Men's Lacrosse

Rubeor scores winner as Bayhawks beat Machine

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Rubeor scores winner as Bayhawks beat Machine, 12-11, in overtime

Fiorito spectacular with 23 saves as Chesapeake earns big road victory 


DELAWARE, OHIO - Goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito was spectacular with 23 saves and attackman Ben Rubeor capped an impressive comeback with a goal just 23 seconds into overtime as the Chesapeake Bayhawks earned a hard-fought 12-11 victory over the Ohio Machine at Selby Stadium.


     Midfielder Matt Abbott’s hustle chasing after a loose ball off the opening faceoff led to a pushing penalty and gave Chesapeake possession to open overtime. Head coach Dave Cottle called timeout to set up a play, which began with the ball in attackman Matt Danowski’s stick.


     Danowski drove hard to the goal-line extended from behind, drawing a crowd of defenders. He dumped the ball to attackman Drew Westervelt, who turned down an open 15-yard shot and spotted Rubeor circling in front of the crease.


   Westervelt made a perfect pass that hit Rubeor in stride and the savvy eighth-year veteran used one stick fake to get goalie Scott Rodgers to commit then flipped the ball into an open spot of the net to give the Bayhawks an uplifting win.


 “Matty got pushed out of bounds toward the end of regulation and he wanted the ball back. We told him to go behind and put pressure on the defense, which is exactly what he did,” Cottle said. “Matty made the smart play by dropping it off to Drew, who then made a very unselfish play by finding Ben for the high-percentage shot,” Cottle said. 


    Westervelt finished with five points on the strength of four assists to lead Chesapeake, which improved its record to 5-3 and moved into a three-way tie for third place in Major League Lacrosse. Danowski totaled three goals and an assist for the Bayhawks, who rallied from multiple three-goal deficits.


     “We really battled and grinded this one out. It wasn’t easy and we had some things go against us, but we just kept on fighting,” Cottle said. “I thought Tyler Fiorito was absolutely outstanding. Tyler has been very consistent and very good for us all year. It was another amazing performance by Tyler, but it’s what we have come to expect from him this season.”


     Fiorito singlehandedly kept his squad in the game during the first half when Ohio dominated possession and the Chesapeake offense seemed out of sync. The former Princeton All-American stopped 11 shots in the first half as the Bayhawks stayed within striking distance despite getting beaten 11-4 on faceoffs, losing the ground ball battle 17-11 and putting just 12 shots on cage.


     “Ohio played with greater effort in the first half so we challenged our guys to play harder and tougher and with more intensity, which I thought they did in the second half,” Cottle said.


   “We were without some key players tonight, but we managed to gut out a very tough road win and that’s a compliment to the guys that did play,” Cottle said.


  Three rookies - long stick midfielder Mark DiFrangia, short stick defensive midfielder Pat Harbeson and faceoff specialist Charlie Raffa - made their professional debuts for the Bayhawks last night. Harbeson was thrust into a more prominent role after top short stick middie Jeff Reynolds suffered an injury early in the second half.


    “I thought Pat Harbeson stepped up and played well, I thought Mark DiFrangia did some good things. Mark McNeill saw a lot of playing time and did a great job,” Cottle said. “We are getting deeper every game because we’ve been forced to play a lot of guys due to injury.”


    Jesse Bernhardt did a terrific job of containing Ohio quarterback Steele Stanwick while long pole Jason Noble put the clamps on high-scoring midfielder Peter Baum. Harbeson and McNeill combined to cover attackman Jimmy Dailey, which allowed the Bayhawks to double pole the Machine’s dangerous first midfield. 


    “I thought we played great six-on-six defense. We really locked down in the second half and made things very difficult on them,” Cottle said.


    Fiorito, who was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game, said the Bayhawks turned things around by stopping Ohio from getting out on the fastbreak.


    “The biggest thing was the transition. They were going end-to-end and getting some easy goals in the first half,” Fiorito said. “We put an end to that and that’s why we held them to three goals in the second half.”


    Abbott had the lone goal for Chesapeake in a low-scoring first quarter that ended with Ohio holding a 3-1 lead. The Bayhawks played a lot of defense and did not possess the ball much due to several turnovers in the clearing game.


 Donovan found Danowski cutting to the crease for a point-blank shot that got Chesapeake off to a good start in the second stanza. It was a similar scenario about four minutes later when Walters lost his defender with a well-timed cut and finished a beautiful feed from Westervelt.


    Chesapeake’s defense completely took control in the third quarter, holding Ohio to just one goal while killing off two power play opportunities. The Machine were held scoreless for nearly eight minutes to close the period and that enabled the Bayhawks to rally.


  Walters got things started by cutting to the middle of the field, taking a short pass from Westervelt and ripping a left-handed crank shot into the cage at the 5:20 mark. Abbott blew past short stick defensive midfielder Jovan Miller from behind for an unassisted goal to pull the visitors within one with 4:46 to go.


    Chesapeake continued to play lockdown defense into the fourth quarter as Ohio was unable to score for the opening 11:33. Danowski scored the only goal during that time, dodging left past Jackson Place and sticking a 10-yard shot into the top corner to give the Bayhawks their first lead of the game, 10-9 with 5:17 elapsed in the final frame.



   The Bayhawks killed a power play midway through the period, but several questionable calls on what appeared to be shot clock violations gave the Machine extra possessions and they finally took advantage. An overly-aggressive slide left midfielder Kevin Cooper wide open on the crease and he finished a one-on-one shot to tie the score at 10 with 3:27 remaining. Long stick midfielder C.J. Costabile answered just 11 seconds later for the Bayhawks, garnering a tough ground ball off the faceoff then racing into the offensive zone and firing an overhand bounce shot past Rodgers to make it 11-10.