Six different players took draws for Coach Cottle this past year, none of which were Alex Smith. Adam Rand was the go to guy for Chesapeake, winning 171-356, followed by Matt Dolente’s 4-14. Long poles Bernhardt, Simon and Ehrmann went a combined 3-11. As a team, they went 178-381 with an average of .467, tied for fifth with Charlotte. The Hounds ousted Chesapeake in the championship game at the X, in big part to Geoff Snider who didn’t play until the end of the season, going 32-45 in the two playoff games, beating out Chesapeake15-20. Rand went 5-16, with Ehrmann going 0-2, with Reynolds and Bernhardt losing their only draws as well.
Since his injury last year, Smith has been missed. He was dominant at the University of Delaware and in the MLL since being drafted by Rochester in 2007. Alex has gone 1038-1767, missing out on the 2013 season with an achilles injury. He was brought into the playoffs in 2012 to carry the face-off load and helped the Bayhawks win the MLL title. He was not put on the 23-man protected roster by Chesapeake.
Rand was picked up by Chesapeake from Long Island in 2012 and took over the draws after Smith went down with an injury. He went 54% prior to the playoffs winning 185-345 draws. Dolente played for Hamilton for three years, including five games in 2013, one game with New York and ended the season with Chesapeake, winning 71-157 draws over the year, including 4-14 with the Bayhawks. Both have been protected by the Bayhawks heading into 2014.
Wing play is crucial in the sport of lacrosse. Dolente and Rand will have plenty of help on that side of the ball with Reynolds, Abbott and Burns, along with poles Bernhardt, Ehrmann and Megill. Chesapeake only scooped up 389 ground balls last year, finishing seventh in the league. With the decline in face-off percentage for the Bayhawks over the past few years, they will need either Dolente or Rand to step up and take control of the tempo of the game early and often.
Here are the Bayhawks regular season face-off stats since 2009:
.586 – 2009 – 1st – Result: Fifth in MLL
.559 – 2010 -1st – Result: Champions
.544 – 2011 – 2nd – Result: Semifinalist
.531 – 2012 – 4th – Result: Champions
.467 – 2013 – T5th – Result: Champions