The New York Lizards, motivated by a need to win to make playoffs, defeated the Chesapeake Bayhawks 18-11 in New York on Saturday at James M. Shuart Stadium. This win allowed the Lizards to secure fourth place in the MLL and the final playoff spot.
Chesapeake relied on specific players to get the win, and this proved to be problematic as once again a strong defense targeted those specific players while other attackmen failed to deliver equally strong performances.
This game saw repeat offender and lacrosse wizard Lyle Thompson deliver a dazzling show that ended with three goals and two assists. Myles Jones muscled in one goal while assisting on four others to tie him with Thompson for the most points on Chesapeake’s side. This could be seen as a breakout game for Jones who has struggled at times to either put the ball in the back of the net or assist on key plays. It helps to show that Jones can be an integral part of the attack.
Somewhat shocking was the lack of points from Colin Heacock for the second game in a row. Heacock, who had been an offensive staple in the beginning of the season, contributed one assist. One has to wonder if the return of Lyle Thompson has contributed to the decrease in numbers on Heacock’s end.
Another change happened in the Chesapeake goal. Niko Amato seemed to struggle with the quick Lizards’ offense. He made four saves in the first half and was subsequently replaced with Brian Phipps (who has not had a lot of game time) in the second half. Phipps stopped eight shots.
The stars of New York were quite obvious in the game. The first star was Rob Pannell who netted seven goals and created two assists for a nine-point spectacular. He was followed by Will Manny who scored three goals and contributed four assists.
Perhaps the only two real problems the Bayhawks had were seven players contributing to the offense (in terms of points) as opposed to New York’s nine as well as the fact that Drew Adams had more saves than both Chesapeake goalies combined.
Despite the loss, Chesapeake has to rebound quickly. As the second seed, they have a home playoff game next Saturday at 5:30 p.m. vs the Denver Outlaws. Tickets are still available. Fans can scoop them up at https://www.thebayhawks.com/articles/2018-playoff-game-tickets.