Veteran midfielder Kyle Dixon (Archbishop Spalding) had seven points and tied a Major League Lacrosse record with three 2-point goals as the Chesapeake Bayhawks opened the 2013 season by beating the Rochester Rattlers, 17-14, in front of an announced 3,940 at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dixon, a seventh-year professional, increased his MLL career record for 2-pointers to 50. The perennial All-Star also had an assist as Chesapeake began the defense of its MLL championship.
Midfielder Ben Hunt (Severna Park) scored a pair of 2-pointers of his own in totaling six points for the Bayhawks, who won without seven players who are still involved in the National Lacrosse League playoffs. Among that group were two returning starting attackmen in Drew Westervelt (UMBC, John Carroll) and John Grant Jr.
Matt Mackrides, a second-year pro out of Penn State, started on attack and came up big with three goals and four ground balls. Mackrides scored two extra-man goals in the fourth quarter to give the Bayhawks breathing room.
Nicky Polanco anchored a defense that shut out Rochester in the fourth quarter. Polanco caused several turnovers and had three ground balls.
Attackman Ben Rubeor (Loyola High) contributed a goal and an assist, and midfielder Steven Brooks had two assists for Chesapeake, which outshot Rochester 58-36.
The Bayhawks put 38 of those shots on goal and might have won easily had Rattlers keeper Jason LaShomb not made 27 saves.
Rookie Tyler Fiorito (McDonogh) started in goal for Chesapeake but was replaced after one quarter by second-year man T.C. DiBartolo (Mount St. Mary's, Archbishop Spalding), who finished with nine saves.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun