MLL: Lone week three game rekindles rivalry between Bayhawks and Lizards

Lyle Thompson had five goals for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. (Photo credit: Brett Osman)

Week three of Major League Lacrosse saw only one game played, but it proved a matchup as old as the league itself as two of the founding franchises faced each other. An old rivalry renewed itself as the Chesapeake Bayhawks traveled to face the New York Lizards and emerged victorious with a 16-14 win.

Both teams share a history of being among the elite of the league during its inception. The Bayhawks and Lizards have met five times in the championship game with Chesapeake holding a 3-5 edge over New York. Both franchises also watched as Denver and other franchises ascended to the top tier. Both Chesapeake and New York look to build on their history and renew a great rivalry and assert who holds the title of “hotbed of lacrosse.” The Bayhawks appear to have weathered the PLL split more seamlessly than the Lizards as New York entered the game looking for its first victory of the season.

In a closely contested first quarter, the Lizards managed a 5-4 lead that faded as the Bayhawks battled back and forced a tie game at halftime. A low-scoring third quarter saw New York take a slim 12-11 lead as the Lizards could taste their first victory. As they had done in many previous meetings, the Bayhawks turned the tables on the Lizards in the fourth quarter and secured a win. Chesapeake rallied and outscored New York 5-2 in the final quarter, securing the 16-14 win and moving into second place.

New York moves to 0-3 and finds itself looking for answers. The Lizards won the battle for groundballs 40-34 and faceoffs 20-12. Chesapeake simply put more shots on goal. Nikko Amato finished the game with 15 saves while Lyle Thompson dazzled the crowd with a five goal and two assist effort that earned him offensive player of the week honors. New York’s Ben Randall won defensive player of the week with an incredible interception of a Steele Stanwick shot on an open goal.

Chesapeake now sits in second place in the league standings and does not play again until June 29thwhen they face the Atlanta Blaze. New York looks to climb out of last place when they travel to Quincy, Massachusetts and gain revenge on first place Boston. The Lizards’ path to a championship proves most difficult as they attempt to avoid a dreaded 0-4 start while Chesapeake sits at a comfortable 2-0 record and time to rest and prepare for the Blaze. The Bayhawks appear bound for a return to championship form while the Lizards need some retooling.