Bayhawks Face Tough Road In Defending Title
By Todd McElwee
The slide began about this time last season.
The Chesapeake Bayhawks were moving along nicely, to the tune of the 4-1 start. But then the bottom dropped out, and five-straight losses later, Chesapeake found itself fighting for a playoff berth. A year removed from the skid, the Bayhawks won't allow themselves to fall into an abyss like that again.
Once again, Chesapeake is off to a solid start. As of June 10, the reigning Major League Lacrosse titlists are 2-1, and sit high on the list of Steinfeld Cup contenders.
But the road ahead is treacherous, and full of peril. During the next month, Chesapeake will travel to the MLL-leading Denver Outlaws and then visit its longtime rival, the Long Island Lizards. Returning home to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Bayhawks will get the Boston Cannons, which are responsible for their lone loss, and then the Rochester Rattlers, which Chesapeake defeated during the season opener. A second trip to the Great White North and the Hamilton Nationals, also a victim of the Bayhawks, follows the home stand.
To sum up, Chesapeake will encounter the league's top team; their arch-nemesis; the only outfit to beat them; and two sides out for revenge during the next month.
Could history repeat itself?
On July 22, 2010, the Bayhawks dropped their fifth straight, losing to the Long Island Lizards, 14-11, during Kelly's debut on the sideline. Previous head coach John Tucker had resigned a week earlier.
Nearly left for dead, Chesapeake fought its way into the playoffs with wins against the Chicago Machine and Boston. The Bayhawks took down the Cannons during the MLL semifinals and then defeated the Lizards at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to hoist the Steinfeld Cup and cap off an amazing turnaround.
NADELEN CALLS IT A CAREER
The Bayhawks said goodbye to an old friend earlier this month as Shawn Nadelen has retired from playing in Major League Lacrosse to take the head coaching position at Towson Universtiy.
A 2001 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Nadelen played all 11 years for the Bayhawks (95 games). He tallied 205 ground balls during his career and was a three-time MLL All-Star. He also earned All-MLL honors in 2005 after helping the Bayhawks win the MLL championship.
June 16 -- Long Island Lizards
June 25 -- Boston Cannons
July 2 -- Rochester Rattlers
July 16 -- Hamilton Nationals
July 23 -- Long Island Lizards
July 30 -- Hamilton Nationals
August 6 -- Rochester Rattlers
August 13 -- Denver Outlaws
Issue 162: June 2011