Chesapeake Bayhawks 2018 Mid-Season Review
July 4th has come and gone and so has the first half of the MLL season. With the MLL season
starting in late April, the beginning of the season is overlooked by the attention that college
lacrosse players receive during the late spring. Just as Ben Reeves and Connor Kelly were
leading Yale and Maryland to the Final Four in Boston this past spring, their future professional
teams were just kicking off their season, hoping to notch a few early wins before their collegiate
teammates turned professionals and joined them on the field.
Major League Lacrosse has changed just a bit since last season ended. Although no teams
were added, the league took a westward expansion as the Rochester Rattlers relocated to
Dallas, Texas to become the Dallas Rattlers, who currently sit atop of the standings with a
record of 8-2.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
The MLL is continuously diversifying itself, attempting to bring fandom and publicity to a sport
that is quite popular in a select few areas, but over the past few years has been expanding west
very quickly, and shows plenty of potential for growth. One of their mid-summer events that gain
a bit of publicity is the MLL All-Star Game. A couple of years ago, the MLL switched its format
and now they feature the MLL All-Stars against Team USA. For Team USA, this was their final
test in preparation for the 2018 FIL World Championships in Israel. This year’s All-Star game
was held in Boston, MA on Thursday, June 28th. A few athletes from the Baltimore area were
featured in the game, including Stephen Kelly, Matt Dunn and Ryan Brown. In a very
competitive, entertaining matchup, the MLL All-Stars walked away victorious by a score of 15-14
after a big late comeback. After being down 14-8, the MLL All-Stars went on a run that was
capped off by a Will Manny goal with just seconds left on the clock. You can catch plenty of
highlights from the game by clicking on the following links:
With just a few games left on the schedule, the Bayhawks look to continue with their successful
season thus far and make a run towards the MLL Championship in Charleston, SC this August.
On the year, the Bayhawks have been led by a few young guns in terms of league experience.
Colin Heacock and Myles Jones lead the team to date in points with 27 and 26, respectively.
Heacock provides the offense with his versatile dodging skills, coming from experience at
Maryland playing both midfield and attack. Over the past few games he has been getting
matchups both from above and behind the goal, exposing both short stick and long stick
defenders on his way to the cage. Myles Jones provides the team a massive downhill dodger,
and has notched 15 goals on the season. In addition to the young talent the Bayhawks have,
the veteran talent is not invisible as well, with Steele Stanwick and Matt Danowski providing a
solid foundation for the team to bank on for experience and, of course, talent.
After dropping two of their first three games, the Bayhawks have rattled off six straight wins,
putting themselves in a prime position to make the four-team playoff come August. On Monday,
the Bayhawks jumped out of the gate, fresh from the All-Star break and took it to the Boston
Cannons, beating them 15-8. Led by Matt Danowski (3,4), the Bayhawks jumped out to an early
lead and never looked back. The defense allowed just two goals in each quarter, and goalie
Niko Amato logged 11 saves on 19 total shots. Colin Heacock took advantage of the matchups
he received, and stuck three goals in the back of the net, including a two-pointer, while
contributing an assist as well.
In the final five games of the year, the Bayhawks will have no games off, and take on four teams
vying for the third and fourth playoff spot. Of course, the Bayhawks are not yet cemented in the
playoffs, but are one of the top teams in the hunt, and if they continue playing at the level they
have been, they will surely make the playoffs and compete for their sixth championship in the
eighteen years the league has been in existence. The Bayhawks play three more home games
during the regular season, with the next one being this Saturday against the New York Lizards.