Chesapeake Can’t Overcome Early 9-0 Deficit, Loses Fourth Straight
Midfielder Paul Rabil scored four goals and led an early onslaught that lifted the Boston Cannons to a 16-10 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mike Levin entered the game early in the first quarter and made eight saves in his most extensive action of the season for Chesapeake, which could not overcome an early 9-0 deficit. Midfielders Kyle Dixon and Peet Poillon scored two goals apiece to lead the Bayhawks (4-5), who have suffered four straight losses.
Rabil, the reigning Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player and a member of the United States National team, scored three goals in the opening six minutes of the game as the Cannons came out on fire. Rabil’s 2-point goal gave him an early hat trick and put Boston ahead 5-0. Midfielder Matt Poskay added two goals while rookie attackman Max Quinzani contributed a goal and an assist as the visitors raced to a commanding 9-0 lead.
“That first quarter killed us. Giving up nine goals in a game is bad, let alone nine in one quarter,” Bayhawks defenseman Mike Evans said. “It’s tough to come back from that kind of deficit, but I think we showed some heart by coming back and getting within three at one point.”
Midfielder Jed Prossner, active for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on June 4, finally put the Bayhawks on the board with 1:30 left in the first quarter. Rookie attackman Brian Carroll, a first-round draft choice out of Virginia making his MLL debut, scored his first career goal to start the second quarter while midfielders Peet Poillon and Kyle Dixon followed with goals to cap a 4-0 run that pulled Chesapeake within 9-4 with 6:05 elapsed.
However, midfielder Kevin Buchanan and Poskay closed the second period with consecutive goals to send Boston into intermission with a comfortable 11-4 advantage. “The Cannons came out running and gunning while didn’t come out with the type of intensity we needed and it showed,” Evans said.
Chesapeake displayed renewed energy to open the second half with a 2-point goal by midfielder Kyle Dixon sparking an impressive rally. It was the 26th 2-pointer of Dixon’s five-year career and the moved the former Virginia All-American into second place in MLL history in that category. Dixon surpassed Mike Regan (Boston Cannons) and is now seven shy of all-time leader Roy Colsey (Philadelphia Barrage).
Short stick defensive midfielder netted his third goal of the season while Poillon scored on a beautiful behind-the-back shot as the Bayhawks closed the gap to 11-8 with just under nine minutes left in the third period. However, Buchanan had a goal and an assist as the Cannons responded with five consecutive goals to push the lead back to 16-8.
“It was a lousy start. We didn’t come out with a whole lot of fire and dug ourselves a hole that was too deep to recover from,” Chesapeake head coach John Tucker said. “We have to be able to put 60 minutes together. Playing well for 30 minutes doesn’t cut it. We play in spurts and we have to find a way to fix that.”
Chazz Woodson, who started at attack in place of Ben Rubeor, had one final highlight for Chesapeake – flying in from behind the goal and scoring on a slam dunk shot in an imitation of the “Air Gait” move made famous by former Syracuse and former Bayhawks star Gary Gait.
“That’s become a staple of my game. I’ve been jumping and diving since I first started playing varsity lacrosse in high school,” said Woodson, who has scored a lot of those types of goals during his MLL career. “I don’t know if I’ve ever scored one right over the top like that. I’ll have to go back and look at the replay, but it felt pretty cool.”
Goalie Kip Turner made 20 saves – one shy of his season-high – to anchor a strong defensive effort for Boston (6-3), which remained tied with Denver atop the MLL standings. Prossner finished with a goal and an assist for the Bayhawks, whose nine goals were a season low.