5/7/10 3:44 PM
Newly-acquired attackman John Christmas scored four goals to lead a balanced attack and the Chesapeake Bayhawks flashed some serious firepower in routing Team England 27-3 in its opening exhibition game on Friday night.
Returning attackman Andrew “Buggs” Combs also scored four goals for the Bayhawks, who raced to a 13-3 halftime lead and never looked back. Perennial All-Pro midfielder Kyle Dixon and second-year midfielder Peet Poillon both fired in three goals for the Bayhawks, who had 10 different players factor in the scoring.
“I thought we looked sharp. Overall, I thought we were unselfish and aggressive offensively,” head coach John Tucker said. “We definitely can score. We always put six guys on the field that are dangerous. Our opposition will have a tough time scouting us.”
Brian Vetter totaled three goals and two assists while fellow midfielder Ben Hunt added two goals and an assist as the Bayhawks thrilled a large, enthusiastic crowd at Severn School. Josh Coveleski, whom the Bayhawks signed following an open tryout, scored two goals. “I thought we looked great. We were moving the ball really well and finishing our shots,” said Dixon, a five-year veteran of the franchise.
General Manager Spencer Ford has retooled the roster and brought in several new faces, including Christmas – an MLL veteran who was acquired in a trade with Boston. Dixon was happy to be playing alongside his former Virginia teammate again.
“It’s great to have another Wahoo on the roster. I haven’t seen John play much since we left school, but he’s still a terrific athlete with great stick skills,” Dixon said.
Faceoff specialist Alex Smith won 23 draws and the Bayhawks gobbled up 41 ground balls to dominate possession. Ray Megill and Joe Cinosky, former Maryland teammates who were picked up during the offseason, anchored a bruising defense that gave England very few open looks. Michael Evans, coming off an outstanding rookie season, completed the close defense, which made things easy on goalies Chris Garrity (seven saves) and Mike Levin.
“I was very pleased with the defense. I think we have some big, strong, athletic kids back there,” Tucker said.
Chesapeake will be challenged a bit more on both ends on Saturday night when it plays Major League Lacrosse rival Denver at Severn School. The Outlaws, who lost to Toronto in last year’s MLL championship game, who feature a high-powered offense featuring Drew Westervelt, Brendan Mundorf and Brian Langtry along with a stout defense anchored Jesse Schwartzman.
“Denver will be a very good test for where this team stands so everyone should come out and watch that game,” Dixon said.
They Bayhawks open their regular season on 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.