8/3/12 2:43 PM
LONG ISLAND—When the Lizards (8-4) take the field Saturday night to face off against the Chesapeake Bayhawks (9-3), there will be more at stake than just the chance for Long Island to clinch a postseason berth if they snatch the road win. The Lizards, who started the season 0-2, have made their presence felt throughout the league and will be fighting for a chance to tie the Bayhawks for first place in the MLL. This battle may also serve as a preview of a postseason game during Championship weekend- August 25 and 26.
The Lizards lost a shorthanded Week 1 contest to the Bayhawks by the score of 13-11 in Long Island. Now the L.I. crew will be bringing extra baggage on the road trip. For the first time this season, attack men Max Seibald, Matt Gibson, and Tommy Palasek will be taking on the number one seeded Chesapeake squad. Also, the defensive presence that CJ Costabile has provided for Long Island will be looking to shut down the explosive Chesapeake attack for the first time this year.
During the MLL Coaches Conference Call on Wednesday, Coach Joe Spallina of the Long Island Lizards displayed his focused mentality on the challenge that lies ahead of him in Chesapeake. “We have to just worry about ourselves and coming out prepared.”
The Lizards and Bayhawks have dueled 5 times for a championship; and the Bayhawks hold the upper hand at 3 wins and 2 losses versus Long Island. Additionally, four of the Bayhawks starters wore Lizards uniforms last season- Brian Spallina, John Grant Jr., Nicky Polanco, and John Orsen. Thus, the Lizards and Bayhawks are familiar foes.
At the Face
Alex Smith, premier face-off specialist for the Chesapeake Bayhawks will be taking on this year’s leading specialist in face-off wins percentage (62%) in Greg Gurenlian. Smith is coming off his shoulder injury which had him sidelined for the majority of this season. Look for all face-offs to be a strong battle as both these men square off for possession.