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Game Preview: Denver at Chesapeake

By Stuart Zaas |  6/14/13 10:10 AM

Game Preview: Denver at Chesapeake


Opponent: Chesapeake Bayhawks (4-2)
When: Saturday, June 15, 6:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
Broadcast: CBS Sports (National)
 All-time vs. Chesapeake: 7-4 (Away: 4-1)
 
 
Matchup: The Outlaws return to the road after a three-game home stretch to take on the Chesapeake Bayhawks in a rematch of last season's Steinfeld Cup Championship Game. The Bayhawks beat the Outlaws 16-6 in that game to earn the MLL title.
 
This season, the teams find themselves atop the league standings entering Week 7 with the Outlaws out to the fastest start in team history at 6-0 and Chesapeake just two games back at 4-2.
 
History: The Outlaws are 7-4 all-time against the Bayhawks with a 7-3 record in the regular season. The team has alternated wins over its past six contests including last year's Steinfeld Cup meeting.
 
“Last time we played them, they completely took us apart," Head Coach Jim Stagnitta said. "We were outgunned, outmanned and outplayed. There were a lot of factors involved there, but they certainly got the best of us. A lot of the things we’ve tried to do as a team in the offseason – you have to shoot for the team to beat. Some of the things we’ve tried to do while building a team were to try to compete better with the Bayhawks. I think that’s a credit to Dave (Cottle) and what they’ve done with their squad."
 
Each team won on the road against each other in 2012. Chesapeake knocked off the Outlaws 18-16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on June 2 and then Denver returned the favor with a 15-13 win in the season finale at Chesapeake to clinch the league's  top playoff seed.
 
Last Week: Denver took claim to the top spot in the MLL Standings with a resounding 22-9 win over previously unbeaten Hamilton. The 13-goal margin of victory tied for the second-largest in franchise history.
 
"I felt like we were able to prepare for what they do," Stagnitta said. "What they do is different from what everybody else does. I thought we really did a great job in defending that. Our defense was terrific and did exactly what we had worked on and practiced on Friday."
 
Five different Outlaws netted hat tricks, led by four-goal performances from Brendan Mundorf, Drew Snider, Zack Greer and rookie Eric Law.
 
"On the offensive end, we really started to pick up the pace and try to take advantage of our two-way middies and our athleticism in the middle of the field," Stagnitta said. "Those are the things that we stressed before the game. Except for a few times we shot ourselves in the foot, I was really pleased with the full game from beginning to end."
 
Law made his MLL debut in the game just hours after his college graduation and earned Player of the Game as well as Cascade MLL Rookie of the Week honors for his effort.
 
"We were impressed with the overall game that Law has and he showed it not just early, but he showed it late," Stagnitta said. "We started that second half and threw Eric in there and he immediately responded with a great off-ball cut. I think one of the reasons that he was able to integrate so well was just because of the way we play offense."
 

The Bayhawks also earned a 13-goal win last week, defeating the New York Lizards 21-8. Former Outlaw Drew Westervelt led the way with eight goals, adding an assist to finish with nine points. John Grant Jr. added four goals and Kyle Dixon assisted on four of the team's 19 tallies.

Click here to read the rest of the preview on the Outlaws Lowdown Blog.



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