2013 MLL Championship Preview: Charlotte vs Chesapeake

It’s young versus old in todays 2013 MLL Championship Game, as the veteran Chesapeake Bayhawks battle it out with the tender footed Charlotte Hounds.

In their match ups, the two teams are even. Charlotte took down Coach Cottle’s squad earlier in the season in a 16-15 OT victory. These two teams duked it out in the final game of the regular season just two weeks prior to today and Chesapeake came out with the 16-14 win, using a six goal fourth quarter to put down the Hounds.

With their win over Denver in yesterday’s Semi-Final game, Charlotte has a lot of momentum heading into today. They’re young, fired up and focused. Coach Cerino will be looking at his eldest player, Matt Danowski, as he leads his team into battle. Helping him along the way will be his rookies. Mason Poli at the LSM position, Josh Hawkins in transition, along with the firing squad of Matt White, Jake Tripucka, and Mike Sawyer, who combined for for fourteen points against the Outlaws. The Hounds defense will have to play as well as they did yesterday, except not let one player get nine goals. It’s going to be a tough and long day for Brett Schmidt, Ryan Flanagan, Adam Ghitelman and the rest of the Charlotte defense going up against this precise passing Chesapeake offense.

Chesapeake won their one goal contest against the Hamilton Nationals with just 1:25 remaining in the game thanks to Player of the Game, Michael Kimmel, who had four points on the day. Kimmel was followed by Ben Hunt, who finally saw time, and John Grant Jr, with three points of their own. Drew Westervelt, Casey Powell, Ben Rubeor and Matt Abbott all recorded two points. Kip Turner made 14 saves in the cage for the Bayhawks, but he will have his hands busy during todays game. Brian Spallina has to keep his team under wraps, but play physical with the Hounds offense. Whoever guards Tripucka will have to keep him from dodging down the right alley, along with stopping Matt Danowski and Ryan Young’s sweeps from X.

The defenses will have to control themselves and stay out of the penalty box. Chesapeake went to the sin bin six times yesterday, watching Hamilton score three times on the EMO. While Charlotte sat four times and were scored on twice.

Faceoff’s and ground balls are going to win todays game. Geoff Snider and Timmy Fallon combined for 22-32 at the X, while Adam Rand went 12-28. Charlotte scooped up 48 ground ball’s, with Chesapeake grabbing 31. Another factor in today’s contest is who can get to 16 first. Looking back at their match ups this season, the victor has tallied 16 goals.

Chesapeake likes to play at slower pace, while Charlotte, who can play six on six ball, is more of a fast style f play team. The Hounds will be looking to de-crown the defending champs, while Chesapeake looks to hoist its fifth Steinfeld Cup on ESPN 2 or from the seats at PPL Park at 3 p.m.