,” Tucker said. “I was really happy with both of our goalkeepers. We’re very happy with that position.”
Long stick midfielder P.T. Ricci also played well, gobbling up five ground balls and helping with the clearing game.
“I feel good about our defense. We’re all still getting used to each other’s styles, but I think we’re physical and aggressive,” Evans said.
All-Pro attackman Brendan Mundorf scored two goals to lead Denver, which will play Team England on Sunday (10 a.m.) at Severn School.
An overflow crowd of about 750 filled the bleachers at Severn School for the rare opportunity to see a Major League Lacrosse game for free. Bayhawks president Brendan Kelly was gratified to see so many fans show up.
“It was a great turnout today. There wasn’t an open seat in the house. To see how packed the stands were was very encouraging,” Kelly said. “Clearly, a lot of people in the area are supporting the Chesapeake Bayhawks and MLL.”
They Bayhawks open their regular season on Saturday, May 15th at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium when they take on the Long Island Lizards at 7 PM. Ticket information is available at www.thebayhawks.com