Peter Buam of the Ohio Machine Named to All-MLL Team

Attacker Peter Baum charges off the sideline before scoring the final Machine goal to clinch the win. - Photo Spenser Hickey DelawareO.com

Attacker Peter Baum charges off the sideline before scoring the final Machine goal to clinch the win. – Photo Spenser Hickey DelawareO.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO (August 22, 2014) – Major League Lacrosse announced today that Ohio Machine midfielder Peter Baum was named to the 2014 All-MLL Team. Baum earned the honor after his first season in MLL and leading all midfielders in goals with 35. Baum is one of three midfielders named to the roster of 12 on the All-MLL Team.
“I’ve never played on an offense with a talent level that even approaches that of our team,” Baum said. “That luxury allowed me to just focus on the things I do well. Going back to the midfield after playing my final three years of college at attack was a nice adjustment, and my teammates really helped me with the transition.”

Baum anchored the Machine offense all season and was the only player to play in all 15 games for the Machine. He finished the regular season tied for seventh in the league, and first on the Machine, with 50 points. His 35 goals were second on the Machine to Marcus Holman who led the league with 37 goals. Baum led the Machine in goals in six games, including the team’s first-ever playoff game, and led the team in points five times. Seven times in 2014, Baum scored three or more goals in a game.

“I am so thankful to have been able to come into the league with the support of such a fantastic team and organization,” Baum said. “The Ohio Machine and the Ohio lacrosse community in general have made this a very special summer for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I can’t wait to be back next season with our incredible coaches and fans, fighting to make it back to the playoffs and win a MLL championship.”

During the regular season, Baum was the only player in the league to score at least one goal in every regular season game in 2014. Baum is the second Machine player to earn a spot on the All-MLL Team, joining former Machine defenseman Kyle Hartzell who was named to the All-MLL Team following the 2012 season.

Season tickets for the Machine’s 2015 season are now on sale and range from General Admission at $92 to a Field Level Box at $2,400 and include seven regular season home games plus a 2015 MLL playoff game. Information on 2015 season tickets can be found at http://www.theohiomachine.com/2015seasontickets or by calling 614-754-1973.

Source Ohio Machine

 

2014 All-MLL Team

Player Team Position
John Galloway Rochester Goalie
Tucker Durkin Florida Defense
Michael Manley Rochester Defense
Joel White Rochester Defense
Lee Zink Denver Defense
Greg Gurenlian New York Faceoff Specialist
Peter Baum Ohio Midfield
Paul Rabil Boston Midfield
Jeremy Sieverts Denver Midfield
Casey Powell Florida Attack
John Grant Jr. Denver Attack
Rob Pannell New York Attack

Ohio Machine Promotes Bear Davis to Vice President & Head Coach

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Coach Bear Davis, Ohio Machine. File Photo, DelawareO.com

BEAR DAVIS TO JOIN MACHINE FRONT OFFICE FULL-TIME;
PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD COACH

The Ohio Machine, Ohio’s Major League Lacrosse team, announced today that Bear Davis has been promoted to Vice President & Head Coach. As part of the promotion, Davis will join the front office on a full-time basis. In addition to his responsibilities as head coach, Davis will help expand the Machine’s ticket sales and community relations efforts.

“Bear has made a profound impact on our team and community in a relatively short time,” Machine President & General Manager John Algie said. “Allowing Bear to come home to Ohio and devote his full attention to our organization is the next step in our evolution. I’m even more optimistic for the future of the Machine and lacrosse in Ohio with Bear as a full-time member of the Machine’s front office.”

Davis, a Hilliard High School alum, joined the Machine on June 24, 2013 when he was named the second head coach in club history. In 2014, Davis has led the Machine to a 8-6 regular season record and guided the team to its first-ever playoff appearance. The Machine’s six game improvement over its 2013 record is tied for the largest single-season turnaround in Major League Lacrosse history.

“I am excited to be coming back home to Ohio to continue the momentum we’ve built this season on and off the field,” Davis said. “Ohio lacrosse has given so much to me and I am eager to return to where it all started and to contribute to the success of the Machine and the growth of the sport.”

Under Davis, the Machine posted the top-ranked offense in Major League Lacrosse in 2014. The team ended the regular season with five straight wins, which tied for the longest winning streak in MLL this season. On offense, the Machine boasted four players that scored 27 or more goals, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in the league since the 2004 season. Davis was the runner-up for the Brine Coach of the Year award this season.

Prior to joining the Machine full-time, Davis was the head boy’s lacrosse coach and associate athletic director at Archbishop Spalding High School (Md.). Davis took over at Archbishop Spalding after building the men’s lacrosse program at Robert Morris University over the span of seven seasons as the program’s first-ever head coach. Robert Morris led the NCAA in scoring offense for two straight seasons under Davis. Prior to Robert Morris, Davis helped start the Wheeling Jesuit men’s lacrosse program and guided the Cardinals to a No. 10 national ranking in 2003.

 

Source, Ohio Machine.

 

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.

A Profile on Kyle Harrison “K18” : Ohio Machine Midfeilder

Kyle Harrison also know as “K18” started  playing lacrosse when he was 4 years old. His dad,photo Dr. Miles Harrison, played lacrosse on the first all-African American college team during the 1970’s and inspired K18 to play.

“My dad played from the time I could walk,”  Harrison said. ” He taught me how to play. I’m from Baltimore so it’s a little different from Ohio where its newer. Baltimore its like football and soccer and basketball are everywhere else. ”

Harrison lives in New Port Beach, California with his wife. Where he spends his off-season traveling and doing requirements for his sponsors like STX  .  He also plays pick up basketball, and goes to a lot of movies.

Harrison also played soccer and basketball in high school, but he has always been a mid-fielder.

“Midfield in lacrosse combines my favorite parts in ever sport. you get to play offence you get to play defense, [and] you get to have transition,” Harrison said. “Where as if you where an attack man you would only play offence, if you where a defense man you would only play defense.  I like being able to do everything.”

K18 is an equipment line of Harrison’s that came out when he graduated High School. K for Kyle and 18 for his number which is also the same number that his dad wore when he played. The nickname “K18” stuck and has been around ever since.

After High School Harrison when to Johns Hopkins University where he won the Tewaaraton Award. An award given to the most outstanding college Lacrosse player in America.

When Harrison was asked on what advise he would give to young lacrosse players he said, “Stop going to so many tournaments and start going to skill camps, you know so many kids go to these tournaments where there is 30 kids on a team they might get two to three runs per quarter its great to compete but kids now in days are lacking skills. so I say fewer tournaments and more skill camps.”

K18 played for New Jersey Los Angeles, and Denver before he played for the Ohio Machine. So far this year he has scored a total of 21 goals.

Harrison has not only played for the MLL he also was a player for the US National Lacrosse team in 2006 and is played again for them in Denver on Thursday July 10th through the 19th.

” I think wearing a jersey with USA on the front is a dream come true  for most young athletes no matter what the sport is.” Harrison said.

You can catch K18 and the rest of the Ohio Machine on July 26th at Selby Stadium at 4:30pm. Tickets can be purchased through The Ohio Machine Website.

Ohio Machine’s Marcus Holman Named Player Of The Week.

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Number 1 Marcus Holman named Ohio Machine’s Player of the Week. File photo by Andy Long – DelawareO.com

Major League Lacrosse announced Monday that Ohio Machine attackman [Read more…]

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

Huge.

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 ~ DelawareO.com

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 ~ DelawareO.com

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.

Anything.

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 - DelawareO.com

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

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 - DelawareO.com

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

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.

 

IN HINDSIGHT

  • 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.

 

IN COACH’S WORDS

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 Youtube.com on Saturday, August 2nd at 7:00 p.m. eastern time.

 

 

Machine July 26, 2014 Game in Picutres.

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Unless otherwise marked, photos by DelawareO photographer Spenser Hickey and are not to be republished without permission.

Click this link to read the Machine Game recap by Arden Palmquist.

RECAP ~ Rookies Blast Machine into Playoff Deadlock in Victory

Game winning overtime goal. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer, DelawareO.com

Game winning overtime goal. Photo by Rocky VanBrimmer, DelawareO.com

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, DelawareO.com

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

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.