Heacock's Four Goals Lift BayHawks Past Outlaws, 13-11
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Attackman Colin Heacock scored four goals and dished off an assist to lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a 13-11 defeat of the Denver Outlaws on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. An enthusiastic and boisterous crowd of 16,124 turned out on School Pride Night to support the Bayhawks, who closed the regular season with consecutive victories to carry positive momentum into the playoffs.
Heacock was unstoppable throughout, using his size and power to dodge through defenders then unleashing sidearm crank shots that stuck corners. The third-year professional capped the impressive outing with a beautiful behind-the-back shot that brought the fans to their feet.
Chesapeake was without star attackman and leading scorer Lyle Thompson, who suffered an injury while playing for the Iroquois National Team at the indoor world championships. Heacock was asked if he felt a sense of responsibility to put the offense on his shoulders.
"It's just the next man up mentality and we all trust each other. I thought we worked well together tonight and got the job done," Heacock said. "This was a great team win that starts with Brian Phipps between the pipes."
Fans were treated to two special appearances tonight. Bayhawks alum Shawn Nadelen, who spent 11 seasons with the Bayhawks, rang the siren for the pregame Call of the Flock to start the contest. Nadelen passed the torch to Hall of Fame Washington Redskins running back, John Riggins, who performed the second Call of the Flock and caused fans to erupt at the start of the fourth quarter. Midfielder Nick Mariano totaled three points on a goal and two assists for Chesapeake (10-6), which is assured of finishing in a tie for first place in Major League Lacrosse. If the Boston Cannons lose to the Dallas Rattlers on Saturday, the Bayhawks will earn the top seed for the playoffs.
"It's a 20-week season and we're 10-6. No matter what, we at least share the regular season championship and we haven't done that in a while," Chesapeake Head Coach Dave Cottle said.
Long stick midfielder CJ Costabile contributed three points on the strength of two goals, one of which was a 2-pointer that clearly sparked the Bayhawks in the opening stanza. Veteran midfielder Matt Abbott scored two goals while rookie running mate Ryan Keenan dished off two assists.
Brian Phipps made his third straight start in goal and came up big with 13 saves, including several critical stops at crunch time. Close defenseman Chris Fennell was credited with two caused turnovers and also added an assist.
"To finish off strong at home in front of our best crowd all season was a lot of fun," Bayhawks defenseman Jesse Bernhardt said. "It's been a long season and it feels good to be going into the playoffs on an upswing."
Midfielder Michael Panepinto made his Major League Lacrosse debut and scored his first career goal to put the Bayhawks on the board at the 9:38 mark of the first quarter. The rookie out of Brown was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 6.
Costabile brought the large partisan crowd to life when he cleared the ball himself then stopped and fired a 2-point shot that beat goalie Christian Knight off-side hip. Costabile reared back and fired an overhand crank shot for the third 2-pointer of his eight-year career.
"I finally found the back of the net," a relieved Costabile said. "This has been my worst season ever shooting the ball. I think I was 0-for-13 coming into tonight. I had to get back to shooting off-hip low and away. When you put the ball in the right spots, good things happen."
Heacock closed out the first quarter scoring then opened the second quarter by scoring a goal using the exact same move. The left-handed attackman circled to the middle just inside the 2-point arc then ripped sidearm shots into the top corner, giving Chesapeake a 5-4 lead.
Costabile made it 6-4 with another overhand shot, taking a feed from fellow defenseman Chris Fennell to capitalize on a transition opportunity. Phipps made a great save on a point-blank opportunity at the horn and the Bayhawks took a 6-5 lead into halftime.
Mariano started the second half scoring by finishing a fastbreak while falling down. Mariano got pushed just as he drew back to shoot on the run and followed through while going to his knees. That started a 4-0 run that broke the game open for the Bayhawks.
Heacock split two defenders with a nifty move to score his third goal to grow the advantage to 8-5. Keenan then assisted on two straight tallies, finding Steele Stanwick cutting to the crease for a one-on-one finish then dishing to Abbott in transition for a sidearm crank shot that upped the lead to make it 10-5.
Heacock delivered a highlight reel play early in the fourth quarter, dropping his shoulder and literally bowling over a defender then turning and casually flipping a behind-the-back shot past a surprised Knight.
Heacock's fourth goal gave Chesapeake a seemingly comfortable six-goal margin, but Denver rallied and got within striking distance midway through the final frame. Defenseman Andrew Newbold scored a 2-pointer to cut the deficit to 11-9 at the 8:25 mark.
However, the Bayhawks answered in impressive fashion by scoring the next two goals to end the suspense. Abbott uncorked a sidearm rocket during an unsettled situation at 5:40 and two minutes later lefty attackman Andrew Kew scored off an absolute cannon blast to restore the lead to 13-9 with 3:42 remaining.
"We still have a lot of improvement to make if we want to win a championship," Heacock declared. "We'll enjoy this win tonight then start getting ready for whichever team we play next."
Cottle does not believe Thompson's injury is serious and is hopeful he'll be ready when Chesapeake plays in the MLL Semifinals on October 4th at the University of Denver's Peter Barton Stadium.
"Lyle texted me today. It's much better than they originally thought," Cottle said. "He's going to get an MRI, but we think he'll be okay."
Tickets to the Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend in Denver, CO are available: Click HERE to explore ticket options. Tune in to ESPN News on Friday, October 4th for the MLL Semifinals; and ESPN 2 on Sunday, October 6th for the MLL Championship.
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Chesapeake Bayhawks attackman Colin Heacock vs. the Denver Outlaws
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Major League Lacrosse Stories from September 21, 2019
- Rattlers Win Season Finale in Boston - Dallas Rattlers
- Heacock's Four Goals Lift BayHawks Past Outlaws, 13-11 - Chesapeake Bayhawks
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