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Dixon Enjoys Milestone Night as Bayhawks Capture Home Opener

March 18, 2016
ANNAPOLIS, MD -   Midfielder Kyle Dixon had a banner night with 10 points on four goals and three assists as the Chesapeake Bayhawks captured their home opener by routing the Ohio Machine, 23-11, before a franchise-record crowd of 10,162 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Dixon scored his 100 th career goal and also cranked in three 2-pointers to set the Major League Lacrosse all-time record in that category. Dixon now has 36 career 20-pointers, breaking the previous mark of 33 that was held by Roy Colsey (Philadelphia/Bridgeport Barrage).

“It feels great to set an MLL record, but the bigger thing is that we won 23-11. It’s been a while since we pulled away from a team like that,” Dixon said. “We moved the ball great tonight and were really clicking on all cylinders offensively.”

Dixon, who now has 102 career goals, once again wore jersey No. 5 in honor of former Archbishop Spalding teammate and close friend John Petrovick, who died of cancer last week.   

Midfielder Ben Hunt added five points on four goals, one of which was a 2-pointer. The fourth-year professional out of North Carolina now has nine points in two games this season.

Midfielder Steven Brooks fired in four goals and dished off one assist for Chesapeake, which improved to 2-0. Midfielders have carried the Bayhawks offensively so far this season as Brooks, Dixon, Hunt and Michael Kimmel have accounted for 33 points in two games.

“Last year we shot really poorly because too often settled for alley shots. We didn’t want to do that this year,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. “We said ‘let’s get to the middle of the field more.’ We’re getting better looks and the result is that our shooting percentage has gone up.”

Hunt and Brooks scored unassisted goals in the first 3 ½ minutes to give the Bayhawks an early 2-0 lead. However, Ohio took advantage of three Chesapeake penalties to go on a 4-1 run and take the lead.

Hunt rifled in a 2-pointer from the top of the arc with 15.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter to put the Bayhawks ahead 6-5 and the home team never trailed the rest of the way. Dixon set the career record with his first 2-pointer of the game on a power play at the 9:31 mark of the second quarter to give the Bayhawks an 11-6 lead, but a 2-pointer by Brett Garber cut the Machine’s deficit to 11-9 at halftime.

Chesapeake took complete control early in the third quarter as Hunt, Dixon, Brooks and attackman Danny Glading scored during a 4-0 run that made it 15-9. Dixon closed the period with his second 2-pointer to give the Bayhawks a commanding 17-10 lead.

“We decided we wanted to play fast tonight. Our goal was to find out how long (Ohio) could keep playing at that pace,” Cottle said. “I think we wore them down a bit as the game went along.” 

Attackman Drew Westervelt and short stick defensive midfielder Jeff Reynolds joined the team on Saturday night after completing their seasons with Philadelphia of the indoor professional National Lacrosse League. Westervelt had a productive night with two goals and an assist while Reynolds contributed an assist. 

After winning just six face-offs in the season opener against Long Island, Adam Rand rebounded to capture 22 of 33 draws versus Ohio. Rand gobbled up six ground balls and got great wing support from Bray Malphrus who scooped five grounders.

“I thought Adam really turned the game around by dominating the face-offs,” Cottle said.

Rookie T.C. DiBartolo started in goal and stopped six shots, but Cottle inserted veteran Joey Kemp between the pipes in the second half and he responded with 10 saves.

“Joey Kemp has given so much to this team and had never gotten to play in a home game. I made the decision last night that I was going to play him in the second half no matter what the score was,” Cottle said. “We had six fouls in the first half and played too much man-down defense. Joey came on and made a couple saves early to get us settled down and we played better defense the rest of the way.”

Attackman Jim Connolly scored three goals and assisted another to lead Ohio (0-1), an expansion franchise playing its first game. Midfielder Brett Garber had two goals and an assist for the Machine, who were outshot 46-36.

Bayhawks return home next weekend to battle the Rochester Rattlers. Fireworks will be held after the game. 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.

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