Veteran midfielder Kyle Dixon piled up seven points and tied a Major League Lacrosse record with three 2-point goals as the Chesapeake Bayhawks opened the 2013 season by beating the Rochester Rattlers 17-14 in a wild shootout in front of 3,940 fans at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“It was a typical first game. We didn’t play great, but fortunately we got the win and that’s all that matters,” Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said.
Dixon, in his eighth MLL season, had his cannon crank shot on target and increased his MLL career record for 2-pointers to 50. The perennial All-Star also dished off an assist as Chesapeake began defense of its MLL championship with a thrilling victory.
“I guess you could say I was feeling it tonight,” said Dixon, who was named Bud Light Player of the Game. “Teams just continue to back off and give me space beyond the arc. Coach Cottle has given me the green light to shoot whenever I’m open out there and tonight I was fortunate to connect on a few.”
Midfielder Ben Hunt fired in a pair of 2-pointers of his own in totaling six points for the Bayhawks, who won without seven players who are still involved in the National Lacrosse League playoffs. Among that group were two returning starting attackmen in Drew Westervelt and John Grant, Jr.
Matt Mackrides, a second-year pro out of Penn State, started on attack and came up big with three goals and four ground balls. Mackrides scored two extra man goals in the fourth quarter to give the Bayhawks breathing room.
Nicky Polancowas all over the field and played like a man possessed in anchoring a defense that rose to the occasion and shut out Rochester in the fourth quarter. Polanco provided great man-to-man coverage on Rochester attackmanMark Millon, caused several turnovers and gobbled up three ground balls.
The 2013 home opener is Saturday, May 4th against the New York Lizards at 7:00 PM at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Fireworks will be held after the game and will be presented by G&G Outfitters. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.thebayhawks.comor over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957).
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