MLL: Barrage return to MLL after 11 years but fall to defending champs

July 18, 2020 Annapolis, MD – Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Philadelphia Barrage vs Chesapeake Bayhawks. Lyle Thompson high-fives Andrew Kew. (Photography Credit: Alex McIntyre)

On Saturday the Philadelphia Barrage returned to the playing field after an 11-year absence and faced the defending champion Chesapeake Bayhawks. Unfortunately, the Barrage just fell short by falling 16-11.

Tommy Palasek got the ball rolling for the Barrage by scoring the first of his three goals of the MLL season to start the Barrage on a quick three-goal run. Mark Matthews and Shayne Jackson would find the back of the net as well.

Andrew Kew would stop the bleeding for the Bayhawks by scoring twice and bring some momentum to the home team. Nick Solomon absorbed a brutal near hit the end of the first quarter but still caught some rope for the Bayhawks and the first 15 minutes of the season would end tied 4-4.

“We went down early, and we kept believing,” Kew said during the post-game interview. “We had a long time off, everybody, and we knew it was eventually going to come. We got the ball and we were able to come back and eventually take a good win to start here.”

The middle two stanzas would be much of the same with both teams laying the lumber and going on runs to give their teams a lead, only to be tied.

July 18, 2020 Annapolis, MD – Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Philadelphia Barrage vs Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Barrage celebrate a goal. (Photography Credit: Alex McIntyre)

Mark Evanchick had the task of trying to contain Lyle Thompson, in the first half he did just that by holding Thompson to just one goal, Thompson would collect three goals by the time this one was over.

Tyson Gibson would score his second of the day with under a minute to go in the third to tie the game at 10.

Nate Solomon would dive across the crease to get the ball rolling for the Bayhawks for an early 11-10 fourth quarter lead. Jon Mazza would respond back with his second of the day to tie the game at 11, and then the Bayhawks offense would take over by scoring the final five goals of the game.

Andrew Kew was responsible for seven of the goals, scoring six times including a 2-pt goal. Nate Solomon and 2019 MVP Lyle Thompson had hat tricks. Ryan Keenan picked up two, while Luke Anderson and Shane Simpson recorded a goal each.

Philadelphia will need to eliminate unnecessary penalties as the Bayhawks took advantage of that all day long.

Both teams will have a very quick turnaround. Chesapeake (1-0) will face the NY Lizards (0-1) who fell to Boston (1-0) 16-14 at 1 p.m. today. The Barrage (0-1) will face a very high-powered offense in the Denver Outlaws (1-0) who blasted the Connecticut Hammerheads (0-1) 18-6 at 4 p.m.