After Splitting Games with the Outlaws, the Bayhawks Remain in Playoff Contention
The Bayhawks have had two games the past two weeks, and have grinded through both games against one of the league’s best. A week after losing an overtime thriller in dramatic fashion in Denver, the Bayhawks kept their playoff hopes alive Thursday night in a hard fought win over the Denver Outlaws in Annapolis.
Josh Byrne (Hofstra) set the single season goals record for rookies after tallying 7 goals on the night. He currently has 35 goals on the season, one more than the record set by Kieran McArdle (Rutgers) in 2014.
The Outlaws controlled most of the game, leading from early in the first quarter until the Bayhawks took the lead with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The final ten minutes of the game were reminiscent of the last meeting between the two teams.
On July 27, the Bayhawks and Outlaws met in Denver in a highly contested game. The highest lead held in the game was by the Outlaws in the first quarter, but for most of the game it was a one-point contest. Without star attackman Lyle Thompson, the two other starters stepped up in a big way, keeping the Bayhawks in the game. Matt Danowski (3 goals, 2 assists) and Josh Byrne (4 goals) scored some big goals in the fourth quarter. Danowski had a highlight reel behind the back goal in the first quarter to add to his big day.
Colin Heacock (1,1), Nick Aponte (1,1) and Jake Froccaro (0,2) also had multi-point days in one of the Bayhawks lower scoring games of the season.
Wes Berg and Romar Dennis recorded hat tricks for the Outlaws, while Eric Law portrayed his heroics just like he did in last year’s playoffs. He caught a feed on the right wing from Ryan Ambler and stuck home a quick righty shot. Jack Kelly shut the door on the Bayhawks. He finished with 24 saves.
The Bayhawks could have clinched a spot winning both games, but as of now still can potentially jump a spot into the postseason.
In a higher scoring performance that was delayed two hours by lightning, the Bayhawks came out on top, led by a few insane performances. The Bayhawks ended the last 18 minutes of the game on a 13-3 run. Lyle Thompson was the star of the second half, recording 5 goals and 1 assist during that stretch, one of them being a hidden ball trick two-pointer. He finished with 6 goals and 2 helpers. The Bayhawks played great defense during that stretch, and even though they went about 40% from the faceoff X, they were able to keep the star-studded Outlaws offense out of the goal when needed.
As mentioned earlier, the beginning of the game was the Josh Byrne show for the Bayhawks. He broke the rookie scoring record in the second quarter, and did not stop there, finishing with a game high 7 goals on 11 shots. Jake Froccaro turned in another solid performance (4,2)—and one two-point goal. Star midfielder Myles Jones had two assists, Ryan Tucker had two goals and an assist, Matt Abbott had a goal and assist, and Colin Heacock chipped in two apples. The Outlaws were outplayed in the second half, but received notable performances from Eric Law, Michael Booklet, and Matt Kavanagh (7 points a piece). The Outlaws are now looking towards the playoffs, as they will most likely be the #2 seed come next weekend.
All in all, Rochester plays Ohio on Saturday night, which will be the game with the most playoff implications for the Bayhawks. Charlotte and New York also have chances to make it, but the Rochester Rattlers’ fate rests in their own hands. Win and they are in. You can tune in to the Machine vs. Rattlers game on Laxsportsnet.com. The Bayhawks win against the Outlaws will be aired on LSN Sunday August 6th. You can find highlights from both of the games at the links below.
Sam Kuhn is a current college senior at The College of Wooster, majoring in English. He will serve as the captain of the lacrosse team there, and was a varsity player at Loyola Blakefield in Towson. This summer, he is interning with Inside Lacrosse, writing stories about their recruiting circuit, and continuing into the school year, he will serve as the Senior Sports Writer for his College's newspaper, The Wooster Voice. He is hoping to pursue a career in sports journalism upon graduation in the Spring of 2018. Sam has three younger brothers and lives with his parents in Towson, MD, where he grew up.