The Ohio Machine finished their 2014 regular season with a win in what was announced as “the most important game of the franchise.”
The 14-10 victory over the Florida Launch propels them into the playoffs; their next game will be August 16 against the Rochester Rattlers in Rochester, New York.
“Going to the playoffs is an incredible experience for our guys and a good opportunity; we’re not just going to be happy just getting there, I mean that’s not the way we’ve approached this whole season,” said head coach Bear Davis.
“We’re going up there on a mission…to win, to win every inch we get.”
Leading the Machine’s offense were Attackers Steele Stanwick and Marcus Holman, with three and four goals each.
“It’s just a great win overall, nice team victory,” Stanwick said.
“I don’t think we played our best overall, it’s so nice to get a little win to get our momentum going in the playoffs.”
The Machine jumped out in the first quarter, scoring four times in less than five minutes of play and then adding four more points in the second, putting the Launch down 8-4 at halftime.
“We were just trying to play four minutes at a time, just try to get ourselves regrouped, and win the next four minutes, we don’t look back too much,” said Coach Davis.
“It’s not really a good habit to get into, looking back, we’re just trying to keep moving forward.”
Their practice of focusing on only the current four minutes would pay off after the third quarter, when the Launch landed three goals to the Machine’s one, narrowing the score to 9-7.
The Machine definitively pulled ahead in the final quarter – the Launch made it to within two points again early on, but the Machine’s responding pair of goals ensured they would need to make several unanswered points to at least force overtime.
Between the Machine’s continued offensives and the clock, the Launch never had the chance to get past three points down after that.
“Every team in this league is talented, and the games for the most part are close, two or three goal games,” Holman said afterwards.
“We just stuck with it, got on a little roll there in the fourth quarter, and finished them out, our defense did a great job on that.”
“I think we did a good job studying up on them, they were a little different than when we played them the first time, but our coaches gave us some good film so we could watch that, study up. I thought we executed pretty well,” said goalie Brian Phipps.
The Machine played the Launch previously on May 10 but lost 10-9.
“We set (the playoffs) as a goal, and there were times this season where we looked good and times we didn’t look so good but I thought we did a great job sticking together as a team and our core has done a great job of supporting each other and it feels good to make it,” Holman said.
“I think we just wanted to take care of business,” Stanwick added.
“We weren’t really worried about anything else, we just wanted to have a good game tonight for us and just take care of it and control our own destiny.”
“Our first team meeting we said, we’re no longer an expansion team, we can play with the best of them, we got the weapons to do it so let’s go out and prove we can win,” Phipps finished.
“We thought we could be here and now our next step in the chapter is to win the next round and go on to Georgia.”