The Chesapeake Bayhawks are a Major League Lacrosse (MLL) professional men's field lacrosse team based in Annapolis, Maryland since 2010. They have played in the greater Baltimore metro area since the MLL's inaugural 2001 season, as the Baltimore Bayhawks from 2001–2006, the Washington Bayhawks from 2007–2009.
|League||Major League Lacrosse|
|Based in||Annapolis, Maryland|
|Stadium||Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium|
|Colors||Navy, light green, silver, white|
|Head coach||Dave Cottle|
|General manager||Dave Cottle|
|Championships||6 (2002, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2019)|
|Division titles||2001, 2002, 2003, 2005|
|Website||Official website |
They have won six Steinfeld Cup titles, the most of any MLL franchise.
The Bayhawks played two seasons at Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University, in 2001 and 2003, while they played at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore in 2002. Their home moved to Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University from 2004 to 2006. They won National Division titles in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 and made the 2004 playoffs as a wild card.
In 2001, the Bayhawks won the National Division crown, but fell short in the championship game to the Long Island Lizards. The following year, the Bayhawks repeated as National Division champions and this time avenged their title game loss by beating the Lizards to win their first MLL crown. In the MLL's third season, the Bayhawks continued their National Division dominance with their third straight title, but again came up just short in the MLL Championship against the Lizards. The Bayhawks made the playoffs in 2004, but were eliminated in the semifinals.
The 2005 Bayhawks squad is regarded as one of the greatest lacrosse teams ever assembled. Led by hall-of-famers Gary Gait and Tom Marechek, the Bayhawks went 10–2, dominating the competition and setting several scoring records throughout the year. They scored 47 more goals than any other team and lead the league with fewest goals allowed, resulting in an average score of 20–13. The team capped the regular season with their fourth National Division title and their second MLL crown.
The Bayhawks were the only Major League Lacrosse team to have a winning season in each of the first five years of the league, posting a 44–19 record.
Move to Washington, D.C.
The 2006 season was a transition year for the Bayhawks. BT Lax Operating purchased the franchise from the prior ownership group led by the Pivec family. The Bayhawks went 4–8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in its history. Following the season, the new owners announced the team would be renamed the Washington Bayhawks and play around Washington, DC.
The Washington Bayhawks played their first home game of the 2007 season at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia with the subsequent five home games at Georgetown University's Multi-Sport Field. George Mason Stadium served as the primary field for five home games during 2008 with one home game at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Both years the Bayhawks produced losing records, 5–7 and 4–8.
In 2009, the Bayhawks returned to Maryland for good and signed a three-year agreement with the US Naval Academy for their home games. A permanent home did not help the Bayhawks on the field, they finished with another 5–7 season.
Dynasty in Annapolis
In March 2010, the Bayhawks announced a new ownership group, Hometown Lacrosse, LLC led by majority owner Brendan Kelly. The Bayhawks also announced that the team name would be changed to the Chesapeake Bayhawks to include all areas of the region from Northern Maryland to Virginia and Washington, DC to the Eastern Shore. The Bayhawks continued to play at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The team started out 4–6, leading Kelly to fire John Tucker and take over as head coach himself. With Kelly's leadership, the team finished the 2010 season at 6–6 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The Bayhawks defeated the Boston Cannons 13–9 in the semifinals, and won the Steinfeld Trophy for the third time with another 13–9 victory over their archrivals, the Long Island Lizards.
After a rollercoaster season and another 6–6 record in 2011, the Bayhawks were defeated by the Boston Cannons in a close match-up in the playoffs at home. In the off-season, the team made some major changes when Kelly stepped down as head coach and promoted Dave Cottle from assistant coach to head coach. Cottle immediately brought in Tony Resch to serve as his defensive coordinator. In 2012 they recaptured the Steinfeld Cup, defeating the Denver Outlaws 16–6 in the final.
After their third title in four years in 2013, the Bayhawks missed the playoffs in the following four seasons, the second time in franchise history. In 2016, seven teams finished tied atop the standings at 8-6, including the Bayhawks. Due to tiebreaker procedures, the Bayhawks were left out of the playoffs.
In 2017, the Bayhawks started the season 3-1, but a four-game losing streak put them in a bad position at 3-5. The Bayhawks were finally able to regain some momentum but were ultimately eliminated with a loss during the second-to-last week of the regular season. They finished the season on a high note though, a 23-19 victory over the defending champion Denver Outlaws. In the game, rookie Josh Byrne scored seven goals and finished 2017 with the Major League Lacrosse record for goals in a season for a rookie with 39. The win put them at an even 7-7, but did not prevent them from extending their playoff drought to four seasons. On September 14, the Bayhawks announced that head coach Brian Reese would not be returning because the team wanted a full-time coach, the league's first. On December 13, the Bayhawks announced they were bringing back Dave Cottle as head coach.
The Bayhawks are developing plans for a $40 million 10,000-seat stadium in Crownsville that would include a three-story team headquarters. The project's first phase would be a 6,000 seat amphitheater that the Bayhawks hope to be playing in by 2020, while phase two would include 20 youth fields but the local community has raised significant objections to the plans.
Cottle returns as head coach
The Bayhawks new and old head coach Dave Cottle began the 2018 campaign at home against the Dallas Rattlers, who were playing in their first game since relocating from Rochester. The Rattlers defeated the Bayhawks 15-9. On April 28, the Bayhawks collected their first win of the season and Cottle's second tenure with a 14-11 victory over the Florida Launch.
After a 1-2 start, the Bayhawks would rattle off seven straight victories, including back-to-back wins over the defending champion Ohio Machine, a team who swept them the season before. The Bayhawks would drop three of their last four contests of the regular season, but at 9-5, the team still earned second place and a home playoff game in the 2018 postseason.
In their first playoff appearance since 2013, the Bayhawks lost a close game to the Denver Outlaws, 13-12, despite defeating the Outlaws twice in the regular season. It was only the Bayhawks' second playoff loss in five trips to the postseason since becoming the Chesapeake Bayhawks in 2010.
The Bayhawks' biggest rival is the New York Lizards. They have faced each other in five Steinfeld Cup championships: the first three, in 2005, and in 2010. The Lizards won in 2001 and 2003, the Bayhawks in 2002, 2005, and 2010. Both Long Island and the Baltimore area try to claim bragging rights to be the top "hotbed" of producing lacrosse talent.
|2||Colin Heacock||M||6 ft 3 in||210 lb||Maryland|
|3||Matt Abbott||M||6 ft 0 in||185 lb||Syracuse|
|4||Lyle Thompson||A||6 ft 0 in||180 lb||Albany|
|5||Zac Davliakos||LSM||6 ft 2 in||180 lb||Loyola|
|6||Steele Stanwick||A||6 ft 0 in||180 lb||Virginia|
|7||Kyle Tucker||D||6 ft 0 in||195 lb||Salisbury|
|9||C.J. Costabile||D||6 ft 1 in||205 lb||Duke|
|10||Chris Fennell||D||6 ft 2 in||211 lb||Navy|
|11||Sean Mayle||D||6 ft 0 in||195 lb||Denver|
|12||Ryan Tucker||M||6 ft 2 in||200 lb||Virginia|
|13||Niko Amato||G||5 ft 8 in||185 lb||Maryland|
|16||Ryan Keenan||M||5 ft 9 in||165 lb||Penn State|
|20||Nick Manis||SSDM||6 ft 0 in||190 lb||Maryland|
|21||Eric O'Brien||FO||6 ft 3 in||230 lb||Ohio State|
|23||Nick Mariano||M||6 ft 0 in||181 lb||Syracuse|
|24||Greg Danseglio||D||6 ft 0 in||185 lb||Maryland|
|25||Ryan Hursey||SSDM||6 ft 4 in||205 lb||Georgetown|
|26||Isaiah Davis-Allen||SSDM||6 ft 3 in||180 lb||Maryland|
|27||Warren Jeffrey||D||6 ft 3 in||210 lb||Vermont|
|29||Noah Rak||FO||6 ft 1 in||203 lb||UMass|
|30||Brian Phipps||G||5 ft 9 in||190 lb||Maryland|
|31||Kenny Massa||FO||5 ft 11 in||180 lb||Bryant|
|33||Zac Prattson||D||6 ft 0 in||180 lb||Le Moyne|
|36||Jesse Bernhardt||D||6 ft 0 in||200 lb||Maryland|
|40||DJ Plumer||SSDM||6 ft 3 in||197 lb||Navy|
|42||Andrew Kew||A||6 ft 3 in||210 lb||Tampa|
|44||Shane Simpson||M||6 ft 1 in||190 lb||North Carolina|
|45||Brendan Bomberry||M||6 ft 1 in||198 lb||Syracuse|
|77||Colton Watkinson||M||6 ft 4 in||205 lb||Limestone|
|91||Thomas Hoggarth||M||6 ft 3 in||205 lb||N/A|
|Jack Doyle||M||6 ft 2 in||185 lb||Notre Dame|
|Eric Fannell||M||6 ft 1 in||220 lb||Ohio State|
|Anthony Joaquim||SSDM||6 ft 2 in||205 lb||St. Joseph's|
|John Kelly||M||6 ft 0 in||179 lb||Ohio State|
|Shane Koppens||A||5 ft 11 in||185 lb||Loyola|
|Cody O'Donnell||LSM||6 ft 0 in||190 lb||Bryant|
|Ricky Pages||D||6 ft 5 in||214 lb||Ohio State|
- Roster updated 2019-07-12
MLL award winners
[a] August 17 game at Long Island canceled due to rain