MLL Weekend Preview: Week 5
Atlanta Blaze (1-2) at Chesapeake Bayhawks (2-1)
Friday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: The Bayhawks are going back to the franchise's original home, Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins, for a special Friday night tilt against the Blaze in Baltimore. Current head coach Brian Reese was a player on the 2001 Bayhawks club that played the first ever MLL game at Homewood Field against the Lizards.
Chesapeake comes into the matchup winners of two straight games and has averaged 16.67 goals per game. They lead the league in shooting percentage (.405) and points per 45 possessions (16.30) according to Moneyball Lacrosse. The Blaze are looking to get back in the win column after a 14-12 loss at home to New York last weekend.
Players to watch: Hulking midfielder Myles Jones broke out with a 10-point performance at Boston two weeks ago, but was limited to just two points last week against Charlotte. He'll look to compliment Ryan Brown (16 goals, 4 assists), who leads all of MLL in points. For the Blaze, keep an eye on Scott Ratliff. The lock-down defender has been known to jump into the fray on offense and is tied for the most points amongst defensemen.
New York Lizards (2-1) at Boston Cannons (1-3)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on Twitter
Storylines: The Twitter Game of the Week has no shortage of star power and intrigue, with Paul Rabil, Rob Pannell and the high-powered Lizards offense going to Boston to take on a Cannons team looking to end a three-game losing streak. Boston has built an early lead in each of its last two games, only to see the opponent come from behind for the win. They'll look to turn the tide against Rabil, who they traded to New York in 2015.
Players to watch: Rabil had his best game of 2017 last week against the Blaze, scoring five goals in the first half. For Boston, attackmen Kylor Bellistri (14 points) and Joe LoCascio (13 points) have been surprisingly productive on the offensive end, leading the team in points.
Charlotte Hounds (1-4) at Ohio Machine (2-1)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on LSN
Storylines: It's been a rocky start for the Hounds, who are winless in three home games this season. Last year, several teams with six losses missed the playoffs, so Charlotte has little room for error the rest of the way. The Machine welcome Charlotte into the sprakling new Fortress Obetz looking for the franchise's first ever win in the new facility.
Players to watch: Attackman Kevin Crowley has been a major shot in the arm for the Hounds offense since making his season debut last week. In just two games, he's tallied nine points (6 goals, 3 assists), and was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Game in his first game of the year. The Machine's "Faceless Men" on defense have combined to limit opponents to 11.51 points per 45 possessions - the second-best mark in the league - according to Moneyball Lacrosse.
Florida Launch (1-2) at Rochester Rattlers (2-2)
Saturday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: These two teams met in Week 2, when the Launch rode a four-goal outburst in the fourth quarter for a 12-10 win at home. The game against Florida will be Rochester's third game in a 10-day stretch, winning once and losing once in the first two. The Rattlers are still searching for their first win of the season at Capelli Sport Stadium.
Players to watch: Goalie John Galloway will play an even bigger role in Rochester's success now that they've lost the scoring punch of Jordan Wolf (hand injury). The veteran goalie ranks third in the league with a 10.68 goals against average. On Florida, Chazz Woodson has been a revelation after sitting out the entire 2016 season. The 34-year-old attackman leads the team with nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) through the first three games.