Bayhawks Look to Repeat Week Two Win Over Nationals
The Chesapeake Bayhawks enter week five 3-1, in a three-way tie for first, while the Toronto Nationals are dead last with an 0-4 record.
Chesapeake crushed Toronto in week two, but don’t count the Nationals out just yet; coming off a last second loss to the Machine, they will be sure to hit the turf with a chip on their shoulder hoping to put that first W on the board. Toronto lost last week’s game because partly due to a turnover with 30-seconds left on the clock. The change of possession gave Chicago the chance to snake a two-point goal past Brett Queener to end the Nationals hopes of securing their first win of the season.
The Bayhawks defense will need to watch Nationals midfielders Jordan Hall and Mark Steenhuis. Hall registered four goals last week while Steenhuis tallied three, including a two-pointer. Brett Queener recorded 19 saves and stayed in goal for the entire game against Chicago. In the past he had divided time with Doc Schneider; however, Sunday night at the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, Toronto traded Schneider to Chicago.
The Nationals picked up rookie Scott Rodgers, goalie from Notre Dame with the seventh overall selection of this year’s draft. “Were going to see how [Rodgers] works out in practice. If he can, we’d rather go back to [each goalie playing 30 minutes],” Nationals’ Head Coach and GM Dave Huntley said. “It’s a lot to have to go 60 minutes, especially the way Queener plays; he uses a lot of energy.”
If Rodgers starts and Queener finishes in goal, the team keeps errant passes to a minimum and prevents turnovers, the Bayhawks will be in for a much tougher match up than they saw in week two. Bayhawks’ general manager Spencer Ford isn’t expecting to play the same team, saying, “The Nationals are a well coached team and still have some very good talent all over the field; they will be a different team for the remainder of the season.”
The last time the teams met the National’s face-off specialist Geoff Snider was out with an injury, allowing Alex Smith to win 34 of 39 face-off attempts. Chesapeake can’t expect a repeat performance from Smith as Snider will be playing this week, but as long as Smith gets Bayhawks’ top scorers,Peet Poillon, Danny Glading, Buggs Combs, Brian Vetter and two-point specialist, Kyle Dixon the ball, they believe they will be successful. “I think we have very smart shooters and if they shoot smart, the shots will fall,” said Ford. “I have great confidence in our scorers.”
In addition to their already stellar attack unit, the Bayhawks beefed up their midfield line in the draft. Chesapeake added significant depth, selecting Michael Kimmel of Johns Hopkins and Brian Carroll of Virginia. Ford is pleased with their selections; he commented, “We feel very confident that we took the players who fit into our style and will help our team as a whole.”
“Kimmel [is expected] to dress on Saturday,” said Ford. Kimmel compiled 145 points with 79 goals and 66 assists during his collegiate career with the Blue Jays.
The Bayhawks have made no comment on any other draftees dressing against Toronto, it is likely Carroll will see action at some point this summer. Carroll has an incredibly accurate overhand crank shot which registered 94 goals during his time at Virginia.
While the Bayhawks did crush the Nationals 25-12 a few weeks ago, it is important for Chesapeake to go into the game clearheaded and ready to go. It can be challenging preparing for such a match up, but Ford is confident the Bayhawks will outscore the Nationals again this week.
“I think anytime you have already beat a team, the focus needs to be on taking care of the little things, work a little harder on winning the ground ball battle, take good shots, play within the team game plan and really remain focused and to not get complacent.”
Watch the Chesapeake Bayhawks take on the Toronto Nationals Saturday, June 12 starting at 7 p.m. streaming live on ESPN3.com.