Chesapeake Bayhawks Announce 2011 Major League Lacrosse Schedule
Bayhawks Open Season at Home Versus Rochester Rattlers May 14
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced their 2011 MLL schedule today. The Bayhawks return for their third summer at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., when the season opens on Saturday, May 14, against the Rochester Rattlers. The defending MLL Champions will host a championship game rematch on Saturday, July 23, when the Long Island Lizards travel to Annapolis.
The Bayhawks finished the 2010 campaign with a strong run to the franchise's third MLL title. After a mid-season slump, the Bayhawks won their final four games to clinch a playoff berth and secure their first Steinfeld Trophy since the 2005 season.
"We will come in to this season looking to continue our winning streak and build on last year's positives as well as the negatives," head coach and owner Brendan Kelly said. "The one thing that remains clear when speaking about the Chesapeake Bayhawks, they play with heart, passion and most importantly they play for their teammates. My coaching staff will make sure of that and it will help us to remain the team to beat in 2011."
The season kicks off on Saturday, May 14, at 7 p.m. when the Rochester Rattlers make their comeback to the MLL after two seasons out of the league. The Rattlers returned after the Chicago Machine franchise relocated to Rochester in November. The organization brought back the old nickname and logo, which won the 2008 MLL title. The Bayhawks split the season series in 2010 by winning their home game against the Machine to clinch their first playoff spot in 5 seasons. The Home Opener will be highlighted by a special pregame celebration to commemorate the 2010 championship, a post-game fireworks display, the Kansas City BBQ, as well as more exciting events to be announced.
"The team has great momentum from the end of last season to build off of for this summer," Kelly stated. "We are very excited about this year and the potential our team has to be the best once again."
Following the home opener, the Bayhawks begin an arduous month-long road trip which begins in Hamilton, Ontario, on Thursday, May 19. The Bayhawks' first road game will pit the past two defending MLL champions in a head-to-head bout. Formerly based out of Toronto, the Nationals officially announced the move to Hamilton in January. The Bayhawks took two of the three contests in 2010, including a 25-12 victory.
After a league-wide bye week during Memorial Day Weekend, the Bayhawks will travel to Boston on Saturday, June 4, at Harvard Stadium. The Bayhawks have a two-game winning streak against the Cannons after a 16-15 overtime victory at Boston during the final regular-season game last summer and a 13-9 win during the semifinals of Championship Weekend. The Bayhawks will continue their away stretch at Denver on Saturday, June 11. The Bayhawks are 1-5 all-time against the Outlaws but will look to improve on that during their first matchup of the season at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium.
Chesapeake concludes its road trip at Long Island when the Bayhawks and Lizards square off during the first of two championship game rematches on Thursday, June 16. After splitting the regular season, the Bayhawks overcame a late third-quarter deficit during the championship game to claim their third MLL title. In all five championships the Bayhawks and the Lizards have combined to win, the two rivals have faced each other each time with Chesapeake winning in 2002, 2005 and 2010 and Long Island winning in 2001 and 2003.
"When it comes to lacrosse, there is debate about who is the best in the world, New York or Maryland" Bayhawks General Manager Spencer Ford said about the rivalry. "Maryland and New York are lacrosse -- they live and breathe it! Since 2001, the Bayhawks and Lizards have met in five championship games with the Bayhawks winning three of those five. It just seems right when the two teams face off in the league's biggest game because the two organizations love the sport and they leave everything they have on the field. The end result usually comes down to who makes the last play and that's what happened in 2010's championship game."
The Bayhawks return to Annapolis for a pair of home matches with the Cannons and Rattlers. At 7 p.m. June 25, Chesapeake will host Boston for their second and final match of the 2011 season. The Bayhawks play Rochester three times during the summer. The second match-up will be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2, as part of the city of Annapolis' Fourth of July celebrations. The July 2 game will also be broadcast on ESPN2 as the MLL Game of the Week.
All teams in the MLL will have a bye week the second weekend in July because of the MLL All-Star Game which will be held in Boston at Harvard Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 and will be broadcast live on ESPN2. The 2010 game drew an MLL All-Star Game record crowd of more than 11,700 fans, and this year's game will include the Bud Light Skills Competition at halftime.
Following the All-Star break, the Bayhawks head back to Canada for another challenging game against the Hamilton Nationals. The game will be played on Saturday, July 16.
To close the season, Chesapeake plays at home for three of its final four games. The first is the second rematch of the 2010 championship with the Long Island Lizards at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. The Bayhawks are 11-9 all-time against their archnemesis and look to continue the MLL's longest and best rivalry. Following the Lizards, Hamilton will arrive in Annapolis for their third and final game against the Bayhawks at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 30.
The Bayhawks will travel to Rochester for their final road game of the summer on Saturday, Aug. 6, before concluding the regular season at home at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, against the Denver Outlaws.
Chesapeake will also host the 2011 MLL Championship Weekend on Aug. 27 and 28 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The semifinal games are set for noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the championship game will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday. All three games will be aired live for the first time on ESPN2.
Throughout the summer, the Bayhawks will be hosting a variety of promotional events in coordination with their home games. In 2010, the Bayhawks hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness Night on June 24 against the Toronto Nationals and Military Appreciation Night on July 31 against the Chicago Machine. Both nights raised more than $9,000 total for the Avon Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. In 2011, the Bayhawks will continue to support local charity organizations through their promotional nights, and more details will be released as the schedule of events for 2011 is set.
Chesapeake Bayhawks season tickets can be purchased online at www.thebayhawks.com or through the Bayhawks Ticket Office at 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Full-season packages include all six home games and Championship Weekend and begin at only $115.
Chesapeake Bayhawks 2011 Schedule
May 14 Rochester@Chesapeake 7 p.m.
May 19 Chesapeake @ Hamilton 7:30 p.m.
June 4 Chesapeake @ Boston 7 p.m.
June 11 Chesapeake @ Denver 9 p.m.
June 16 Chesapeake @ Long Island 7:30 p.m.
June 25 Boston @ Chesapeake 7 p.m.
July 2 Rochester @ Chesapeake 7:30 p.m.
July 9 2011 MLL All-Star Game 7:00 PM
July 16 Chesapeake @ Hamilton 7 p.m.
July 23 Long Island @ Chesapeake 7 p.m.
July 30 Hamilton @ Chesapeake
Aug. 6 Chesapeake @ Rochester 7 p.m.
Aug. 13 Denver @ Chesapeake 7 p.m.
Aug. 27 MLL Semi-Finals 12/3 p.m.
Aug. 28 MLL Championship 3 p.m.
-- Chesapeake Bayhawks press release
Posted Jan. 25, 2011