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Bayhawks lose regular-season finale, miss playoffs

Chesapeake Bayhawks
(Courtesy image)

An inability to win faceoffs down the stretch proved costly as the Chesapeake Bayhawks dropped a 15-13 decision to the Charlotte Hounds in the regular-season finale for both teams at American Legion Memorial Stadium.

Charlotte dominated possession in the second half and outscored Chesapeake 9-2 over the final 25 minutes of the game. The Hounds wound up winning 19 of 31 faceoffs with Brendan Fowler (12-for-17) doing most of the damage.

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Rookie midfielder Myles Jones amassed seven points while goalie Brian Phipps stopped 11 shots for Chesapeake, which needed to win in order to earn one of four berths in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs.

After more than five decades, Hero's Lacrosse is still going strong, even in an era when club competition dominates from the high school level on down.

"I'm very disappointed in the loss and even more disappointed that our season is over," Chesapeake Head Coach Brian Reese said. "It's crazy that we're tied for the best record in the league and we're not in the playoffs."

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In the closest race in MLL history, seven of nine teams finished with 8-6 records. That unprecedented situation necessitated a complex series of tiebreaker scenarios that did not go the Bayhawks way.

"We finished with the same record as six other teams and won the head-to-head matchups with three of those teams, but under the MLL formula we came up short," Reese said. "It's hard to explain to the players why we're out. That being said, we didn't take care of business when we needed to. If we're not good enough to beat Charlotte when it counts then we probably shouldn't be in the playoffs."

When Ali Flury's illustrious career at the University of Denver came to a close in the spring of 2010, the Broadneck High graduate assumed her playing days had concluded as well.

Jones put an exclamation point on his candidacy for Cascade Rookie of the Year by scoring three goals and dishing off three assists. The former Duke All-American scored a 2-point goal that gave Chesapeake a commanding five-goal lead early in the third quarter.

"Myles is a special player who is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential," Reese said. "We'll be happy to have Myles back next season and we're going to build around him."

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Attackman Brendan Mundorf totaled three goals and an assist for the Bayhawks, who were outshot 52-35 for the game. Midfielder Joe Walters contributed two goals and an assist while attackman Matt Danowski added two goals.

"We just did not have the ball enough and didn't make enough plays in the second half," Reese said. "We fought hard and showed a lot of toughness, but the lack of possession time was hard to overcome. Obviously, when you don't have the ball in this league it's tough."

Going into Saturday's slate of games, Chesapeake had a chance of making the playoffs even with a loss. However, that possibility evaporated when Florida was beaten by Boston.

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