The Rochester Rattlers returned to Major League Lacrosse on Saturday night with a loss on the road to the defending MLL champion Chesapeake Bayhawks 14 to 10. The Rattlers got to within one, 8-7, with 9:15 left in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer. The Bayhawks scored 5 of the next 6 goals to take a 13 to 8 lead, and cruised to their first victory of the season.
Chesapeake got off to a 4-2 lead after the first quarter, but second-year attacker Ned Crotty responded early in the second quarter for the Rattlers. Crotty dodged and beat Bayhawks defender Joe Cinosky, turned the corner, used a second defender as a screen and snuck it by Chesapeake goalie Chris Garrity. Just over a minute later Crotty took a step back behind the goal and found Rattlers midfielder Martin Cahill in the crease for a left handed finish to tie the game at 4 with just over ten minutes left in the half. Crotty finished the game with three goals and a game-high four points. “Duke likes to transition, but the pace is so much quicker in MLL. Everyone is a talented player with a high lacrosse IQ. I definitely feel more comfortable this year. I think I’ve caught up to the pace of the game.” Crotty said.
The Bayhawks answered the Rattlers run with three goals to take a 7-5 lead into halftime. Chesapeake faceoff man Alex Smith won 16 of 28 faceoffs and the Bayhawks beat the Rattlers 16 to 12 in ground balls to give the defending MLL champions the chances they would need to keep an advantage over Rochester all night. “Alex Smith was a key factor for us tonight. He allowed us to get the ball back in key situations off the face off and never really let Rochester build any momentum” said Bayhawks head coach Brendan Kelly.
After Crotty cut the Chesapeake lead to 8-7 in the third quarter , Bayhawks goalie Chris Garrity responded with two of his 13 saves, and the offense kicked into gear as Brian Carroll scored two goals and midfielder Steven Brooks, attacker Ben Rubeor, and attacker Blake Miller tallied one each to give the Bayhawks a 13-8 lead with 6:30 minutes remaining. “There was some good, some not so good, and some ugly” Rattlers head coach BJ O’Hara said. “We didn’t have all of our guys in camp and we had no scrimmages. We’re still trying to figure out who we are, what we can do, and how we should play.”
The Rochester Rattlers now return home to Sahlen’s Stadium for four games in a row at Sahlen’s Stadium. “It’s gonna be great. I’ve played in Rochester a couple of times, but I’ve never been on the team before. I’m looking forward to that first big home game there. I remember Rochester as having great facilities and great fans” said Greg Bice. The Rattlers host the Long Island Lizards Saturday May 21 at 7PM. Rochester will be celebrating the 2008 Major League Lacrosse championship. The team will be giving away magnet schedules to Rattlers fans at the gates. Tickets are available at
www.rochesterrattlers.comor by calling 585.454.5425.