Excessive Homework ~ An Educational Problem?


Who is the stereotypical American teenager?

The glorious stereotype of the average high school student was born countless times ago from various audiences: a picture of care free bliss worked with paint brushes such as amounts of unique social swagger mixed with remnants of TV dinners. The teenager in America has a bubble of his own, at least, as seen by people of other aged classes, in almost every aspect of life, including entertainment of all kinds and the culture thereof. Seemingly, that same stereotype played a large, yet subtle role in crafting the modern educational system of America. Activities and character builders such as standardized tests and homework, in their modern forms, were birthed out of the interest of America’s future. As the world got smarter and information became more abundant with the birth of technology, the new abundance of teachable material exceeded the sheer time available. As this time progressed, homework, especially, took on a different form and purpose, being more weighing on time and grades than ever before in an effort to reinforce material that could not be accurately reinforced in class. Though, adding more homework to a student’s workload may not be the right answer to America’s education problem. As studies and experiences have shown, modern American students receive too much homework on a nightly basis, hindering social and all around, fruitful development.

While some argue that homework, even in substantial amounts, makes a student’s brain stronger and more apt to learning, the evidence on the matter points, more so, to excessive homework promoting mental tiredness and a near-sighted learning experience. Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, co-authored a study focused on the post-school effects of homework on students, a study which was published in the Journal of Experimental Education. “Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good,” expressed Pope concerning the study (Pope para. 2). Of 4,317 students out of 10 well-achieving high schools in various “upper-middle-class” California communities, 56% considered homework a “primary source of stress” while less than 1% considered homework a non-stressor. For these students, the combined time required to complete homework was 3.1 hours per night and many of the same students reported sleep-deprivation being the most impactful result of an oversized homework load. Lack of sleep, naturally, sets students up for a constant cycle of back-peddling in school, seeing that the brain, school’s daily target for struggle, really only gets a break during sleep. Even more so, long term disadvantages can result from too many short term stressors such as an obscene workload. Near-sighted learning often results from hindering amounts of homework, an effect that has students “playing the game” of school rather than taking away lessons that will aid them in the workforce, a process that leaves students always grasping, but never reaching, their full potential. Though, in the short term, this mindset, paired with the frustration coming from sleep deprivation, diverts kids from actually learning in school to, instead, do what they can to pass and focus on things that can benefit themselves, like their social lives.

While some would say that teenagers naturally do well to maintain their heavy school and social lives, studies show that too much homework, especially, limits social development. Harris Cooper, Ph.D., who is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, argues that, especially with younger teenagers, learning may not be fully accomplished with homework that exceeds a few hours per night, as seen on Lauren Miller’s article “High School Homework: Are American Students Overworked?” on “[Students] will miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development, and warding off childhood obesity” (Miller para. 5). With the previously mentioned mindset so often developed by teenagers to simply “play the game” of school, mounting plans of college and employment often divert students away from healthy development socially. With the combined time constraint and worry-filled mental extravaganza associated with homework exceeding 2-4 hours each night, students neither have the hindsight nor the correct mental state to correctly/subconsciously develop their social lives, commodities which have proven to serve employees just as well as sufficient head knowledge in the workforce.

As well, too much homework creates a worry-filled state of mind for a student, sapping from the student the main reason for school: learning and the love of learning. All around America, all curiosity, glory, interest, color, and strength is constantly zapped from schoolwork because, suddenly, homework becomes a threatening force at a student’s well-being when added at obscene amounts. As previously mentioned, 56% of the students in the California study expressed homework as their primary source of stress. Being something so feared and worried about, an adolescent cannot be expected to face it head on and take it at face value, picturing it as something he can control. That attitude and something feared mix like oil and water. If a student does not love learning, he will not learn as well as they could, and that will decidedly hinder his impact in college and beyond.

Finally, too much homework promotes lower overall grades for a high school student. With the cocktail of all the factors previously mentioned in play, American students are receiving lower grades than students from other countries with less homework, across the board. Finland, a country that uniformly gives out substantially less amounts of homework than the United States, ranked at the top of the world in the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) standardized test in 2006, scoring more than 20 (mean) points higher than the second-place country. The United States was not in the top ten achieving countries. Additionally, while the average United States’ fifth grader has 50 minutes of homework per day, Finnish students rarely do homework until their teen years when more life-applicable subjects and assignments require it, according to a graphic presented by Finland, though, is not the only country that has taken a step back on the role that homework plays. In fact, the United States is, subjectively, the only socially powerful country to place a heavy emphasis on homework. Voices from other countries like Finland show a new direction the world may be taking in the realm of education and the United States is definitively falling on the wrong side of the coin. Per the 2012 PISA, the United States ranks 31st in mathematics, 24th in science, and 21st in reading, all below international averages and falling substantially even from their own scores in the 2009 PISA, dropping 6 ranks in math, 4 ranks in science, and 10 ranks in reading. Finland ranked above average in all three categories and currently looks down on the United States in the realm of education. A country which prides itself on being a step ahead, the United States is definitively falling behind in education mainly because of an abundance of homework.

In conclusion, the uniform, oversized homework load placed daily on the modern American student hinders his perspective on school and promotes mental fatigue. To even more of a detriment, too much homework on students has been revealed as a limitation to social development, a catalyst to a worry-filled mind, and, cumulatively, a hindering force to a students’ full potential, a potential that is reflected in the grade book. While a high school student may put on the façade of happy-go-lucky, he, more than likely, faces more grown up problems than he ever thought he would face in high school, learning to juggle a demanding workload. While the stereotypical American is characterized by his patriotic attitude, known by the fact that he can get the work done when no one else can, the future of America is being hindered by a harsh educational system and cannot meet world class standards. For the first time, a new stereotype can be placed on the United States of America: underachieving.


The Covert Psychological Weapon Inside High School Sports

Hey, remember that time?

We went to your high school’s basketball game together as old buddies and, even though it was a sleeper of a matchup, we decided to go. We hardly had a chance to get together and were looking for something to do. I remember the atmosphere of that game as we walked into your stoic yet historic high school gym. In its glory days, it had to be something beautiful, but it still  had a weird romantic sense draped over it like a fine, invisible coating of primer on the roughly whitewashed walls. I think you were wearing your letter jacket, trying to look pretty as the senior girls were looking on from the ever-nearing student section. We stepped down those little steps entering the room, beholding the barbaric matchup between us as we rehashed an old-yet-timeless joke in small conversation and paid for admission. You have to remember hearing the sharp screech of the players making sharp turns on the floor in pursuit of the bouncing, thump-producing basketball. If you close your eyes, you could probably see the ball swishing through the net as we looked for a smart angle to dart to the bleachers, which were across the floor from where we entered.

It was a packed house, we realized, as we neared the stands. Everyone was sitting down, having a grand social time. I mean, as if these people didn’t see each other enough, we entered into a sea full of chatter as I sat beside some of your friends in the student section. Conversations ranged widely and sporadically – “Where should we eat afterwards?”… and… “That test was so hard today!” were a few of the expressions I caught as I met some of your friends. We talked it up! What a fun time that was.

Wait… Who ended up winning the game?

Maybe that’s why you don’t remember that game… because it was never really about the game in the first place. I think we may have been inadvertently conspiring in a growing epidemic among American teenagers. I mean, are high school sporting events really just social events?

One may think of the players playing and the gyms housing the competition. Does playing in a team’s “home” gym aid their state of mind as opposed to visiting an opposing school?

A skeptic may point to the simplicity of sports which presents itself regardless of circumstances — Two teams, one victor. The beautiful thing about sports remains, though, in the fact that high school sports most certainly double as an entertainment form for various onlookers, fans, parents, and friends sitting on the bleachers. Since players and spectators are all of the same glorious species, support or rejection from these spectators should vastly affect a team’s mindset, an element seen time and time again in every level of sports. Logically, this type of audial and visual influence would undoubtedly affect the quality of play by the team in the crosshairs, an element that would directly affect the game’s outcome.

So, following this logic, why didn’t you and I take up the gauntlet for our stake of the game? In our fallen world, both you and I attended a game where we didn’t even know who was playing, let alone who won. The hypothetical, aforementioned gym we were both in was dead enough to allow cob webs to form on the ceiling.

Something deadly to the game exploded in a deafening case of demure yet extravagant chatter, like little cockroaches scattering through a ruin that was recently eradicated of all human life.

Everyone should remember the sound of a crowd roaring as the iconic Alan Parsons Project tune “Sirius” blasted over speakers as the hearty, memorable announcer proclaimed the names of the Chicago Bulls’ starting lineup, creating an atmosphere of true fire and wrapping up the festivity with the introduction of Mr. Michael Jordan. Those fans were keyed in, screaming their loudest as the lights were dimmed. Of course, those people paid a lot more cash to get into those games, and the Chicago Bulls had some spotlights and a video board, but something tells me that the game of basketball played at its purest does not just keep people ecstatic. Those games were true experiences.

At Delaware Christian, the high school which this writer attends, our gym is relative to the size of our school – small. Big enough to sit around 225-250 people or so  at its fullest, it has two speakers hoisted from the ceiling facing the bleachers, controlled by a mobile system that almost resembles a DJ stand that plugs into a rather aged connection in the wall leading to the speakers. The mobile control panel opens up to reveal a soundboard with standard microphone and sound inputs – the usual. Sometimes, while playing music or speaking too loud, the system will cut out for some odd reason, signaling maybe a short in the connection. With the connection shorting at weird and, usually, the worst times, the operator must finagle the connection directly or adjust the level of bass or treble through the equalizer on the sound board to try to eliminate the problem. I have used this system regularly over the last three years to announce sports games in our school, and from every aspect, we need to just air out the obvious: We are not the old-time Chicago Bulls.


PHOTO CREDIT ~ Delaware Christian Athletics Facebook

Though, without arrogance, I would confidently and unabashedly say that Delaware Christian’s game experience and production are second to few.

1779037_785573718124825_1482184392_nWait, before you scoff at me and hit the dreaded red “X” in the top right corner or this page, consider this: state-of-the-art audio technology doesn’t guarantee state-of-the-art psychology, and average audio technology doesn’t guarantee average psychology.

That is all that this is, right? Psychology at its purest – How do you create a slight home-court advantage for your team,  trigger the emotions of the spectators, and hide those two goals all at the same time to make for a fun, memorable overall experience?

That’s what the Chicago Bulls had right back in the day. They had it all – the right music, the right announcer, the right colors on the spotlights, the right timing, the right players, which made for the right fans. They had everything state-of-the-art and delivered on that standard. The Bulls won multiple championships during that era.

What if, though, the psychology behind high school sports could be innovative in a different ways?


What if…

…the role of an announcer was taken seriously?

I contend, from experience, that no better asset can be held by a high school sports announcer than pure “passion”. That may be the psychology inside the psychology – One cannot sell a product to someone else without believing in it himself. Experience will come, decision making speed will come, and general fluidity and comfort-ability will come as with anything worked on in life. I contend that an announcer would be one step ahead of the game to truly treat his job like a “job” and work to be the best at it.

…preparation was next to perfection?

With passion comes thought, and with thought comes preparation. Unlike any other job, a sports announcer can manipulate the circumstances to fit his needs best, with the main goal of producing a great performance. With passion should come the need for preparation, a step which will grow an announcer the most. Personally, I prefer to prepare for games by preparing my music the night before. Over about six years of announcing, I have built up a rather large personal music library as cheaply as I have been able to, nabbing deals that pop up regularly on internet stores such as ITunes and Google Play. From that library, I pick out about fifty songs out of my library to put in a playlist that will fit the coming game as much as possible. If the opponent is Tree of Life Christian School, for example, one of the songs I pick may be Trees by Twenty One Pilots, a song that can be explicitly used within context for that matchup. I try to pick a playlist that will not only keep the audience tuned into the game and the players pumped up, but that could tell a story, an element that I try to implant into games to leave people thinking about lyrics or tunes in songs after the night is over. Going to a Christian school, I have the privilege of making some of those lyrics reflective of my faith, for example, to make people think, within the context of the game, differently then they would without music and announcing.


Shure 55SH Series 2 Microphone – Shure Stock Photo


Google Nexus 7

One could also be preparative in other ways, such as purchasing personal equipment to ensure maximum performance on the announcer’s end. Personally, I bring three things along with me to every game I announce: my Shure 55SH Series 2 microphone, a Google Nexus 7 tablet (for music), and a cord to connect that to the sound system. These instruments have served me beautifully in aiding the effort to produce a good performance on the production end.

Most importantly, though, preparation is most key in word pronunciation and preparation for speaking as an announcer. At Delaware Christian, I play the in-game role of both announcer and DJ/Music Guy most of the time, so this sometimes gets overlooked, but credibility can’t be ruined faster than from a mispronounced name. An announcer needs to be sensitive to name pronunciations!

Overall, the reason for preparation is not self-centered in the least bit, but, rather, to do one’s best to give the home team a little mental advantage and for the onlookers to think and have fun all at the same time.

…game production was a team sport?

It is rather unfair the credit the announcer can get comparable to everything going on behind the scenes of a good operation. Most of the time, the announcer purely serves as a pretty cover for rather jumbled numbers behind the scenes. The people that work towards a better game experience by keeping score, gathering lineups, keeping track of little stats and details, setting up the technical equipment beforehand, and suggesting new material and music for the game are the people who deserve to be in the spotlight. Just as no one person has ever won anything in a team sport, an announcer who tries to do it all will fail miserably (I know from experience!). When a team comes in who knows what they are doing, that plays their designed positions to the best of their ability off of the floor, it frees up (notably) announcer to try new things and make the game on the hardwood more enjoyable for everyone looking on and participating.


These what ifs have become Delaware Christian’s why nots. I believe we are a step ahead of the game. Though we will never be perfect, as no one can, we can work to help our organization’s face and performance in the subtle, yet extravagant ways. We put these and more into practice each game and are constantly looking for different ways to aid the spectator’s feelings and mindset about the game at hand, which, in turn, extremely affects the mindset of the players and, therefore, the overall quality of the experience.

You will remember the next game we go to, my friend.

WRAP-UP ~ Machine Loses Grip On Playoffs With Season-Ending Defeat

A story like this does not deserve this ending.

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of Ohio Machine

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of Ohio Machine

The Ohio Machine, in the first playoff game the team has ever seen, fell to the Rochester Rattlers by a score of 15-11 in the Major League Lacrosse playoff semifinal game on the afternoon of Saturday, August 16th, 2014.

Rochester broke away from the surging Machine, which had never before seen a deficit in the game, in the fourth quarter, scoring five unanswered goals and leaving the Machine out of time for any more comeback.

Kevin Leveille, Justin Turri, Jordan Wolf, and Miles Thompson each had a hand in scoring in the fourth quarter for the Machine, the factor which ultimately drained the Machine of its 2014 life.

Even though the fourth quarter ended in Rochester domination, the first quarter started off with fluidity from the Machine, as Marcus Holman, LoganIMGP6833 Schuss, and Kevin Cooper knocked in three consecutive goals within the first five minutes of the match to knock Rochester off its feet and come out with a start that reflected their regular-season ending five game winning streak. Long possessions on offense, a 75% face off percentage (6-8), and early defensive stops accompanied by a late Ohio penalty kill created a dead silent atmosphere in Rochester and a dream start for the young Machine squad. After the three goal run early, a timeout by Rochester couldn’t stop Marcus Holman from adding another goal to make the Machine lead 4-0 with 9:33 to go in the quarter. Though Rochester responded with goals (inconsecutive) by Mark Cockerton, Kevin Leveille, and Dave Lawson, Schuss and Kyle Harrison responded with goals of their own to complete a Machine-dominated, 6-3 first round.

The second quarter started playing to a different tune than the first, as the Machine’s inability to pick up neither a ground ball nor the first three face offs provided for multiple Rochester goals. The Rattlers scored two goals (Macintosh, Wolf), both within the nine-minute mark of the quarter. A Machine power play, though, allowed for a continuation of Ohio’s lead, as a goal by Peter Baum kept the club in the lead at 7-5. After a response by Dave Lawson for the Rattlers, putting Rochester within one, Baum added his second of the quarter to slam the door on Rochester and to end the half with the Machine owning a two-goal cushion.

IMGP4272After halftime, the Machine started the third quarter the way it started the game itself, scoring just a minute and a half out of the gate by the stick of Peter Baum to increase the Machine’s lead to three goals. Even though the Machine still made equal impact offensively as they did in the first two quarters, play decidedly became more even as Rochester began to find its legs on defense and began to pick up more ground balls and face offs. By the end of the third quarter, the Rattlers had managed to claw their way back within one because of three goals by Kevin Leveille and one by Jordan Wolf to make for a 11-10 Machine lead.

Going into the fourth quarter, one could feel a slow and steady decrease of Ohio Machine stamina, or even that “oiled-up” charisma seen so many times in the regular season. Like jello or “flubber”, per say, the average fan might have felt the sensation of his game and his team slipping towards the floor in one giant mass, especially after trying to grip onto it harder. In a grand disaster of surrendered ground balls, missed face offs, and one-step-behind defensive play by the Machine, the Rattlers started to outwork and outsmart the young team from Delaware, Ohio, tying the game three minutes into the quarter. Though much time was left, one could feel that it was only a matter of time before the team from New York broke away. One could sense and see the gaining strength of Rochester coming at the expense of weakening morale for Ohio. About 8 minutes into the quarter, it proved too much for the Machine to handle. A multiple-chance Rochester offensive possession resulted in a goal by Justin Turri, one that would put Rochester in the lead and keep them there for the remainder of the match. Two more goals were scored against the Machine within the same minute, and, despite some offensive effort, Ohio stayed silent to take the death of the 2014 season. Kevin Leveille put the nails in the hypothetical coffin by scoring with just under five minutes to go to put Rochester in the lead by four goals, 15-11.

Leveille was named the definitive Most Valuable Player of the game, scoring 6 goals to notch a game-leading six total points on the night. Leading the way for the Rattlers, Leveille was followed by Jordan Wolf, who added an additional three goals and two assists for Rochester.

 The face off X proved to be one of the main factors in deciding a victor in the four-goal spread. The Ohio duo of Eric O’Brien and Bobby Datillo went a combined 13-30 in their respective chances, while Rochester acheived an opposing 17-30 to gain four more possessions than the Machine. Additionally, Ohio only grabbed 32 ground balls as opposed to Rochester’s 44, creating a whopping 16-possession differential just between those two statistics.

Though, in a bright spot for the Machine, Logan Schuss had an impressive offensive showing, scoring two goals and adding a team-leading three assists to lead the Machine with five points. Peter Baum also added three goals for the club, leading the team.

High spots such as Schuss and Baum show this writer why not to lambast this club in this, a final look at the game and the whole Ohio Machine season. Looking back, one can remember when the club would have disastrous second quarters en route to bursting out in the third quarter, or the times when the offense would be in a stalemate and the defense just could not seem to communicate properly. Obviously, one cannot just sit here and make excuses for blowing a multiple goal lead held for most of the game. The team’s hidden woes all year long, defense and retrieving ground balls, two categories in which the Machine ranked near the bottom of the MLL all year, plus the addition of the overall youth of the club, made for an amplification of an overall imbalance on the grand stage categorized by substantially less possessions than the opposition. In reality, the Machine choked themselves off from winning the playoff semifinal.

Even though the result can be analyzed much deeper than previously described, this writer is inclined to take a step back and realize why this is ultimately an improvement, a stepping stone for the Ohio Machine. All year, the pet phrase “coming up a bit short” has been used to describe the various woes the team has endured, and (mostly) overcome, this year. Always the squad seemed one step behind, usually falling behind early in the game only to take the lead with seconds to spare, to rob the opposition of time and steal the result of games that the other team may have felt comfortable with. Always so close. Almost there.

Well, tonight, one can believe that the Ohio Machine truly broke out of that shell this afternoon. Instead of staying within the boundaries of the status quo, the club scored four unanswered goals to begin the game and held what looked to be an indescribable swagger and passion on the field for the first three quarters of the game.

Unfortunately, it proved to be a swagger and passion that was stored in a bottle, a potion that had a limit, as the Machine ran out of it going into the fourth quarter.

There, though, is where the real hope lies for the future, because intead of “coming just a bit short”, the Ohio Machine simply “ran out of oil” for 2014. Even though there are still noticeable problems to be fixed, such as where to increase this “oil-count” for 2015, this writer is inclined to believe that the Ohio Machine took a step on Saturday that few sports teams can take in present day: acheiving control of themselves and their game, going on a five game winning streak to end the regular season, having true momentum and camaradere.

They just lost grip, a grip to be rediscovered in 2015.


PREVIEW ~ Machine Face Rochester In Club’s First Playoff Appearance

By a show of hands, who would categorize Friday as the most shortcoming point in the week?

I hope you raised your hand.

I mean, come on. Trying to complete projects that were started on Monday or Tuesday and wishing to forget sleepy, hair-brained mistakes made on Wednesday, Friday inevitably turns into a psychological, weekend-anticipating world to the point where one almost has to click the heels of his ruby-red slippers together three times to return to reality. On ESPN, “Sportscenter” airs its “Not Top 10” plays of the week, commemorating the mishaps committed by sports professionals, while on the “Tonight Show”, Friday night is a time when Jimmy Fallon “catches up on some personal stuff: checks his inbox, returns some emails, and writes ‘Thank You Notes'” in a weekly, late night segment. Friday is a day not focused on today; a day of reflection on its predecessor’s shortcomings.

Coach Bear Davis Photo courtesy of Andy Long

Coach Bear Davis
Photo courtesy of Andy Long

The Ohio Machine have had two very bad Fridays in their haunted past, or, for illustration’s sake, endings to consecutive 2-12, last-place seasons in Major League Lacrosse. Stuck in a sloshy slump that one doesn’t just hop out of, the Machine were seemingly stuck in the slums of the MLL.

Though, instead of sleeping in their miserable slumber, the Machine used its “weekend”, or the 2013-2014 offseason, for something new: preparation.

Through smart, hard-working moves on the field and in the front office, the club worked its way into 2014 a new-looking team, acquiring major contributors such as midfielder Kyle Harrison and rookie Peter Baum, among other key pieces to a new squad. That, paired with a “never settle”, “oiled-up” mentality, put the Machine in a new spot mentally to prepare them to accomplish multiple feats that have been achieved by the team in 2014, including a club-best 8 wins in the regular season, multiple single-game scoring records, and individual scoring records.

So, it might really matter how one’s Friday and weekend is spent.

For the first time in club history, the Machine will get to spend this literal Friday preparing for the biggest game the club has ever seen: The Major League Lacrosse playoff semifinal against the Rochester Rattlers, a matchup which naturally rids the club of its old label of “short-comers”.

The Machine are now a force to be reckoned with.

Riding a five game winning streak that granted the team its 4th place, final playoff spot a week ago, the Machine are easily the hottest team in the MLL. The club boasts the top scoring offense in the league, headlined by Marcus Holman with the league lead in goals, and, as well, hosts a defense that has vastly improved even upon woes discovered earlier this year. On the winning streak, the defense has allowed a less-than-impressive 75 goals, yet has stepped up in crucial situations to propel the team to victory.

In a grand compilation of the various achievements accomplished by the club this season, the club’s first playoff appearance could not come against a more favorable opponent. The Machine have defeated Rochester two times already in 2014 and can go for the trifecta on Saturday when the two teams take the field.

Alexander pumps his stick in celebration after the score.  Photo by Spenser Hickey - DelawareO.

Alexander pumps his stick in celebration after the score. Photo by Spenser Hickey – DelawareO.

In the teams two meetings, the Machine outscored the Rattlers with a combined 35-28 goal count. Marcus Holman has proved to be a Rattler-killer for the Machine, scoring 11 of the teams total 35 goals. Watch for Holman, who scored 4 goals last week against Florida and leads the league in goals, to make a large impact in Saturday’s matchup. As well, watch for Steele Stanwick, the attackman for the Machine who usually plays behind the net as a “feeder” to other scorers such as Holman, to make a big scoring impact if Rochester pays too much attention to weapons like Holman. Stanwick scored 4 goals and added 2 assists in the teams’ last matchup.

For Rochester, Midfielder Dave Lawson led the charge in the teams’ last matchup, scoring four goals and adding an assist to lead the club. On Saturday, watch for players such as Dana Wilbur, defensiveman for the Machine, to neutralize at least one of the big three offensive contributors, Justin Turri, Jordan Wolf, and Lawson for Rochester in Ohio’s attempt to hold the Rattlers back. In the teams’ last meeting, Wolf, who unexpectedly scored 4 goals and added an assist in the teams’ first meeting, was held to only one goal in the second match just a few weeks ago. Offensive adjustments for Rochester may be the most interesting storyline coming into Saturday’s game, where the first-placed club in Major League Lacrosse will attempt to shake off the uprising Machine.

The game will be played at Rochester in a new MLL playoff twist. This year, semifinal matchups will be played at the higher-ranking opponent’s home turf. This year, fourth-seeded Ohio has a 2-4 record on the road.

So, conclusively, many interesting things will be happening today and this weekend, headlined by the biggest game in Ohio Machine history.

I know I won’t be napping.

RECAP ~ Machine Outlasts Rochester in “Second to Closing” Playoff Push


Such was the last word written on this writer’s notepad for the game played on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 in Rochester, New York. Many happenings in this game warranted that word, but one, above all, stands as groundbreaking: The Ohio Machine, for the first time since the first game of the season, propelled its season record over .500 and held tightly onto the so coveted outright fourth place league standing with a 17-15 victory against the Rochester Rattlers.

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of Ohio Machine

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of the Ohio Machine

A match that quivered back and forth like a well-matched arm wrestle, “runs” were the deciding factor in what was a true race to the finish. After Rochester scored 6 out of the 8 total goals in the third quarter, taking a one goal lead over Ohio, the Machine stormed back, scoring 5 out of the total 7 goals in the quarter and ending with four straight goals to ensure the victory, capped off by two consecutive Steele Stanwick fireballs that would put the nails in the hypothetical coffin.

The victory for the Machine completed the season sweep of the (now) tied-for-first-place Rochester, who now sits two games ahead of the fourth-placed Ohio.

Marcus Holman, who, in the two teams’ last meeting, netted five goals, led the Machine to victory with six goals and two assists to make for a monstrous 8 total points on the evening. He was, undoubtedly, named the game’s most valuable player.

“I’ve said this throughout my career, but I am a beneficiary of great teammates,” explained Peter Baum on the TLN postgame show. “Tonight, the ball just seemed to bounce my way a little bit. … Fortunately, we came out with the win, for sure.”

Holman led the way from the start of the game, netting two of the Machine’s four first quarter goals in what would become a one goal lead heading into the second quarter for the Machine. Dangerous Rochester attackman Jordan Wolf scored the first goal of the game just eight seconds after the first face off, but soon thereafter Holman netted his first in what would start a back-and forth battle not only highlighted by offense, but also by extremely improved defense by the Ohio Machine. Goalie Brian Phipps saved an amazing seven would-be goals for Ohio in the first quarter alone, while the defense in front of him, for the most part, was calm, speedy, fluent, and rather “oily”. Twelve minutes into the quarter, after All-Star Rochester goalie John Galloway got slammed in the midsection and knocked down by a rifled Peter Baum shot, Holman gobbled up the loose ball and shoved it in the open goal for the Machine to make for a one goal lead that would first break the back-and-forth pattern of scoring. Such would start a 4-5 goal run for the club, as Galloway came out of the game and Steele Stanwick converted a buzzer-beater for the Machine.

Photo by Spencer Hickey ~

Right in the first five minutes of the second quarter, two goals were scored by a Machine offense who was then facing a cold backup goalie in Jason LaShomb for Rochester. Such fortune gave the Machine a 3-goal lead that they wouldn’t relinquish throughout the second quarter. Bending Rochester’s arm back more in the hypothetical arm wrestle, the Machine’s offensive prowess was highlighted by a two-point goal by Peter Baum and two later goals by Steele Stanwick and Holman, respectively. Even though Rochester went 6-9 on face-offs in the quarter and scored four goals, headlined by two Dave Lawson rifles, the Machine worked meticulously to ensure that the closed door that was their lead did not swing open, ending the quarter with a 10-7 lead.

In gritty fashion, the third quarter showcased a comeback run by the Rattlers. After a power play goal by Marcus Holman that put the Machine up by 2 goals, Rochester went on a tear and broke open the door of their deficit that was closed for most of the evening. Three goals were scored in succession by Jordan Macintosh, Dave Lawson, and Mark Cockerton within five minutes to put the Rattlers in the lead for the first time since they led 2-1 in the first quarter. After a quick answer off of the next face off: an unassisted goal by Bobby Datillo for the Machine, Cockerton slammed in a gutsy last-second goal to further implant Rochester’s presence in the match.

Photo by Spencer Hickey ~

For the first time all year, the Machine lost a lead that they possessed for most of the evening. As the story has gone for the majority of the season, the Machine have become the David Copperfield’s of the MLL, locking themselves in the iron steel cage of a large and early deficit and momentum swinging against them and working their way out with seconds this year. Though, on Saturday, the Machine were on the other end for most of the night, having a rather controlling momentum to accompany their play. So, maybe it was an advantage for the Machine to go into the fourth quarter with a deficit, or maybe it was just another bridge to cross for the growing club. Either way, after Cockerton scored early to make for a 2 goal Rochester lead, Logan Schuss scored on a Machine power play, only to allow for another goal by Dave Lawson for Rochester. Time was running out. Within one minute, two Machine goals were scored for the Machine to tie the game, and soon thereafter, with minutes to spare, Steele Stanwick added the aforementioned 2 final goals to wrap up the Machine victory off of a final run.

The win continues a winning streak that the club has never seen in its history. The four wins in these last four weeks have continued a playoff push that will wrap up next week when the Machine play at home against Florida.

Goalie Brian Phipps came out with the win for Ohio, saving 18 shots off of 33 shots on goal, making for a 55% save percentage, which might not serve justice for some of the saves Phipps made for Ohio on the night. John Galloway received the loss at goal for Rochester, in what was their first home loss on the season.

At the face off X, Eric O’Brien and Bobby Datillo converted 17-33 chances for the club, with O’Brien going 9-16 and Datillo having a 8-17 statistic.

For Rochester, Dave Lawson and Mark Cockerton led the way with 4 goals a piece, with Lawson having 5 total points. Jordan Wolf, who demolished the Machine in the teams’ last meeting, was held to one goal and one assist on the night.

Next Saturday, August 9th, Ohio will return home to Delaware to perform a curtain call on the regular season. Florida, who was eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday, will come to Selby as the final obstacle for the Machine for a playoff position. Simply put, if the club wins, they are in the playoffs. Though, if Florida defeats the Machine, Boston will have to lose to Rochester to put the Machine into the playoffs.



PREVIEW ~ Ohio Machine Looks to Build Momentum on Winning Train Against Rochester

Wow. Look how far we have come.

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of Ohio Machine

Ohio Machine Logo ~ Courtesy of Ohio Machine

A year ago today, followers of the Ohio Machine, a newly-established Major League Lacrosse club, might have been looking forward to the start of football and the soon-approaching fall season. Flaunting a 2 win, 12 loss record in 2013, a statistic matching the team’s inaugural 2012 mark, the Machine truly had a case of the epidemic described in that one Lana Del Ray song: “Summertime Sadness”. All that was needed, it seemed, was a few wins under the belt, a little momentum to light a spark under a weak offense that scored only 130 goals in 2013, a little strength and grit in the hole-y defense that allowed 181 goals in total, or maybe even a little WD-40 on the side to “oil up” and start something worthwhile.


But, with long term goals in mind, the Machine went and did some wheeling and dealing, not only picking up multiple #1 draft picks, but as well adding dominant faces such as Kyle Harrison off of the League Player Pool and from trades. With big sights in mind and with onlookers starting to lose interest, the Machine slowly starting working their way to contention material in the MLL even in the offseason.

What a difference only a year makes to those that are determined. The revamped Machine, coming off of a 3 game losing streak to help begin the fresh 2014 season, started to gain traction, defeating the defending-champion Chesapeake Bawhawks in a clearly decided match. Amid growing pains of hair-brained overtime losses and miscommunication on offense and defense, the Machine worked their way up the standings into playoff contention, even to control of their own playoff destiny at one point mid-season. Constantly growing. Working.

Seemingly, the walls started to fall down on the year’s playoff hopes and progress after a visibly and statistically painful 2-game losing streak to end June. The losses put the Machine right above the basement of the league, seventh place out of the 8-team Major League Lacrosse. It was difficult for one to not throw in the white-flag on the season, to accept the status quo and to lift his eyes to the potentially bright, yet proven mediocre, years ahead, headed up by a young, energetic bunch of players. Though, the Machine were better master-builders then people, including the writer of this article, suspected. Not only were the walls of the team’s progress still standing and higher than before, but the foundation of the club grew stronger, and before anyone knew it, the club exploded with a three game winning streak to go undefeated through the month of July, a statistical team milestone that sits at the forefront of many feats accomplished by the club.

Machine's Brian Farrell tries to block a shot.  Photo by Spenser Hickey -

Machine’s Brian Farrell tries to block a shot. Photo by Spenser Hickey –

So, in short, if one has never heard of the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse until reading this article, now might be the time to take notice.

Not only do the Machine control their playoff destiny yet again with two games remaining in the season, but they also do it with muscle to back it up. Headed up by an offense that has lead the league for the majority of the year in goals scored, the Machine have blasted their way to the elite of the league, scoring 170 goals with two games to spare in the season after dragging in a league-worst 130 goals just a year before. The defense, though showing less seasonal improvement statistically, has stepped up in the needed times especially in recent weeks, having a big hand in the two consecutive overtime wins that have blasted the Machine into the last playoff position in the MLL – fourth place.

“I don’t think they’re intimidated by anybody to be honest with you,” vocalized Rochester Rattlers head coach Tim Soudan earlier this week. “They’re a very solid team, I think they’re very dangerous offensively. They’ve got a lot on the line and I think they feel like maybe they don’t have a whole lot to lose.”

The Machine will get a chance to continue their fast-track to greatness this week at Rochester, playing a team in the Rattlers that have more-than-tasted Ohio’s confidence and scrappiness this season. Back in June, the Machine beat up on the Rattlers at home, scoring a then team-record 18 goals en route to a five goal spread in victory. Since then, though, the clubs have had two separate fates. The Machine struggled to keep their heads above the water of playoff hopes for the remainder of June, while Rochester started winning and slowly worked its way to the top of the standings, where they sit currently with a record of 9-3, as opposed to Ohio’s 6-6 record.

“For us, we’ve been talking, this has been our playoff for a couple of weeks and I think our guys have responded with the way they’ve played,” offered Coach Bear Davis in a press conference earlier this

Dominique Alexander pumps his stick in celebration.  Photo by Spenser Hickey -

Dominique Alexander pumps his stick in celebration. Photo by Spenser Hickey –

week. “There’s no doubt they understand our back is against the wall, and we just can’t talk about doing something. We have to do something, and that’s the way we’ve been playing the past couple weeks. I don’t really expect that to change.”

The Machine will face an offense in Rochester that prompted problems for the Machine defense, despite scoring just 156 goals on the year thus far. Many holes were poked in the Machine’s defense in the teams’ last meeting, as attackman Jordan Wolf scored a notable 4 goals and added an assist to make for a team-leading 5 total points on the night. On Saturday, watch for Wolf or potentially attackman Kevin Leveille to get matched up with a defensive “short stick” from the Machine as Ohio will strive to keep the Rattler attackman, who, so successfully, penetrated the middle of the Machine defensive zone at the teams’ last meeting, out of the areas that provide the most offense, matching up speed on speed.

For Ohio, a plethora of offensive and defensive attacks stand as defense to Rochester’s game planning. At the team’s last meeting, Marcus Hollman and Peter Baum netted five goals to lead the team. Though, expect for even a more balanced offensive attack come this time around. Last week against Denver, Kyle Harrison shot 11 shots on goal and Logan Schuss had 8. Look for offensive stability to come from offensive movement and confidence in the fact that every offensive weapon has proven to be a difference maker at the necessary times. As well, watch for players such as Eric O’Brien, Bobby Datillo, and defensiveman Brian Farrell to make an offensive impact if the transition game becomes prevalent and the goals start happening fast. Defensively, the Machine have made huge strides in the last two weeks, providing key stops in overtime en route to victories. Especially in the second half, watch for goalie Brian Phipps to lead the defense in a speedy and grudge-y effort.

So, the question begs itself — why not hop on the Machine bandwagon? Get your tickets while the winning train is still gaining momentum, because as the Ohio Machine continues making bigger strides in their organizational growth and lacrosse keeps growing as exponentially as it has, the steps onto that train will become more and more “oiled up” and harder to cling to with real meaning.

The momentum has already started.



  • The Ohio Machine cannot clinch a playoff position nor be eliminated from playoff contention as a result of Saturday’s game at Rochester.
  1. With wins this week against Rochester and next week against Florida, the Machine are guaranteed a playoff position. The club “controls its own playoff destiny“.
  2. In the occasion that Florida beats Boston this weekend, the winner of the August 9th season finale between Florida and the Machine will determine the final playoff position, regardless of Ohio’s result this weekend.
  3. In the occasion that Boston defeats Florida this weekend and Ohio defeats Rochester, a Machine win OR loss against Florida, combined with a Rochester victory over Boston on August 9th, would propel the Machine into the playoffs.
  4. In the occasion that Boston defeats Florida this weekend and the Machine lose to Rochester, Ohio would have to defeat Florida on August 9th and Rochester would need to defeat Boston to ensure a Machine playoff birth.



IMG_5195We’ve just got to keep doing what we do and be better at it than what we were last week and that’s what we just keep telling the guys. Just do your roles, do your job to the best of your ability, trust your teammates and keep moving the Machine core.

– Coach Bear Davis







The Ohio Machine @ Rochester will be broadcasted live on the MLL Network Channel on on Saturday, August 2nd at 7:00 p.m. eastern time.



RECAP ~ Rookies Blast Machine into Playoff Deadlock in Victory

Game winning overtime goal. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer,

Game winning overtime goal. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer,

The Ohio Machine, in best-case-scenario fashion, propelled itself to playoff contention with a 13-12 overtime victory over the Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night.

An unorthodox night, Ohio was forced to play without Team USA members and important offensive contributors Kyle Harrison, Marcus Holman, and Steele Stanwick due to the FIL World Lacrosse Championships ensuing at the same time in Colorado. The aforementioned three sit in the top five in overall points (goals + assists) for Ohio, and one would be insane to figure prior to the match that the absence of such massive production would not seemingly create one big, nasty rust spot in the normally oiled-up, MLL top ranked Machine offense. Among other question points, such as the periodical weakness of the Machine defense and the balance of the team overall, the Machine went into Selby Stadium on Saturday with a 4-6 record, the same mark as Charlotte, the foe of the night, marking the obvious uncertainty that has surrounded the team ever since its rough, two-wins-in-a-season origin. In the end, though, the Machine answered those questions and rough edges resoundingly, showing progressive evolution on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, making for a night that was not only beneficial on the surface, but also deepening, strengthening, and rather frustrating and gritty.

“It was ugly; sometimes you have to win ugly,” sighed a worn-and-torn, yet smiling Peter Baum after the win.

“I think [the guys] dug deep all night long. That’s the one thing we felt strongly about,” Coach Bear Davis contributed. “You know, we had a young group out tonight, yet it was a promising group. So, it was just a matter of perseverance and getting the job done.”

The first quarter saw changes for the Machine, such as normal reserves like Kevin Cooper starting for the club. Yet, the offense started the way it might have on any other regular night. Less than one minute into the game, Logan Schuss, an offensive mainstay, broke the ice with the first goal of the game. Two minutes later, Peter Baum, the overall points leader for the Machine, responded to a fresh Charlotte score with a goal of his own. A start worthy of an “A” grade, the club was taking lengthy and smart offensive possessions, isolating on defense, and executing a perfect 3 for 3 face off conversions. Soon thereafter, rookie attackman Derek Maltz, who had never played in a MLL match before Saturday, scored his first goal of his career. He went on to score three more goals on the night in a stellar offensive premier.

“There was a little bit of jitters coming in,” explained Maltz. “I just tried to have fun and do my job. Working with these guys is so easy and it felt so good, and it makes my job a lot easier. … I try to focus on the next play and do whatever I can to help the team.”

Overtime faceoff, the Machines 2nd in 2014. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer,

Overtime faceoff, the Machines 2nd in 2014. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer,

Going into the second quarter with a 3-1 lead, the unusual lack of scoring seemed to put the Machine at a sincere advantage. As one intern in the press box stated: “The Machine need a low scoring game,” and those words began to make exceedingly more sense as the second quarter progressed and the once-sloppy Charlotte offense began to materialize. Charlotte went on to score 4 goals in the quarter, while Kevin Cooper put up the only goal of the quarter en route to a 1-spot for the Machine. In the process of adapting to new personnel on the offensive end, the Machine began to become a little rusty.

“It was really one of those up and down games,” said Peter Baum. “We were trying to talk the new guys through the systems as best we could, but it wasn’t very polished.”

Coming out of the gate after halftime, things started to become more and more fluent as Brian Farrell, Eric O’Brien, and Derek Maltz scored 3 goals (respectively) in rapid succession to make for a quick two-goal lead. Though, by 10:09 in the quarter, Charlotte scored two goals to tie the game at 7 goals a piece. The offenses were flowing with considerate improvement, and after two more Charlotte goals followed by another punch by Derek Maltz, one defining moment of the night came for the Machine. After coming up with a near-impossible ground ball in a cluster of players, the Machine drove down the field and drew a penalty from Charlotte. In a huge power play opportunity, Logan Schuss threw in the equalizer for the power play conversion. Going into the fourth quarter, the teams were tied at nine goals a piece.

The fourth quarter started with growing tension, as both teams were taking acceptable and worthy shots on goal. By the time Charlotte called a timeout at 3:42 to go in the period, two goals were scored by each team, knotting the score at 12-12. Brian Farrell then scored the go-ahead goal for the Machine. Though, with just two seconds remaining in the match, Ryan Young put in the desperate equalizer for the Hounds to send the game into overtime.

A rather deflated Machine took the field for overtime and, after surrendering one of the first possessions to Charlotte, made a fantastic defensive stop to keep the game alive, headlined by goalie Brian Phipps’ amazing save of a shot directly in front of the goal.

Asked what he was thinking when that shot was taken, Phipps exclaimed: “Ahh — Don’t hit the panic button! Don’t hit the panic button!” as chuckles ensued. “We made the save, we cleared it, and then they came back down and we played the best 6-on-6 defense we played all game. We made the stop and then they put it in on the other side.”

As described, Tom Schreiber put in the winning goal after a gutsy defensive stop by the Machine that defined the teams’ heart, balance, and grit. The goal was Schreiber’s first of the day.

“It was really a mature win for us. We’ve always been on the other end of these games, and this time … we didn’t give up and we won it in overtime,” exclaimed a satisfied Phipps.

Not only did the offense and defense mature for the Machine, but also the face-off duo of Eric O’Brien and Bobby Datillo. After being near perfect in the first quarter, the “company” went on to muscle out 17-29 face-offs, which were five more than Charlotte gained.

Derek Maltz led the Machine in scoring on the night, netting four goals, while Logan Schuss, Peter Baum, and Tom Schreiber joined Maltz with four total points for the club. Bobby Datillo led the club with six ground balls.

Justin Ward made a big impact for Charlotte, scoring 3 goals en route to a team-leading 3 points.

To make the victory even more sweet, news broke in the third quarter of the Charlotte/Ohio game that fourth placed Boston had lost to New York, who owns third place. With the win, the Machine now sits tied with Boston for fourth place and the playoff placement that comes with it with a record of 5-6. The club will get the opportunity to gain fourth place outright next week as its home stand finishes Saturday, July 26th, against the Denver Outlaws at Selby Stadium. With a win against Denver and a Boston loss, the Machine would gain fourth place outright for the first time in club history.


PRE-GAME ~ With Playoffs Reachable, Adaptive Machine Stares Down Hounds


Accompanied by an eye-opening, stranger-than-fiction storyline, the Ohio Machine will attempt to defend its home turf at Selby Stadium in Delaware on Saturday night against the Charlotte Hounds.

On July 4th, the Machine put themselves within one game of the fourth placed Boston Cannons with a 16-14 victory over the Chesapeake Bayhawks. A week surrounded by festivities and distractions, Coach Bear Davis was glad with his team’s adaptation and preparation en route to the win.

“…I felt like the adjustments we’ve made, we’re pretty solid. We just kept making adjustments throughout the game, just making sure we were putting guys in spots where they were comfortable. In the end result, it worked out.”

The ability to adjust will become a deadly weapon especially this week against Charlotte, as team points co-leader Marcus Hollman, midfielder Kyle Harrison, and attackman Steele Stanwick are inactive for the Machine against the Hounds, because you cannot be two places at once. Being members of Team USA, their first commitments are with the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Colorado. The Red, White, and Blue face off against Canada for the championship Saturday night at 9:00 p.m..

IMGP5064With this gaping hole left in the MLL’s number one ranked offense (per games played), as three of the five best points (goals + assists) contributors for the Machine will be absent, other players will have to adapt into new roles. In experiments that were seen two weeks ago, team points co-leader Peter Baum, normally a midfielder, was seen playing behind the net at attack, while new faces such as rookie Rob Guida, who has only played in two games this season, contributed a meaningful role at midfielder.

Obviously, Baum and attackman Logan Schuss, the two remaining top points contributors for the Machine, will have to lead the offense by example and vocal communication. Though, the Machine will have to rely heavily on players such as Guida, who will be forced to step into new, definitive roles against Charlotte.

“The one thing we have constantly tried to evaluate throughout this year is what’s the best situation to win games,” Coach Davis conversed earlier this week. “The only way you get the defense moving is by running by people, and Rob certainly can do that. He has the ability to run by people, plus he’s a great shooter.”

Charlotte (4-6), who sits behind the Machine in the standings only because of the loss suffered to the Machine in the season opener in April, will be facing an advantage against the maimed Machine, as not one player was removed from the Hounds’ roster to play for Team USA. In this way, Charlotte may not need to adjust to the same degree as the Machine, and the chemistry made throughout the season on the offensive and defensive side of the Machine will not be affected.

Though, as Coach Bear Davis agrees, “underdog” is a dangerous term to use when referring to the Ohio Machine.

” I kind of look at it as that old western movie when you kick in the doors and you start firing. That’s how we have to come out from the first whistle and we have to end that way with the last whistle. … I IMG_5218think the guys are up for it, they’re excited, they know our back is to the wall and I think that’s when we play our best.”

In a slight advantage for Ohio, the unpredictable Machine defense will have the opportunity to face the worst offense in Major League Lacrosse in Charlotte, who has averaged only 11 points per game throughout this season. Rather hormonal, the Machine defense has experienced its share of hot flashes and cold flashes throughout the season, and even though the cold flashes have been below-freezing type of cold, where easy goals were scored and frustration was evident, the times when the Machine has gotten it together have been noticeable. Goalie Brian Phipps sits behind the defense, and, as a leader, has done his job well, his goals against average sits at 12.69. Defensiveman Brian Farrell has also been a useful tool, converting five offensive assists for the Machine.

With the playoffs in mind, the Machine are in prime position to make a run at the coveted fourth place. Sitting in fifth place, one game behind the Boston Cannons, who have defeated the Machine twice this season, the Machine have a record (4-6) tied with Florida and Charlotte. Sitting ahead of those teams in the standings because of wins against them earlier in the season, the Machine still must win Saturday’s matchup against Charlotte in order to gain fifth place outright. With that, Boston plays first placed New York, as well, on Saturday. With a Boston loss this week and a Machine win, the two would be tied for fourth place and playoff position.

From there, look out.



We have to come out guns-a-blazing and get after it. I think that that’s the way we have to play this game.







Machine Execute Freeing Victory Against Chesapeake


Photo Credit ~ Spencer Hickey

You could call yesterday, the Fourth of July, “Independence Day” for more than one reason.

For one, there is the reason that everyone knew and proudly celebrated without precedent, the freedom-causing feat that was embroidered to the minds of every future American in the year 1776. Though, on July 4th, the Ohio Machine returned to Delaware in grand festivity for the first time in two weeks to break free oppressive powerhouse called “losing”. In patriotic fashion, the Machine outworked the Chesapeake Bayhawks en route to a 16-14 victory.

“We played a whole sixty minutes today,” exclaimed Marcus Holman, who was the game’s Most Valuable Player. “There weren’t many big lapses. We started strong and we finished strong. It was just a great team effort.”


Photo Credit ~ Spencer Hickey

Starting in the first quarter, the Machine came out as gangbusters, scoring four consecutive goals in the first five minutes. Two unlikely candidates, midfielder Bill McGlone, who has played in only four games for the Machine this season, scored the second goal of the match, and defensiveman Brian Farrell scored the third in transition. Rookie Tom Schreiber added the first goal of the game just two minutes in at 13:01, and the fourth goal three minutes later (10:05).

After what seemed to be a potential Machine smack-down, Chesapeake, with a very nondescript mantra, found a way to punch in three goals in three minutes to put them back in the game at the blink of an eye. After two more goals by Machine midfielder Kyle Harrison and Chesapeake’s Joe Walters, Ohio ended the quarter leading 5-4.

The Machine sported little of their strong offense in the second quarter, with Kyle Harrison, Rob Guida, and Bobby Dattilo scoring to make for only 3 goals. Meanwhile, Chesapeake netted five goals to put themselves up by one goal at the end of the half. A quarter that may not have been worth watching, the Machine seemed out of sorts, giving up measly, quick possessions on offense and being bendable on defense, allowing Chesapeake to score quickly and easily.

Asked whether he was tempted to move goalie Brian Phipps out of the goal or to change any defensive personnel, Coach Bear Davis, who was dressed “for battle” with the rest of his coaching staff in camouflaged cargo shorts, remained confident in his squad.

“I don’t think we were ever in doubt (with him); he was playing solid. He did see maybe a couple, but other than that, he did a real nice job.”


Photo Credit ~ Spencer Hickey

Surprisingly, the Machine, a team that usually makes a large impact in the third quarter, scored only two goals in the second half premier. Though tightening up defensively, allowing only three goals to Chesapeake, Ohio uncharacteristically was silent on offense, allowing for a two-point goal thirty seconds into the quarter by Marcus Holman, and a transitional goal with 1.5 seconds left in the period by Jake Bernhardt.

Having suffered all but one of the team’s six losses by two goals or less, Coach Davis stressed the necessity of pulling away from teams as early as possible.

“We just need to find some more balance to where we are just playing even keel all the way through, so we don’t have to play catch up at the end,” Davis chuckled. “You’ve got to get over that hump and bury a team, and everyone’s trying to get to that point.”

Having to play catch up in the fourth quarter, being down by one goal going into the “final countdown”, the Machine started the quarterly scoring with Marcus Holman netting an equalizer in transition. Though, just after the Machine were put in a position to take the lead, Joe Walters scored a Chesapeake goal just a minute later to put the Bayhawks up, yet again, by one goal. Peter Baum, who, for most of the game, played attack for the injured Steele Stanwick (hamstring), made his first scoring impact of the evening, scoring the next two goals in succession for the Machine. After Matt Mackrides scored yet another equalizer for Chesapeake, Jake Bernhardt scored what would prove to be the go-ahead goal for the Machine, the score being 15-14. Marcus Holman put an insurance goal up for the club with fifty seconds remaining in the game to seal the deal for the now 4-6 Ohio Machine.

Being without mainstay attackman Steele Stanwick, who did not play with an injured hamstring, the Machine offense still found a way to contribute enough goals and balance for the win.


Photo Credit ~ Spencer Hickey

“It throws a little wrinkle in [the offense], but at the end of the day, we’re professionals. So, you learn to deal with stuff like that, and I think Peter Baum jumped in nicely and filled his role well. Once again, it was an overall team effort. There’s only one ball on the offensive end, and we’ve all got to share it, and I think we did that well tonight,” explained Marcus Holman.

Holman scored a team-best three goals on the night, contributing four total points total. Kyle Harrison, Tom Schreiber, and Jake Bernhardt contributed 2 goals a piece for the Machine.

Both Ohio and Chesapeake succeeded at the face-off X, each team converting 16 face-offs off of 32 tries. Eric O’Brien (10-17) and Bobby Dattilo (6-15) worked as platoon-mates for a Machine team who has struggled to win nightly face-off battles.

“Going with a committee, it’s sometimes hard to get in a groove,” O’Brien explained after the win. “But we figured it out tonight, and Bobby and I are doing really well as a team. There’s no one that is bad in this league from a face-off standpoint. He (Stephen Robarge) did very well, but we ended up figuring him out and tiring him out, and he just couldn’t handle it in the second half. You know, more possessions equal more goals, which equal more W’s, so it was great.”

For Chesapeake, Joe Walters contributed a team-best eight points on four goals and four assists.

The Machine return to “battle” next week, July 19th, to face the fifth-place Charlotte Hounds in the second game of the team’s three-game home stand. With the win this week against Chesapeake, the Machine moved to sixth place in the MLL and could move into fifth place with a win against Charlotte next week. Boston, the team in which the Machine has lost to twice this year, currently occupy the last playoff position: fourth place.

Machine Outslithered by Lizards in Devastating Defeat


Photo Credit ~ Andy Long

As long as the Ohio Machine continue their recent trends, the photo above should become more recognizable to the average reader as the season wears on. The Machine continued their fatal habit of coming up “just a bit short” in New York on Saturday night, losing by a score of 13-19.

In a match that was closely contested until the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter, the final score doesn’t quite convey the success that Ohio had for most of the game. After being down 4-8 going into halftime, the Machine battled back in a dominant third quarter and struggled back and forth with the Lizards in the fourth before finally being thrown down for the violent loss, comparable to having an arm smashed against a table after losing a heavily contested arm wrestle.

They just didn’t have it in the tank.

The first quarter started off with a bang, as Kyle Harrison started off the game with a quick, dominant goal just 34 seconds into the game. Brian Farrell followed that goal up a few minutes later for the Machine with the long stick to make it 2-0 early. Though, the New York defense tightened up as goalie Drew Adams made a remarkable six total saves in the first quarter and defensiveman Joe Fletcher was leading the charge to keep Ohio out of the goal as the quarter wore on. On cue, the New York offense converted for three acrobatic goals, two by Rob Pannell, who had only two goals on the day, and an amazing behind the back shot from Jo-Jo Marasco.

That hot streak only continued for New York in the second quarter. The Lizards took a long time on offensive possessions, and the Machine were taking rather hasty and elementary possessions on offense. Though not catastrophically noticeable, the imbalance for the Machine was enough to allow five consecutive goals to New York, two of which were awarded to Jo-Jo Marasco, who had 5 total on the night, en route to a 8-4 halftime lead.

Coach Bear Davis was not worried coming out of the gate after halftime, as he pointed to the teams’ shots on goal percentage as the only thing that was keeping the team out of equality against New York.

“Well, the stats are pretty much identical,” Davis analyzed on the MLL Network Halftime Report. “When you look at it, it’s just our shots on goal percentage to theirs. We’ve just got to take better shots and play less defense. We’re fine. You know, we’ve been here before. It’s a game of runs, and they’ve had their runs in the first half. We need to get ours in the second half.”

With those aspirations in mind, it wasn’t wrong to go to their roots to begin the third quarter. Just as the first quarter began, Kyle Harrison scored a quick goal on the first possession of the quarter with the goal of cutting down the deficit in mind. The Machine just wouldn’t go away as the offense started to claw back amid two bad defensive errors that resulted in New York goals. After goals from Marcus Hollman and Peter Baum, the Machine found themselves down by three goals and unable to break the threshold of an even score. Though, the young guns for the Machine didn’t get word of anything wrong. In a sudden burst of energetic passion and swagger, the Machine turned their own tide with goals from rookies Tom Schreiber (1) and Peter Baum (2), who proved to be the Machine’s answer on the night to Jo-Jo Marasco, to tie the game up at 10 goals a piece. The quarter ended with a power play goal from Marasco to give New York a one goal lead.

With newfound momentum and a comeback completed, Marcus Hollman started off the fourth quarter quickly and efficiently on a power play goal for the Machine. In climatic fashion, Jo-Jo Marasco scored his fifth goal on the night for New York, only to be followed immediately by a forceful goal by Peter Baum, his fifth of the night. In thrilling fashion, each possession mattered as the two teams sparred back and forth. Before long, Kyle Hartzell scored for New York to put them ahead by one, only to be followed up by an equalizer by face-off man Robert Datillo for the Machine. The Machine started gaining momentum and gaining it fast. In an attempt to stop any oncoming onslaught, New York speedily took a timeout.

And then the floodgates opened… and they opened the wrong way.

The New York offense started slowly prying away at the Machine’s momentum and their comeback, as the Lizards started scoring and controlling the ball on offense. Paired with a few bad calls by the officials against the Machine, New York went on to score 5 goals unanswered (one two-pointer) en route to a scoreboard blowout.

On the night, New York narrowly defeated the Ohio duo of Eric O’Brien and Robert Datillo in the face off circle. Greg Gurenlian (13-21) and Jerry Ragonese (5-14) converted 18-35 attempts for the Lizards, while O’Brien (7-17) and Datillo (10-18) went 17-35 total for the Machine. Goalie Brian Phipps received the loss for Ohio, allowing 18 goals on 31 shots on goal.

While Peter Baum led the Machine with five points (off of five goals), Robert Datillo rounded up six ground balls to lead the team, and Tom Schreiber converted two assists.

For New York, Jo-Jo Marasco finished with a 50% shooting percentage (5-10) en route to a team-leading 5 points on the night.

With the loss, the Machine own a 3-6 record, which is earning of seventh (out of eight) place in the MLL. Though not impossible, the chance for the club to make some serious “noise” in the league and put together a serious playoff push has become bleak with two consecutive losses against Boston and New York. The team is 4.5 games behind from first place (1 game behind three teams at fourth place) with five games left in the season.

The Ohio Machine will look to change their recent tide of misfortune when they start a three game home stand next week against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. That matchup will be broadcast live from Selby Stadium in Delaware on the CBS Sports Network on Independence Day, July 4th.