Victories over the Florida Launch have helped Chesapeake get off to a 2-0 start on the season as they get set to host Ohio in Annapolis on Sunday.
The Machine have lost both of their games this season to New York and Denver.
Midfielder Matt Mackrides caught fire last Sunday against the Launch, tallying four goals and adding three assists for seven points. His feeding ability as well as stellar shooting were on display as he powered his team to a 15-11 win. The former Penn State Nittany Lion heads into Sunday’s matchup leading the team with nine points (four goals, five assists).
Veteran attackman Ben Rubeor leads all Bayhawks in finding the back of the net with seven goals.
Former Princeton Tiger Tyler Fiorito heads in with a 9.50 goals against average and a .596 save percentage between the pipes for Chesapeake.
Meanwhile the Machine have relied on the scoring of Peter Baum (six goals, three assists) and Tom Schreiber (five goals, two assists) to keep them afloat. Baum showed off some shiftiness and finesse last week against Denver, potting three goals and adding an assist in the 14-13 loss.
Brian Phipps has been plenty busy in the cage this season for Ohio, as he currently has a 13.50 goals against average and a .526 save percentage.
A huge problem for the Machine has been at the faceoff x, where they are 14-52 (26.9%).
Chesapeake hasn’t been overwhelming at faceoffs either, going 21-53 (39.6%).
The faceoff battle will be more crucial for the Machine given how the Bayhawk defense has been playing, allowing a league-low 19 goals in their two games. Ohio waived Bobby Dattilo meaning they will need someone to step up for faceoffs. Stephen Robarge has been the main man for Chesapeake, going 17-46 (36.9%).
The Bayhawks’ Nicky Polanco and Chris Hipps have established themselves as formidable presences on the defensive side of the ball. Polanco held reigning Offensive Player of the Year Casey Powell to one goal on Sunday. Jesse Bernhardt had a solid game last week as well.
Ohio’s defense has been questionable the past two weeks. Their slides haven’t been quick and opposing teams have cut their way to open lanes for scores. We’ll see if the defensive core of the Machine, led by Dana Wilber and Steve Waldeck, can tighten things up.
Game time is set for 4pm at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. The game can be seen on ESPN3.