CHARLOTTE – Goalkeeper Kip Turner was spectacular at times in making 17 saves and did all that he could to help keep his team in the game, however several lengthy offensive droughts doomed the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a 12-7 loss to the Charlotte Hounds at American Legion Memorial Stadium.
Midfielder Peet Poillon, who was making his season debut, scored two goals for Chesapeake (1-2), which put less than half its shots (17 of 35) on goal. Midfielder Peet Poillon, who was making his season debut for the Bayhawks, scored two goals while attackman Brendan Mundorf added a goal and an assist.
“We do not have very good chemistry on offense at this point. We’re not passing the way we should and we are throwing the ball away too much. We try to shoot our way out of trouble and that usually doesn’t work,” Chesapeake Head Coach Dave Cottle said.
Hard shooting attackman Mike Sawyer scored three goals to lead Charlotte (1-2), which picked up its first victory. Running mate Dean Gibbons contributed two goals and an assist while faceoff specialist Tim Fallon won 14 of 21 draws as the Hounds controlled possession.
“We are not a good faceoff team right now. That is one of many areas that we need to improve,” Cottle said. “We need to work on all of the little things that go into winning lacrosse.”
Scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., the game was delayed by almost two hours due to thunderstorms in the Charlotte area. The two teams were sent off of the field three times during pregame warm-ups because of lightning strikes.
Charlotte was ready to play despite the delay, scoring four goals in the opening five minutes of the contest. Sawyer had two goals during the early spurt, firing in a cannon crank shot on a power play opportunity then scoring unassisted. Gibbons contributed a goal and an assist to the run.
“I thought Charlotte was a lot faster and a lot quicker than we were today,” Cottle said. “We fell behind and had to play catch-up the whole way.”
It suddenly turned into a defensive struggle thereafter with neither team scoring for nine minutes. Chesapeake finally got on the board with 59 seconds left in the first quarter when attackman Drew Westervelt scored off a nice feed from Mundorf to make it 4-1.
Chesapeake’s offensive struggles continued in the second quarter as the visitors went almost 10 minutes without scoring. That enabled Charlotte to increase its lead to 6-1 on goals by Gibbons and midfielder Thomas DeNapoli. Attackman Ben Rubeor ended another lengthy drought with an unassisted goal that brought the Bayhawks back within four with 5:02 left in the first half.
Poillon, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Charlotte but unavailable for the first two games because of collegiate coaching duties, added a power play goal just over three minutes later and that cut the deficit to 6-3 at halftime.
Chesapeake put just nine of 19 shots on goal during the first half. Meanwhile, Fallon won 8 of 11 faceoffs for Charlotte.
Chesapeake’s comeback continued into the third quarter as Mundorf took a pass from Rubeor and opened the scoring with 1:31 elapsed, pulling the visitors within two at 6-4. However, Charlotte responded with a 2-point goal by defenseman Mason Poli that fired up the home crowed and made it 8-4.
Midfielder Jake Tripucka then scored unassisted and suddenly the Hounds had a five-goal lead for the second time in the game. Sawyer followed with an unassisted tally of his own and that gave Charlotte its largest lead at 10-4.
The Bayhawks refused to fold, scoring a pair of goals just 39 seconds apart to close the third period. Poillon and Rubeor both beat defenders for unassisted scores that pulled the visitors back within four going into the final frame.
Short stick defensive midfielder Matt Abbott scored a transition goal to start the fourth period which cut the Chesapeake deficit to 10-7. Charlotte clamped down defensively the rest of the way, holding the Bayhawks scoreless over the final 13.5 minutes while tacking on a pair of insurance goals.
“We need to develop some chemistry and cohesion on offense. We need to work together better and we need to communicate together better,” Cottle said.
The Bayhawks 2014 Season Tickets are now available and can be purchased over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Visit us at www.thebayhawks.com for the full schedule. This season, the Bayhawks and Lexus are giving away an ES350 to one lucky Season Ticket Holder at the last game of the season. Every Season Ticket purchased will amount to one entry into the giveaway.