Chesapeake Clinches Playoff Berth
Bayhawks Snap 5-game losing streak with 20-10 win over Chicago
By Tom Peace
On July 31 the Chesapeake Bayhawks clinched their first playoff berth since 2005 with a 20-10 win over the Chicago Machine. The Bayhawks, who had lost five straight prior to the July 31 game and were in desperate need of a win and, most importantly, a chance to make the playoffs, held on their home field at Navy Marine Corp Memorial Stadium.
Coming into the game, the Bayhawks were on the bubble and needed to win to stay alive in the playoff hunt. They also had to score four or more goals to clinch a playoff spot.
For the first time in weeks the Bayhawks seemed determined and motivated to play from the outset. The home team opened the first quarter jumping out to an early lead, which had been a problem during the losing streak. Chesapeake middie Peet Poillon and attackman Ben Rubeour both scored in the early minutes of the first quarter to make it 2-0 Bayhawks.
Throughout the first half both teams traded goals, though Chesapeake never let the Machine take the lead. Then, with seconds running down in the second period, Bayhawks middie Jeremy Sieverts put his team up, 10-8, heading into halftime.
Sieverts' goal seemed to carry some momentum over into the third quarter as Chesapeake went on an eight-goal run to make it 18-8. And from that point on the Bayhawks just shut the door on Chicago, ending the Machine's playoff hopes.
The Bayhawks had eight different players with a pair of goals in the game, including midfielder Kyle Dixon who had four points on the night. Goalie Chris Garrity was tremendous between the pipes, saving 14 shots on goal. Plus faceoff specialist Alex Smith, fresh off the USA World Championship victory, went 19-for-34 from the faceoff line.
"Our main goal was to win and stay alive," said Garrity, the game's Bud Light Most Valuable Player, in a team press release. "To come out and win by eight goals and get into the playoffs is icing on the cake. We're back after five years and we're going to give everyone a run for their money."
Chesapeake will go on the road next weekend to finish out the regular season against the Boston Cannons.
The four-team playoffs will be held Aug. 21-22 in Annapolis at Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. The other three teams in the playoffs are Boston, Denver and Long Island.
"We wanted to make a point tonight," said Chesapeake president and head coach Brendan Kelly in the press release. "We didn't just want to win by four, we wanted to beat [Chicago] convincingly and show that we deserve to be in the playoffs.
"Our goal is to win a championship, not just make the playoffs. It takes playing with passion and consistency. I'm not satisfied with just making the playoffs. We've got a great opportunity to win a championship on our home field."
Posted August 2, 2010