Major League Lacrosse rocked Annapolis last weekend with with an All-Star extravaganza that included a professional clinic for younger players, a fan zone, a fly over, the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and more in a festivity-jammed day. The main feature of the night was the All-Star game between Team Fire and Team Ice.
Team Ice came from behind with a total team effort late in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Both goalies made tremendous saves late in the game to force the game into overtime. Lyle Thompson took control after several back and forth plays between the teams. He was able to hold the ball despite several men on him before finding Brendan Sunday, who maybe should have been called Saturday as it was his night to shine because he put the winning goal in the back of the net to end the game 16-15 for Team Ice.
Despite outstanding play from several players, Dylan Molloy walked away with the $10,000 MVP award from New Balance after a solid effort of five goals and one assist. The goals demonstrated his wide range of scoring ability as he entertained the over 6,000 fans in attendance.
The All-Star game was certainly filled with talent on both teams. Thompson was his usual spectacular self. He wowed the crowd with his ability to get key shots off despite several players draped over him. He not only mesmerized the players playing for and against him while giving instructions as the captain of team Ice, he also had devoted children watching his every move. “I know he can do it” and “Lyle” chants were heard throughout various parts of the VIP seating. Thompson also patiently signed autographs for the fans who seemed starstruck in his presence.
Thompson was not the only member of the Chesapeake Bayhawks to make the game and do a great job representing the team. Ten other players from Chesapeake joined Lyle. The Bayhawks had more representatives than any other team in Major League Lacrosse. C.J. Costabile had a solid defensive effort. He also managed to get a few 2-point shots off.
Going against Team Ice was an impressive Team Fire led by Rob Pannell. Pannell is used to being center stage and, once again, showed his strong skills. Team Fire found themselves down in goals, however, they quickly came back and built an impressive lead before Team Ice ultimately came back to win.
Veteran players like Pannell, Molloy and Kevin Crowley led Team Fire while showing Annapolis that they were not going to give up in the game. Things may have turned out differently if Major League Lacrosse instituted a fifth “quarter” of play in overtime instead of the sudden victory that is traditionally seen in lacrosse.
All of the players, the league, the Bayhawks organization and the city of Annapolis all proved to be the winners on this warm July night.
Photos by Laura Kupsey. More here.