The visiting Rochester Rattlers owned the opening 9:41 of the first quarter of Sunday’s Major League Lacrosse game against the host Chesapeake Bayhawks in Annapolis as the visitors slithered to a quick 5-0 lead and it looked as though Chesapeake was poised to lose to Rochester for the eighth consecutive time. However, Lyle Thompson’s goal with 5:01 to play in the quarter took all the venom out of the Rattlers’ bite. Thompson’s goal sparked a seven goal Bayhawks run as Chesapeake sailed to a dominating 19-9 win.
Continuing the game of runs, Rochester bit back to knot the game at seven but Matt Abbott scored the second of his four goals on the night with just 35 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Bayhawks an 8-7 halftime lead. Maryland graduate Niko Amato got his third start of the season in goal and, after a shaky start, settled down to register five saves.
After Rochester again fought back even the score at nine, it again fell to Thompson to spark the Bayhawks. When Thompson scored with an assist from Josh Byrne, the rout was on. Chesapeake scored three more times in the third period and their six goal fourth quarter featured a two point goal by Byrne.
Meanwhile, the Bayhawks turned up the defensive heat. Brian Phipps replaced Amato in goal to start the second half and, though he gave up a pair of goals, the defense was so dominant that he only faced three shots. Jesse Bernhardt, another Terrapin alum, led that effort causing four turnovers and picking up seven ground balls.
Another Terp, Colin Heacock redeemed himself after struggling early on with a pair of turnovers by scoring a pair of fourth quarter goals. Both of Heacock’s scores came off of flashy assists from the player of the game, Lyle Thompson. Thompson added five goals to that pair of assists and was ably supported by Matt Abbott who scored four times with two assists.
The Bayhawks improve to 4-5 tying them with Atlanta a half game behind Charlotte and Florida for the fourth and final playoff spot heading into the league’s All-Star break. Chesapeake will return to action with a home and home series against Florida beginning in Tampa on July 15 before facing them five days later in Annapolis.
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