Chesapeake is probably the youngest team in the MLL with 10 of the 19 players that dressed for the championship either rookies or second-year professionals.
Unbridled joy! That is the only way to describe the scene on the field at Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the Chesapeake Bayhawks celebrated capturing the Major League Lacrosse Championship. Players took turns hoisting the Steinfeld Cup and sprayed each other with cans of Bud Light while members of the coaching staff gave each other hearty bear hugs. After a roller coaster season that featured a five-game losing streak and after failing to even make the playoffs four straight years, the joy and emotion that poured out of the Bayhawks was to be expected.
Midfielder Kyle Dixon totaled two goals and an assist while attackman Ben Rubeor dished off three assists for fourth-seeded Chesapeake (8-6), which went on a 5-0 second-half run to broke open a back-and-forth game. Attackman Danny Glading and midfielder Peet Poillon scored two goals apiece for the Bayhawks, who captured the third MLL title in franchise history and first since 2005.
However, grizzled veterans such as Dixon, goalie Chris Garrity, close defenseman Shawn Nadelen and attackman Andrew “Buggs” Combs all made key contributions on Sunday and were the first to take possession of the Steinfeld Cup. “I’m just so proud of the players. I think about guys like Buggs Combs, Kyle Dixon and Chris Garrity, who have been with this organization for a long time and were so hungry for a championship. Those are our leaders and I’m so happy we were able to win this for them,” Chesapeake president and head coach Brendan Kelly said.