ANNAPOLIS, MD – Midfielder Peet Poillon scored five goals to lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to a convincing 16-8 victory over the Long Island Lizards in the Major League Lacrosse season opener on Saturday night.
Poillon, a second-year player out of UMBC, scored all of his goals on hard crank shots and also dished out two assists in being named Bud Light Most Valuable Player. It was a professional career-high for Poillon, who only played in two games for the Bayhawks as a rookie last season.
“For a little guy Peet generates a lot of power. He played hockey growing up and developed incredibly quick hands. If he puts it on goal, the speed of his shot makes it tough to stop,” Chesapeake head coach
John Tucker said.
Kyle Dixon fired in a pair of two-point goals for Chesapeake, which drew 4,800 fans to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Ben Rubeor dished off three assists while fellow attackman
Danny Glading scored two goals for the Bayhawks, who outshot the Lizards 31-20.
Long Island jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, but midfielder
Brian Vetter got Chesapeake going with a two-point goal, unleashing a rocket crank shot from just outside the 16-yard arc. “We were a little flat coming out, but Brian Vetter had a big 2-pointer to get us going,” Tucker said.
Alex Smith dominated the faceoffs for Chesapeake, winning 17 of 25 draws. Smith, a member of the United States national team, routinely won the draw himself or funneled it toward wing men Brian Abbott and PT Ricci.
“Alex is amazing with how artistic he is at that role. He can put the ball wherever he wants to – left, right or backwards,” Tucker said.
Chris Garrity made 12 saves to anchor a strong defensive effort for the Bayhawks, who held a potent Lizards squad to single digits. Close defenders
Joe Cinosky and
Ray Megill showed good chemistry in their first regular season game together in quieting a Long Island attack featuring the high-scoring former Duke duo of
Matt Danowski and
“We’re still learning how to play with each other, but it says a lot about our cohesiveness already to come out and play like that in our first game,” Cinosky said. “I think all night we did a great job of shutting down everybody one-on-one, and we supported each other, which was great to see on the first night.”
Last night’s game marked the debut of the Chesapeake Bayhawks under a new ownership group headed by
Brendan Kelly. Several Bayhawks players conducted a pre-game clinic for youth lacrosse players while Washington College and Salisbury engaged in a War on the Shore alumni game. A spectacular fireworks display capped a great opening night for Hometown Lacrosse LLC and the team.
“The players have responded to Brendan Kelly’s efforts to make this a first-class operation. There is a renewed enthusiasm with this team that has been created by Brendan and his staff,” Tucker said.
Andrew “Buggs” Combs contributed a goal and assist for Chesapeake, which closed the first half with a 4-0 run to seize control. Midfielders
John Christmas and
Matt Abbott also scored goal.
The Bayhawks head to Toronto next weekend to take on the Nationals at 2 PM. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 2. The team returns home on Friday, June 4
th to face the Boston Cannons. Ticket information is available at