To be fair, the Chesapeake Bayhawks’ defensive effort in Sunday’s 10-9 victory over the Charlotte Hounds in the Major League Lacrosse championship final at PPL Park was a team-wide one. Defenseman Jesse Bernhardt (Maryland) and long-stick midfielder Barney Ehrmann each scooped up a team-high four ground balls, Ehrmann and Nicky Polanco limited Charlotte midfielders Peet Poillon (UMBC) and Jake Tripucka to a combined one goal and one assist, and defenseman Brian Spallina shut out attackman Matt White.
But a good portion of the credit should go to goalkeeper Kip Turner and defenseman Michael Evans. Turner, a Severn School graduate, made a game-high 14 saves and held the Hounds to just seven goals before attackman Matt Danowski scored a meaningless 2-pointer as time expired in the fourth quarter.
Turner, who was still grinding his teeth about Danowski’s goal after the game, credited the defense with helping him get good looks at Charlotte’s attempts.
“Honestly, it was the defense,” Turner said. “They were giving me opportunities to make saves. Yeah, I had to steal a couple. [Hounds attackman] Ryan Young [who posted four goals and three assists] played out of his mind. He was great, he was incredible. I think I saw the ball well. I also think my defense did a good job of limiting their great shots. We knew we had to step out on the 2s, and we did.”
Coach Dave Cottle was effusive in his praise of Turner, saying, “I thought he was great. I thought he played great like he did in the beginning of the year.”
Aside from that 2-point goal, Danowski went 0-for-6 as Evans did an admirable job of keeping him at bay.
“Michael Evans is a warrior, and he fights you until the end,” Cottle said. “… Michael’s a competitor and a great guy in the locker room and a great teammate.”
Cottle called Evans “the best defenseman on the field today,” but the South River and Johns Hopkins graduate wasn’t willing to call himself the best defenseman in the league.
“I don’t know,” he said. “There’s a lot of great players in this league. So I’m not saying that. … We just had a game plan that the coaches put together last night, and we were just fortunate enough that we were able to execute it and we came away with a great win against a great Charlotte team.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun