Midfielder Joe Walters led the way for Chesapeake on Saturday, recording seven points in the team's 15-13 win over the Charlotte Hounds in the season finale.
The Bayhawks were already eliminated from playoff contention, but they still had plenty to play for as head coach Dave Cottle told the team on Friday that Saturday would be his last as head coach.
"Coach Cottle is one of the most iconic figures in the game of lacrosse and we definitely wanted to get a win for him in his last game coaching the Bayhawks," said veteran defenseman Michael Evans. They did just that thanks largely to the fantastic effort of Walters.
Walters tallied five assists while also scoring two goals for a game-high seven points.
"I pride myself on sharing the ball and setting up my teammates. I got five assists because people were finishing tonight," Walters said.
Walters played for Cottle at the University of Maryland and making sure his coach went out on top was clearly a motivating factor for him Saturday.
"I have huge respect and love for Coach Cottle," Walters said. "I'm grateful to have played for him in both college and the pros. We'll miss having him on the sideline."
The Bayhawks also got major contributions from attackman Drew Westervelt (three goals, two assists), attackman Ben Rubeor (four goals, one assist), midfielder Matt Abbott (one goal, two assists) and Matt Danowski (two goals).
Despite trailing 13-11 in the fourth quarter, Chesapeake was able to battle back and avoid taking a fifth-straight loss. A late rally saw the Bayhawks score four goals in the last half of the fourth quarter while holding the Hounds scoreless.
"We've lost so many games in the fourth quarter this season," Walters said. "To be down by two in the fourth and come back to win by two just shows the character of this team."
"This was one of my favorite teams to coach. They fight their tails off every time out," Cottle said.
Cottle joined the Bayhawks organization as a consultant in 2010 and has been with the team every since, taking over as president and head coach prior to the 2012 season. He led the team to consecutive championships in 2012 and 2013 and is the first Major League Lacrosse coach to pass 100 career wins.
Cottle intends to remain with the organization as president.
But Saturday night was not about the future, it was about finding a way to get just one more win for the team he loves.
"I'm happy for the players that we finished the season on a positive note," he said. "It was never about me, it was about the team."