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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Goalkeeper Chris Garrity made 14 saves as the Chesapeake Bayhawks (5-6) snapped a five-game losing streak with a 20-12 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Chicago Machine (4-7) in front of a season-high 7,297 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
The win allowed the Bayhawks to secure their first appearance in MLL Championship Weekend since 2005 while eliminating the Machine from playoff consideration.
The Bayhawks took a quick 2-0 lead in the first three minutes of the opening quarter as midfielder Peet Poillon and attackman Ben Rubeor scored unassisted goals. After the teams exchanged goals, the Machine tied the score at 3-3 with back-to-back markers from midfielders Josh Sims and Brian Clayton.
The teams traded goals before rookie midfielder Michael Kimmel gave the Bayhawks a 5-4 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter by scoring an unassisted goal.
The Bayhawks extended their advantage to 9-5 in the first seven minutes of the second quarter by scoring three of the first four goals of the period. Midfielder Kyle Dixon scored two of the Bayhawks’ goals during the run, including his MLL-leading 10th two-point goal of the season.
However, the Machine answered by scoring three straight goals to narrow the margin to 9-8 with 4:47 remaining in the second quarter. Rookie attackman Ned Crotty scored a goal with an assist during the spurt.
Led by two goals from midfielders Jeremy Sieverts and Ben Hunt, the Bayhawks responded by scoring nine consecutive goals to take a commanding 19-8 lead with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
With 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter, midfielder Chris Rotelli scored an unassisted goal to end a nearly 19-minute scoring drought for the Machine. But, attackman Andrew “Buggs” Combs answered just 26 seconds later to regain an 11-point advantage for the Bayhawks.
The Machine scored three straight goals in the fourth quarter, but were unable to get any closer.
While Garrity led a strong defensive effort by the Bayhawks, Dixon contributed a four-point performance by scoring two goals, including a two-point tally, along with an assist. Midfielder Alex Smith won 19 of 34 face-offs in the victory for the Bayhawks, which lost to Chicago on May 30.
Crotty, who helped Team USA win the FIL World Championship last week, scored two goals with a season-high four assists in a losing effort for the Machine, which has lost four straight games. Sims tallied a “hat trick” with three goals and an assist.
Goalkeeper Mike Gabel made 15 saves, including 11 in the first half, as the Bayhawks outshot Chicago by a 49-40 margin.
The Machine will wrap up the season next Saturday by facing the Denver Outlaws at INVESCO Field at Mile High at 3 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, the Bayhawks will travel to Harvard Stadium for a 7 p.m. match-up against the Cannons in the regular season finale.
Major League Lacrosse: Chesapeake Bayhawks 20, Chicago Machine 12
Chicago(4-7) 4-4-1-3 / 12
Chesapeake(5-6) 5-5-10-0 / 20
One-Point Goals: CHI – Josh Sims 3, Ned Crotty 2, Chris Rotelli 2, Jordan Levine 1, Matt Striebel 1, Brian Clayton 1, Kevin Leveille 1, Brett Garber 1; CHES – Brian Carroll 2, Andrew “Buggs” Combs 2, Ben Hunt 2, Jed Prossner 2, Michael Kimmel 2, Peet Poillon 2, Matt Abbott 1, Ben Rubeor 1. Two-Point Goals: CHI – n/a; CHES – Kyle Dixon 1, Jeremy Sieverts 1. Assists: CHI – Ned Crotty 4, Josh Sims 1, Chris Rotelli 1; CHES – Matt Abbott 1, Brian Carroll 1, Kyle Dixon 1, Ben Rubeor 1, Ben Hunt 1, Jed Prossner 1. Saves: CHI – Mike Gabel 15 (51:50, 13 goals allowed), Bud Petit 5 (8:50, 5 goals allowed); CHES – Chris Garrity 14 (56:30, 10 goals allowed), Mike Levin 1 (3:30, 2 goals allowed). Shots: CHI – 49; CHES – 40. Power-Play Opportunities: CHI – 1 for 2; CHES – 1 for 1. Attendance: 7,297.