July 6, 2013 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Chesapeake Bayhawks
DELAWARE, OHIO - Rookie attackman Kevin Cooper made an impressive professional debut, totaling four points on three goals and an assist to help the Chesapeake Bayhawks pull out a 13-12 victory over the Ohio Machine at Selby Stadium.
Cooper, a recent University of Maryland graduate, provided a tremendous offensive lift - scoring goals in the first, third and fourth quarters. Cooper netted his final goal during a 4-0 run that gave the Bayhawks a 13-10 lead with 7:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"Kevin has been playing very well in practice and (offensive coordinator) John Lamon had been asking me to give him a shot. We felt this was a good game to get Kevin in there and see what he could do," Chesapeake head coach Dave Cottle said. "Kevin scored a goal on his first shot, and for a young player that's a real confidence boost. Kevin is very good in the big-little game and has outstanding vision. We were able to run Kevin out of the box then invert him so he was matched up against a short stick from behind the cage."
Matt Mackrides started on attack in place of John Grant Jr. and totaled four points on two goals and two assists for Chesapeake (6-4), which has won two straight and now holds sole possession of third place in Major League Lacrosse. Mackrides, a second-year pro out of Penn State, is now the team's third-leading scorer with 17 goals and eight assists.
"Matt has been very consistent. He's a high character kid with a very good lacrosse IQ," Cottle said. "We've played Matt at both attack and midfield this season and he's produced wherever we have put him."
Attackman Drew Westervelt and midfielder Ben Hunt both contributed two goals and an assist for Chesapeake, which outshot Ohio 46-35. Goalkeeper Kip Turner made 10 saves while faceoff specialist Adam Rand captured 16 of 28 draws for the Bayhawks, who earned their first one-goal victory of the season.
"We were able to win a one-goal game after losing three of them so far this season so that was a real positive," Cottle said.
Michael Kimmel's unassisted goal with 17 seconds remaining in the third period pulled the visiting Bayhawks into a 10-10 deadlock heading into the final frame. That was the eighth and final tie of the game. Hunt sandwiched two goals around one by Cooper as Chesapeake used a 3-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 13-10.
Hunt, who has really come on strong of late, used a bull dodge to get free down the alley and ripped a powerful jump shot to give Chesapeake an 11-10 lead. Kimmel then penetrated the defense with a nice dodge from up top and fed Cooper, who fired in a bounce shot. Hunt then finished the decisive run by making a tremendous catch of a pass from Mackrides and scoring from right on the crease.
"Ben Hunt really stepped up at a critical time. I thought the goal he scored off the dodge was really big and he just made a terrific handle on that pass inside," Cottle said.
Logan Schuss assisted Joe Cummings on a power play goal then scored himself as Ohio pulled within 13-12 with 45 seconds remaining. However, Rand captured the ensuing faceoff and the Bayhawks were able to salt away the remaining time to earn their second consecutive road victory.
"We just got done three in a row on the road and went 2-1, which isn't bad. Now we are home for three of our final four games so hopefully we can finish strong," Cottle said.
The Bayhawks return home on Thursday, July 18th against the Boston Cannons at 7:30 PM at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.thebayhawks.com or over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). For the Bayhawks full schedule go to www.thebayhawks.com.