After an exciting Saturday which featured the top team and ﬁrst undefeated team in the league losing and a second semi-ﬁnal that was decided by one goal, Sunday had a lot of expectations to live up to. As the day wore on, it was evident that Chesapeake and Charlotte were feeling the effects of the long weekend, but in the end, Chesapeake was able to get by Charlotte by a score of 10-9 to win the convented Steinfeld trophy and the right to call themselves Major League Lacrosse champions.
The ﬁrst half featured back and forth play from both teams, which each team feeling the effects of playing in yesterday’s games. Carrying the momentum from their win over Denver, Charlotte came out ﬁring, and was able to break the score open with a goal by attackman Ryan Young.
The lead did not last long as Chesapeake fought back quickly on a sweet behind the back pass from Casey Powell to Ben Rubeor, which Rubeor was able to deposit in the back of the net to knot the game up at two. After dishing out an assist, Powell decided that he wanted to get in on the scoring action and that is exactly what he did. Powell took the ball behind the net and faced tough defense from Charlotte’s Josh Hawkins, but was able to sneak the ball past Charlotte goalie Adam Ghitelman to put the Bayhawks up early, 2-1.
Again, that lead for Chesapeake would not last as Ryan Young put his second in the back of the net to knot things up at two a piece. With time winding down in the ﬁrst quarter, Chesapeake’s John Grant Jr. allowed his team to take a lead into the break by ﬁring a shot past Ghitelman with 1.1 seconds
Tough defense for both teams returned in the second quarter as there was not much action through the early part of the quarter. Chesapeake ﬁnally broke through in the second as Grant Jr. blasted a shot from just inside the two point arc that found the back of the net. Jr. took another Powell assist to put the ball in the net.
As the last seconds ticked down in the second quarter, it was deja-vu for Chesapeake as Grant Jr. was able to score, this time with less than a second left in the ﬁrst half to give his team a 5-2 lead going into halftime. The ﬁrst half was marred by uncharacteristically sloppy play from some of the veterans on both teams. Charlotte’s Matt Danowski ﬁnd himself with a few turnovers in the ﬁrst half as his team tried to climb back into the game.
Scoring in the second half started off in a weird way, not because of who scored, but because of how he scored. After a Charlotte turnover, Grant Jr. was able to take the ball down to the other end of the ﬁeld and end up with a good chance in front of the net. With a chance to stop him, Ghitelman came out of his crease, but found himself out of position. Seeing his chance, Jr. was able to put the ball past Charlotte’s Brett Schmidt who was guarding the net for his out of position goalie. The unusual goal made the score 6-2 in favor of the Bayhawks.
Charlotte was able to ﬁght their way back into the game on the back of Young as he scored the next two goals of the game, ﬁrst scoring his third of the game for the hat trick, then using a Jake Tripucka pick to put the ball in the back of the net for the fourth time of the day and cut the Chesapeake lead to two goals at 6-4.
The third quarter would ﬁnish with Chesapeake ending a Charlotte two goal run with a two goal run of their own, ending the quarter with Drew Westervelt and Matt Mackrides goals to make the score 8-4. Charlotte did their best to claw their way back in the fourth quarter, starting with a Mike Sawyer goal that saw Chesapeake goalie Kip Turner lose his stick in front of him and then block the Sawyer blast with his body to no avail. The goal made the score 8-5 Chesapeake.
After a penalty on Danowski, Chesapeake used the powerplay to their advantage as Westervelt blasted a shot past Ghitelman to give them a 9-5 lead with time running out on Charlotte. Charlotte would then come back and use two man up opportunities of their own to pull the game back within two goals.
First, Chesapeake’s Jeff Reynolds was called for interference, which gave Charlotte a 30 second power play. However, Charlotte only needed a few of those seconds as Peet Poillon made the game 9-6 with a strong blast that beat Turner. Chespeake was called for a second penalty only seconds later as face off specialist Adam Rand was called for an illegal procedure penalty. On the ensuing power play, Sawyer was able to break free and rip one of his patented fast shots to make the score 9-7.
As both teams fought through the fourth quarter, fatigue again became a problem as we saw Chesapeake trying to slow the game down to run some clock, while Charlotte wanted to keep an up-tempo style and ﬁght back.Drew Westervelt would make the game 10-7 with only ﬁve minutes left as he was able to slip one through Ghitelman’s ﬁve hole for his second goal of the day.
As the game was all but decided, Danowski ripped a shot from midﬁeld that skipped past Turner, but it was a little too late as Chesa
One of the keys to the game would be how Chesapeake would shut down Charlotte’s face off specialist, Geoff Snider. Although the Bayhawks were unable to shut down Snider as he won 15-20, but the Bayhawks were able to limit the amount of times
Charlotte was able to take the ball downﬁeld after winning those face offs, which helped them tremendously. Another strong facet of the game for both teams was the goalie play, and that did not disappoint either. On the day, Turner saved 14 of 22 shots while Ghitelman was able to stop 9 of 19 shots.
With the win, the Bayhawks can now start talking dynasty as they have reached the top of the league again. Chesapeake’s John Grant Jr. was named Championship Weekend MVP. Jr. had three vital points yesterday as Chesapeake knocked off Hamilton and carried the team on his back today, using four goals to carry the Bayhawks to the title.