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Danowski, Poillon lead way as Chesapeake beats Charlotte on road
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Attackman Matt Danowski and midfielder Peet Poillon totaled four points apiece to lead a balanced offense while goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito recorded a career-high 22 saves to anchor an aggressive defense as the Chesapeake Bayhawks earned their second road win of the season, 14-10 over the Charlotte Hounds at Memorial Stadium.
Danowski showed off his abilities as both a playmaker and finisher in scoring two goals and dishing off two assists. Poillon did most of his damage off decisive dodges in also totaling two goals and two assists as Chesapeake (3-1) remained in sole possession of second place of Major League Lacrosse heading into next Saturday's showdown with unbeaten New York (5-0).
Fiorito continued his stellar play in the cage, repeatedly thwarting scoring opportunities by the Hounds with spectacular stops. The fourth-year professional out of Princeton University surpassed his previous career-high of 18 saves, accomplished during the season opener against Florida.
Midfielder Matt Mackrides had a hat trick to run his season scoring total to a team-high 14 points. Attackman Jack Rice, midfielder Ben Hunt and short stick defender Jeff Reynolds all added two goals for the Bayhawks, who won despite being outshot (45-36) and beaten on both ground balls (34-20) and faceoffs (19-8).
That was a testament to the play of Fiorito and the close defense of Michael Evans, Chris Hipps and Jesse Bernhardt, which held a dangerous Charlotte offense to just six goals. The Hounds got two transition goals from defensemen.
Chesapeake and Charlotte came into the contest having split six previous meetings with neither club winning on the other's home turf. That trend came to a halt as the Bayhawks earned their first victory in the Queen City.
"We definitely knew the history. We've been coming here for three years and haven't been able to get a win," Mackrides said. "We really wanted this one today and it's a huge confidence boost. There's a big difference between 3-1 and 2-2. This is great for team camaraderie and gives us momentum going up to New York."
Chesapeake clearly came ready to play, charging to a 4-0 lead while showing more energy, effort and enthusiasm. Rice and Mackrides both scored two goals while Danowski dished off two assists during the first quarter onslaught.
Danowski displayed his quarterbacking ability by running the offense from behind the cage and flashed great vision in finding Rice open on the back side of the crease for a point-blank shot. Those two would connect later on a similar inside feed that Rice finished.
Meantime, Mackrides scored on a pair of superb individual moves - spinning 360 degrees to beat one defender then using a stop-and-go move to lose another then sticking 8-yard shots.
Charlotte scored the first two goals of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 4-2, but Chesapeake responded with another 4-0 run with midfielders getting all the goals. Ben Hunt got things started by dodging down the right alley and bouncing a shot past Bassett. Poillon then took over, dodging left to beat a short stick and slip inside for a short shot without pressure and ripping an absolute laser of a sidearm crank shot into the corner off a drive down the right alley.
Poillon set up the next goal by beating his man, drawing a slide and finding Dunster wide open for one-on-one shot that closed the five-minute assault and gave the Bayhawks an 8-2 lead. The Hounds scored the final two goal of the period to go into intermission trailing 8-4.
During his halftime interview with ESPN Television, Cottle expressed disappointment with the transition goals the Hounds scored and stated the Bayhawks needed to "make this a six-on-six game" in order to come away with the win.
It was a similar scenario in the third quarter with Charlotte attempting to mount a comeback and Chesapeake quickly shutting it down. After allowing the Hounds to score two goals to get within 8-6, the Bayhawks answered with a 3-0 run to take a commanding 11-6 lead into the final frame.
Mackrides got loose out front and blasted a sidearm shot into the top corner and Danowski scored just eight seconds later on a beautiful low-to-high shot off a feed from faceoff specialist Stephen Robarge. Hunt then bulled his way past two defenders and absorbed a hard hit from defenseman Joe Cinosky to score from the doorstep.
"We did a real good job of weathering the storms. Every time they tried to make a run, we put a stop to it and made one of our own," Mackrides said.
Chesapeake opened the fourth quarter with two more goals to take its largest lead of the game at 13-6 with just under 13 minutes remaining. Danowski used a series of stop-and-go moves to beat his defenseman and fired a hard shot off-side low past Bassett.
The host Hounds refused to fold and got back within four goals following a 2-pointer by long stick midfielder Michael Ehrhardt and an inside shot by attackman Josh Dionne (two goals).
However, Fiorito stymied the rally with a couple terrific saves, including an impossible stop of a Justin Ward shot from the crease. Ward was one-on-one and used a fake to get Fiorito out of position, but the left-handed keeper somehow reached out and snagged the ball before it crossed the goal line. Moments later, Fiorito stopped another one-on-one shot and came racing out of his cage to scoop the ground ball and cleared into the offensive zone, drawing a slashing penalty in the process.
"Tyler has been unbelievable in all four games this season. He's just done a great job between the pipes," Mackrides said.