The Chesapeake Bayhawks had been officially eliminated from playoff contention entering their game against the New York Lizards on Sunday. That didn't stop them from making a late comeback in a 12-11 road win for their fourth win of the Major League Lacrosse season.
"Our theme and motto for today was that sometimes playing for nothing means everything," Chesapeake coach Dave Cottle said. "Even if we didn't have a chance at the playoffs, we could still play for pride and for each other. A game like this tells what kind of character you have, what type of toughness you have, and I was extremely proud of how our players responded."
Goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito equaled his career high of 15 saves and was named the game's most valuable player.
Midfielder Joe Walters (Maryland) had four points on two goals and two assists for Chesapeake. The Bayhawks (4-8) trailed the Lizards (7-5) throughout the game before going on a 4-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead.
Trailing 11-8 after three periods, Chesapeake gained some momentum when Walters scored and long pole Jesse Bernhardt (Maryland) tied the game for the first time with a 2-pointer.
"Jesse is one of the best stick-handling defensemen in Major League Lacrosse, and he showed his offensive ability by taking and making a great shot that completely changed the complexion of the game," Cottle said of Bernhardt, who finished with two goals and an assist.
With the game tied at 11, midfielder Peet Poillon (UMBC) scored to give the Bayhawks their first lead of the game with 4:21 left.
Attackman Drew Westervelt (UMBC) scored two goals while Poillon and midfielders Matt Abbott and Matt Mackrides had a goal and assist each for Chesapeake, which closes the season with two home games.
"We can't make the playoffs, but we can play for each other and for the name on the front of the uniform," Fiorito said. "We played loose and had a lot of fun out there today."