By Ally Annear | 5/3/12 5:00 PM
HOUNDS at CANNONS
Saturday, May 5 7PM
Watch & Follow: WMYT, CSNNE (tape delay 5/6 4pm, 5/8 8pm), TWC Wisconsin, COX NO (tape delay 5/8 noon), ESPN3, Live Blog
The Big Picture: The defending MLL Champion Boston Cannons will host the expansion Charlotte Hounds in the Hounds’ first road game this Saturday. The Cannons were 9-3 last season and went on to win the MLL Championship. The Cannons have the experience and most of their 2011 MLL Championship roster, but the Hounds boast a competitive roster and some serious fight.
Boston Cannons: The Cannons look to continue their quest in defending their MLL Championship title. They defeated the Rochester Rattlers this past Saturday 15-3, holding the Rattlers to an MLL record fewest goals allowed in one game. The previous record was five goals.
Head Coach Steve Duffy was pleased with his team’s opening performance and feels confident in his team moving forward. He has emphasized the importance of communication on both ends of the field and expressed that he liked the way his defense communicated and played together last Saturday. “We’re going to need that this weekend,” said Duffy. “Charlotte has some proven guys who have done it in the league for many years, but I do like how our defensive unit plays and the confidence they have in Jordan behind them.”
Players to Watch: Jordan Burke was honored with MLL Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 17 saves in the Cannons opening game against the Rattlers. While Jake Beebe earned the Bud Light Player of the Game honors for his four-goal performance in his Boston debut last weekend, expect a return from attackman Matt Poskay.
Charlotte Hounds: Even though the Hounds fell short to the Denver Outlaws last Saturday, Charlotte looks like it is going to be a great market for this new MLL team. They drew a crowd of over 6,000 fans last weekend, who expressed a lot of passion and excitement about the expansion to the south. “I think at some times we got a little too excited,” said Head Coach Mike Cerino. “It might be a great step for this team to get on the road, get in a tough situation and play together in Boston.”
The Hounds saw outstanding performances from midfielder Stephen Berger, who tallied four goals and two assists, and Billy Bitter, who posted two goals and two assists. They have a promising line-up that showed flashes of what we can expect from them this season. With the power and athleticism from Jovan Miller and Jeremy Boltus, and with the return of attackman Matt Danowski from indoor, the Hounds can expect to become more competitive. “I feel like we’re trying to find our identity and who we are,” said Cerino. “We’ll make better choices as we move through the season.”
Players to Watch: In the Hounds opening game, Stephen Berger had four goals and two assists, totaling six points. Billy Bitter opened the season with two goals and two assists, totaling four points.
Next Match-Up: The Cannons will face the Hounds next on Saturday, June 16 at 7pm(ET) at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, NC.