(Photo Courtesy of MLL)
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) released their 2020 schedule earlier this week. The league’s 20th season will be will be played in the span of one week at Navy-Marine Corp Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
Here is a look at some games to circle during the 15-game regular season schedule that will be played over a span of seven days to determine which four teams will move on to the playoffs.
Chesapeake Bayhawks vs Philadelphia Barrage (7/18)
The 2020 MLL season opens up with the defending champion Chesapeake Bayhawks facing the Philadelphia Barrage, who inherited the former Atalanta Blaze squad that folded after last season and faced the Bayhawks in the semifinals. This will truly be a game of first, as it will be the first game for Bayhawks new head coach Tom Mariano and will be the first game that the Philadephia Barrage will take the field since the initial team folded following the 2009 season.
All eyes will be on the offenses in this contest, as the Bayhawks, led by reigning MVP Lyle Thompson, and the Barrage (2019 Blaze), led by Tommy Palasek and Shayne Jackson, featured the two of the top offenses in the league last season. Thompson led the league with 73 points (43G/30A) last season and the Barrage offense was the highest scoring in the league last season, with Tommy Palasek, Shayne Jackson and Brendan Sunday putting up a combines 136 points (95G/61A).
Denver Outlaws vs Connecticut Hammerheads (7/18)
The 2019 runner-up Denver Outlaws open up their revenge tour against the league’s newest team in the Connecticut Hammerheads, who inherited the Dallas Rattlers roster after they folded following the 2019 season.
Denver returns a stellar lineup on offense with veteran John Grant Jr. and younger guys like Ryan Lee and Chris Aslanian, who took big leaps forward last season. But many eyes will be on the Outlaws’ defense this season after the departure of goalie Dillon Ward. Who will get the start in cage game one? Will it be rookie Nick Washuta out of Vermont or Nat Siekierski out of Albany? For Connecticut, much intrigue will be on the offensive side of the ball, as the Hammerheads Attack looks to be dangerous with Will Sands, Bradey Voigt, and rookie Michael Kraus leading the charge.
Chesapeake Bayhawks vs Boston Cannons (7/20)
Chesapeake takes the field for the second time on Monday, July 20th against the Boston Cannons. These two squads faced each other twice last season, splitting the series and seeing each game end with the same final score of 12-11. Their first meeting went into overtime.
The Bayhawks may be the defending champs, but Boston looks to make their mark this season and take the title home for the first time since 2011. The Cannons offense will look a bit different and could be the best in the league, as they added Bryan Cole, Randy Staats, and Bryce Wasserman through offseason trades. Those three tallied a combined 151 points last season. They will also return star attackman Mark Cockerton and midfielder Kyle Jackson, who put together put together a stellar season last summer.
Denver Outlaws vs Chesapeake Bayhawks (7/22)
The last time the Outlaws and Bayhawks met was in the 2019 MLL Championship game. Chesapeake took the game, 10-9, in overtime to claim the MLL title. This championship rematch should be one of the most anticipated games of the season by both fans and players alike. And due to how their last meeting ended, we could see some emotions come out on both sides.