Major League Lacrosse: Chesapeake Bayhawks win second straight crown

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(Bayhawks’ photo is courtesy of Major League Lacrosse)

Major League Lacrosse crowned a new champion on Sunday, although not the one that most would have anticipated heading into the league’s championship weekend.

In a game filled with Maryland-area talent, the Chesapeake Bayhawks fended off the upstart Charlotte Hounds, 10-9, to win their second straight MLL crown and their fifth overall MLL title.

On Saturday it was the Hounds who overcame nine goals from rookie attackman Eric Law to shock the previously undefeated Denver Outlaws, 17-14. Denver entered the game with a 14-0 mark, while Charlotte finished the regular season at an even 7-7. The Bayhawks (11-5) edged Hamilton (9-6), 13-12, on Saturday to gain the final.

With flawless weather as a backdrop at Philadelphia’s PPL Park, the Bayhawks relied on veteran John Grant Jr., 39, for four goals and UMBC product Drew Westervelt showed off both his inside and outside shooting talents with a hat trick. Grant earned MVP honors for his efforts over the weekend. Recent Maryland graduate Jesse Bernhardt was solid at defensive middie for the Bayhawks.

Loyola grad and Charlotte native Mike Sawyer was outstanding in both the semifinal and final games for the Hounds, tallying seven points over two days, and providing a constant perimeter threat, with his trademark multi-plane sharpshooting. Maryland’s Ryan Young added seven points in the title game for Charlotte while operating expertly from behind goal.

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