Lyle Thompson Pushes Chesapeake into First Place in MLL Standings

PHOTO BY JERMAIN RANGASAMMY

Lyle Thompson, on Native American Celebration Night, tallied five points and scored his 100th goal in the Bayhawks' win.


Saturday was a good evening for Lyle Thompson. The league’s leader in points tallied five points, scored a milestone goal, helped his team win the game and take sole possession of first place, and — since it was Native American Celebration Night — he and teammate Brendan Bomberry  (who also scored a goal) participated in a “blanket ceremony” following the game.

“I just love playing this game. I think about that every time I step on the field,” Thompson said in a press release on the Bayhawks website. “You add a special event like this, it just adds another log to that fire and fuels it. Mentally, I had a little more focus for this game.”

The Bayhawks entered the night in a three-way tie for first place with the Outlaws and the Cannons, but after beating Denver, 12-9, and following the Cannons loss to Atlanta, Chesapeake goes to 7-3 and is at the top of the MLL standings.

The Outlaws scored the first two goals of the game, but Thompson got Chesapeake on the board with his first of three goals. That goal was the 100th of his career, and it sparked a 9-0 run to give the Bayhawks plenty of breathing room in the second half.

Denver outscored Chesapeake 4-1 in the third quarter and 7-3 in the second half, but the Bayhawks held onto the lead to secure their third consecutive victory.

For Native American Celebration Night, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe performed an “Edge of the Woods” ceremony pregame, a traditional performance from various local tribes, at halftime, and followed with the postgame “blanket ceremony.” Thompson, a product of the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, was extremely pleased with the celebration of his culture.

“It was special and shows that [Chesapeake owner] Brendan [Kelly] really cares about this game and its heritage,” Thompson said in a press release on the Bayhawks website. “By honoring native Americans tonight, he helped tell the story of this great game. That was important to me and meant a lot to all the Native Americans who were here tonight to take part in this celebration.”







Rattlers Have Hot Hand

In the old NBA Jam video game, if a player made three consecutive shots without the other team scoring, he would be “on fire” — the ball would literally light up in flames and the player would essentially make every shot he took while this special power was activated.

The Rattlers are now on fire.

With a 15-11 victory over the New York Lizards, Dallas won its third game in a row, tied with Chesapeake for the longest active winning streak in the league.

Four different Dallas players scored hat tricks, led by rookie Bradley Voigt, who scored four goals and added two assists. Voigt was named the Rattlers Player of the Game despite being sick throughout the week.

“He’s a great off-ball lefty shooter,” Dallas head coach Bill Warder said in a halftime interview on Lax Sports Network.

The Lizards opened the game with three consecutive goals, but Dallas responded with a four-goal run of its own to take the lead. Dallas outscored New York 8-4 in the second and third quarters, scoring four of the final five goals in the third quarter.

“Over the past couple weeks, we’ve gotten a little more resilient on knowing the ebb and flow of the game, and it’s a game of runs,” Warder said on Lax Sports Network. “Early on in the season, it was a little bit of a challenge, but we dug ourselves out of a hole last week. No one thought much about [being down early against the Lizards]. It’s a 60-minute game, and that was three minutes of it.”

The victory was the Rattlers first in Dallas this season.

Another Classic Between Atlanta and Boston

The most notable rivalries in Major League Lacrosse involve the Boston Cannons, New York Lizards, and Chesapeake Bayhawks. In 2019, however, the Atlanta Blaze is shaping up to be the Boston Cannons biggest rival.

In the third game of a four-game series between the two teams, Atlanta came away with a 14-13 victory, the second game between the two teams this season to be decided by one goal.

Boston’s Mark Cockerton scored the first goal of the game, but Atlanta responded with six goals to take a lead it would never relinquish. The teams traded runs the remainder of the game, and Atlanta took a 13-8 lead into the fourth quarter.

Similar to the previous two games, the losing team made a late run to tie the game, this time with Boston scoring the first three goals of the fourth quarter, and outscoring Boston 4-1 in the final period, but Brendan Sunday’s goal with 6:26 remaining put the game just out of reach for the Cannons.

With the victory, Atlanta is only half a game behind Boston and Denver (who are tied for second) in the standings. The Blaze lead the season series against Boston, 2-1, and will look to clinch the series win against the Cannons in a home game on September 14.

Noteworthy

In Week 10, each team that scored the first goal of the game eventually lost.

Chesapeake goalie Niko Amato made 14 saves. … Bayhawks defender Chris Fennell led the Bayhawks in both ground balls (5) and caused turnovers (2). … Chesapeake attackman Colin Heacock scored two goals and added an assist. … Rookie Kyle Marr, playing in his second MLL game, tied for the Outlaws lead inn points thanks to his one goal and two assists. Fellow rookie Chris Aslanian also had one goal and two assists. … Denver’s Jack Jasinski scored two goals and Brandon Jones scored a two-point goal.

Along with Voigt, Bryce Wasserman (three goals, two assists), Cody Radziewicz (three goals), and Ryan McNamara (three goals) all scored hat tricks for Dallas. … Dallas defender Chris Keating picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers. … In his first game of the 2019 season, Dallas’s Kyle Buchanan scored a goal and added two assists. … In defeat, all-star face-off specialist Greg Puskuldjian won 21 of 28 face-offs. He also picked up 10 ground balls and tallied an assist. … Rob Pannell scored two goals and had two assists for New York. Kevin Crowley also had two goals while adding one assist. … Making his MLL debut, New York’s Brandon Kearns scored two goals and added two assists.

Atlanta’s Tommy Palasek scored two goals and provided four assists. He passed Randy Staats (who is still out with an injury) for the team lead in assists with 25 and, with five games remaining, is one shy of tying the team’s single-season record. … Christian Mazzone (two goals, three assists) and Shayne Jackson (four goals, one assist) each had five points for the Blaze. … Liam Byrnes had another all-around strong game for Atlanta, scoring a goal, picking up three ground balls, and causing two turnovers. … Boston’s Zed Williams scored three goals, one of which was a two-pointer, and added an assist for a total of five points. He scored two goals (including his two-pointer) at the start of the fourth quarter to bring the Cannons within one goal. … In his MLL debut, Boston’s James Burr scored two goals.

Player of the Week

Max Adler, FO, Denver Outlaws

The Outlaws are stumbling in the standings, but Adler was nearly perfect against the Bayhawks. The third-year face-off specialist broke the Denver Outlaws single-game face-off winning percentage by winning 23 of 24 face-offs (95.8 percent); he now leads the league with a 60.4 winning percentage (among players with more than five face-off attempts). He also picked up nine ground balls.

Play of the Week

If this were basketball, this would be what they call an “and one.” Cody Radziewicz scores on a diving goal with only the slightest angle, and he draws the penalty flag.

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