MLL: Hammerheads take a bite out of Bayhawks to secure playoff berth

July 24, 2020 Annapolis, MD Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Connecticut Hammerheads vs Chesapeake Bayhawks. Photography Credit: Alex McIntyre

It was almost like the theme to Jaws was playing on the big screens in Maryland this afternoon. The Connecticut Hammerheads may be one of the youngest and newest teams in Major League Lacrosse but they rallied behind their team name and hunted down their Bayhawks prey this afternoon. No one would have known this team lacked experience or age watching today’s game. They thoroughly shut down the defending champions in a decisive 14-9 victory.

This sets up the two teams for a rematch in their semi-final on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Nine different players scored for the Bayhawks but only three goals had assists on them, which may be common in field lacrosse but isn’t common for the Bayhawks. Fans are used to seeing Lyle Thompson draped with players while still getting off the ball and earning another assist.

The Bayhawks struggled with the offense as it appeared they were playing as individuals and not as a team. They also struggled two win faceoffs and on defense in terms of shutting specific players down.

Two players they had a hard time containing were Ben Martin and Bradley Voigt. Martin scored five goals on six shots. His shooting was certainly focused and predatory. Voigt scored four goals on six shots.

The Bayhawks were already down a goaltender due to an injury to Brian Phipps. C.J. Costabile added to the man down situation for the Bayhawks after he pummeled a Connecticut player who was down in his crease. And while the Bayhawks did not have a man down for the five-minute penalty that was assigned to Costabile, they did have to sit him in the box for that time. That hurt an already struggling defense and seemed to kick Connecticut’s momentum into high gear.

Sean Sconone continues to impress people with his saves and his save percentages. There doesn’t seem to be an angle this young goalie cannot cover. It is obvious that his defense believes in him. He is quite vocal in the game and it is helping his team win.

Going forward, Chesapeake will need to:

  • Try and play Phipps in goal. Injured or not, they need the veteran goalie.
  • Keep their tempers under control. Penalties will only hurt this team.
  • Find find a way to get assists. They need to work as a team and not focus on individuals.
  • Get someone to step up and win crucial faceoffs. Costabile can help, but they need his presence on defense.

Connecticut will have to:

  • Take the momentum from these big wins into the playoffs. This confidence can help them work toward making it into the finals.
  • Have Sconone to continue to be outstanding. He has been stellar so far.
  • Count on other players to score a lot of goals because Voigt and Martin will probably be double or triple teamed.