The Rochester Rattlers lost their final home match of the 2011 season on Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium, falling 13-11 to the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Chesapeake opened the scoring 3:43 into the game when Ben Rubeor dished the ball to Ben Hunt for the early finish. Rochester answered just over a minute later when Greg Neiwieroski found the back of the net to tie the game.
Grant Catalino gave the Rattlers the lead 6:02 into the game before Jeff Reynolds tied the game, but Rattlers midfielder Matt Striebel gave the home team a 3-2 lead with 1:22 left in the opening quarter.
Jake Deane tied the game just 1:37 into the second quarter on a shot that went over Rattlers goalie John Galloway’s right shoulder. A spectacular diving shot from Striebel would then give the former Princeton midfielder his second goal of the game and the Rattlers a 4-3 lead.
From there, Chesapeake began a 7-1 run that stretched across two quarters. Defenseman Kyle Hartzell led the way with two goals in the second quarter – one of which was a two-point goal – and Kyle Dixon added another two point goal before halftime. Ned Crotty, announced as the team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year before the game, scored with 11 seconds left in the half to cut Chesapeake’s lead to 9-5.
“The second quarter definitely hurt,” Rattlers Head Coach Tim Soudan said. “They got a couple of two point goals and it was all in a four minute span. It was all stuff that we talked about before the game, but we didn’t take care of business. But I thought we played great six-on-six defense and very good offense. We were just a little too one-dimensional.”
The Bayhawks would increase that lead to 10-5 before Jeff Colburn’s shot to the lower left corner 9:01 into the half broke Rochester's drought. Just 59 seconds later, Colburn scored on a nearly identical shot to cut Chesapeake’s lead to 10-7.
The Bayhawks continued to maintain their lead, but Joel White’s diving wrap-around shot from behind the goal 6:19 into the fourth quarter brought Rochester within two goals, making the score 11-9.
Rochester and Chesapeake would trade goals the rest of the way, with Chesapeake’s Steven Brooks answering White’s goal and Hunt scoring in between a pair of late Crotty goals. Crotty’s fourth and final goal of the game came with 1:19 left in the game to cut the Bayhawks’ lead to 13-11, but that is how it would end.
With the win, the Bayhawks improved to 6-5 and enter into a three-way tie for second place.
Rochester (2-9) now has one game remaining on the road next Saturday against the Boston Cannons. That starts at 7 p.m. from Harvard Stadium and can be viewed on ESPN3.com. Although the Rattlers are out of the playoff hunt, there is still a lot to play for next week.
“I look around the field and we have some great rookies alongside me, Anthony Kelly, Matt Striebel and some other guys, so we are a young team,” Crotty said. “We are working towards a bigger goal right now and that is building towards next year. We still have a chance to upset teams trying to go to the playoffs this year.”