Major League Lacrosse's 2013 season ends with the Chesapeake Bayhawks as Champions again.
For the third time in four years the Chesapeake Bayhawks raised the Steinfeld Trophy high over their heads when Championship Weekend came to a close. The matchup between the Charlotte Hounds and Chesapeake Bayhawks was a hard fought, physical battle that got both sloppy and chippy at times but in the end had the same result as last season. Dave Cottle and the mixture of veterans and young players he has put together are once again victorious.
The Charlotte Hounds:
The Hounds were the Cinderella story of 2013. They went on a monster run out of the All-Star break, battled their way in to Championship weekend and upset the undefeated Denver Outlaws who many have declared the best team the league has ever seen. Huge Championship performances from players like Ryan Young (4 goals 2 assists), Mike Sawyer (2 goals), Matt Danowski (1 2pt goal 2 assists) and Geoff Snider (15-20) came up just a goal shy of forcing overtime in the Championship game.
This season has to be considered a success for the Hounds despite not reaching the ultimate goal. This is a two year old team that went through a face lift in the off season and during the regular season that put them well ahead of the time table they had set for themselves. They may not have won a Championship but Wade Lepart and Mike Cerino should be very proud of the group of players that have put together on this team and what they accomplished this year.
The Chesapeake Bayhawks:
Chesapeake accomplished one of the toughest things to do in professional sports. They defended their Championship. Participating in two slugfest type lacrosse games played right in to the Champs hands and ultimately left them holding the hardware that matters most in Major League Lacrosse. In game one Chesapeake battled an upstart Hamilton Nationals team lead by Kevin Crowley, Joe Walters and Kevin Cunningham who never really seemed to get their feet under them and be able to incorporate the style of play that we are used to seeing from them. In the Championship game again, the Bayhawks were able to impose their will and control the pace and style of play and force Charlotte to play their type of game. Huge performances by Casey Powell (1 goal, 2 assists), John Grant Jr (4 goals). and goaltender Kip Turner (14 for 22)on their way to the second straight MLL Championship.
This season the Bayhawks had their struggles and lost some close game. However this is a team you can never count out and they seemed to be hitting their stride right at the right time coming out of the All-Star break. Two in a row and three out of four, the word dynasty is going to be thrown around a lot in the off season I'm sure.