Turner and Defense Shine as Chesapeake Clinches Playoff Berth
Dixon totals four points, sets MLL record as Bayhawks beat Machine, 11-7
Kip Turner and the defense were the story as the Chesapeake Bayhawks escaped with an 11-7 road victory over the Ohio Machine on Saturday night at Selby Stadium. Turner made 16 saves and got great support from his long poles as the Bayhawks held the Machine to two goals in the second half.
Kyle Dixon recorded a game-high four points to lead the Bayhawks, who outscored the host Machine 7-3 in the second half to improve to 5-1 on the road this season. Dixon fired in a 2-point goal with just over 2 ½ minutes remaining to set the Major League Lacrosse single-season record in that category with 12.
Drew Westervelt and
Ben Rubeor totaled three points apiece for Chesapeake (9-2), which became the first team to clinch one of four berths in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs. Midfielders
Steven Brooks and
Michael Kimmel both contributed a goal and assist for the Bayhawks, who advance to MLL Championship Weekend for the eighth time in franchise history.
“Clinching this early releases some pressure and allows us to spend time working on ourselves down the stretch,” Chesapeake head coach
Dave Cottle said. “We couldn’t have played more poorly on offense in the first half, but the defense kept us in the game. We got a great defensive effort and great goaltending tonight.”
Westervelt had a goal and an assist for Chesapeake while midfielder
Joe Cummings netted two goals for Ohio in a low-scoring, penalty-marred first half that ended in a 4-4 tie. The Bayhawks committed four penalties, but did not allow an extra man goal in the first half.
“We applaud the defense for a tremendous job tonight. To hold a team to four goals in the first half then shut them out for so long in the second half is outstanding,” Cottle said. “Our long poles were very active knocking the ball to the ground and intercepting passes.”
Rubeor snapped the tie and put Chesapeake ahead for good with a 2-point goal with 3:33 elapsed in the third quarter. Following a turnover at midfield, Rubeor carried the ball to the 2-point arc and unleashed a left-handed laser that stuck the top corner of the net and gave the visitors a 6-4 lead. Rubeor has now scored at least one point in 26 straight games.
“Ben Rubeor is a winner and that was a huge goal he scored with that 2-pointer,” Cottle said.
Kimmel assisted Westervelt for a point-blank goal then scored unassisted on a left-handed crank shot as Chesapeake outscored Ohio 4-0 in the third period. Turner made seven saves, several of the spectacular variety, during the decisive stanza.
“It was a real defensive battle and we did what we had to do to get the win. I can’t give enough credit to my defense. Those guys were phenomenal tonight,” Turner said. “We’re really starting to come together as a unit. We’re making teams take the type of shots that are easy for me to see and stop.”
Michael Evans, Brian Spallina and
Nicky Polanco teamed with long stick midfielders
Dan Hostetler and
Barney Ehrmann as the Bayhawks held the Machine without a goal for a stretch of 26 ½ minutes in the second half. Cummings, who was recently traded by Chesapeake, broke the lengthy scoreless streak by scoring with 3 ½ minutes left in the game.
Brian Phipps, who started 10 games for Chesapeake last season, made 17 saves for Ohio. Cummings finished with three goals for the last-place Machine (2-9), who were eliminated from playoff contention.
The Bayhawks return home on Saturday, August 4
th to battle their long time rivals the Long Island Lizards. Papa John’s will be giving away thunder sticks at the gates. Tickets can be purchased online at
www.thebayhawks.comor over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Reserve your seat today and see the Bayhawks battle at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this summer.
For the Bayhawks full schedule go to