The Hamilton Nationals will host the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday (Aug. 4) at 7 p.m. at Ron Joyce Stadium.
The 3-9 Nationals are tied for sixth place with the Hounds. The Nationals used a record-tying five man-up goals and a record-tying performance from Kevin Crowley in a 21-12 loss to Denver last Saturday. His four goals and two assists tied his single-game career bests. Joe Walters tied his single-season assist record of 20, which he set last season. He finished the night with three goals and two assists and moved into seventh place in the Major League Lacrosse with 37 points. Crowley is tied for eighth with 35 and became only the fourth Nationals’ player to hit the 20-goal plateau in a single season. He joined Stephen Keogh (22), Merrick Thompson (44) and Walters (23).
Brodie Merrill is third in the MLL with 86 ground balls. He needs just two to break the team’s single-season record of 87. Right behind Merrill is teammate Matt Dolente, who enters the game with 77. Dolente ranks third in the MLL with 193 faceoff wins. He stands just three wins away from breaking the single-season team record of 195 set by Geoff Snider in 2009.
Walters is eight points away from passing his career high of 44 set in 2008 with the Rochester Rattlers. He is one assist away from setting a personal single-season assist mark. He tied his career mark last week which he set last season.
The Nationals have activated former Union College goalie Sean Aaron. He finished his 2009-12 college career as a three-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American and was a two-time Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year. Twin brothers Roman and Cameron Lao-Gosney will also play Saturday. It marks the first game for Cameron in a Nationals uniform. He was acquired from Charlotte on July 12. Both rookies recently completed their college careers at Lehigh University.
The last meeting between the two clubs on June 2 produced an 18-17 Nationals win in Charlotte. Walters scored four goals and assisted on four others to pace the Hamilton offense. Keogh also had an impressive game, scoring a career-high four goals. Garrett Billings chipped in four points (2+2) and Dolente set a single-game team record with 23 faceoff wins.
In goal, the Nationals were backstopped by a 21-save effort from Brett Queener.
The Hounds (3-9) have lost three straight games since stunning first-place Chesapeake on July 7. In its last loss, Charlotte was tied 8-8 with Long Island after three quarters but fell to the Lizards, 13-9. Matt Danowski is tied for fifth in the MLL with 38 points and Stephen Berger is tied for eighth with 35.
Defenseman Ryan Flanagan is fifth in the league with 55 ground balls. The Hounds have six former Nationals on their roster: Jeremy Boltus, Joe Cinosky, Gerry Reilly, Kevin Ridgway, Geoff Snider and Steve Panarelli.
After Saturday’s game the Nationals will be host to the Long Island Lizards on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.