Ohio Machine Marcus Holman reflects on record-setting day
Lacrosse just seems to come easy for Marcus Holman.
On Sunday afternoon in front of over 3,300 eager fans ready for their 2017 Major League Lacrosse champion Ohio Machine’s 2018 season opener at Fortress Obetz, Holman gave them a game they would never forget.
The sixth-year attackman went nuts, scoring 11 goals, chipping in two assists and helped his Sheens set a single-game team record for goals scored on the way to a 25-13 win over the New York Lizards.
Wait a minute, though.
Holman’s 11 goals broke the MLL record for goals scored in a game, besting the previous record of 10 which was also set by a Machine player, John Grant Jr., in 2016.
He also came within one point (13 total) of tying the overall points record for a single game which currently stands at 14.
“You know, I wanted to set a good tone for our season,” Holman said after the game. “I missed both of our training camp weekends (and) the guys were getting on me a little bit about not being there and I had to make up for all the goals I guess I didn’t score in training camp.”
Not only did he miss training camp but he had to hustle onto a late-night flight from Salt Lake City from his job as an assistant coach at the University of Utah.
“He upgraded to first class just so he could get some sleep,” Machine head coach Bear Davis said with a laugh.
“But he promised he would be good to go and he delivered.”
Holman delivered juking defenders while ripping high, arcing shots to the upper part of the net.
He delivered spinning his way through traffic and catching passes close to the ground and flipping it into the cage underhanded.
He delivered while falling on his face yet still managing to slip the ball through the goalie’s legs.
“My strength is finding seams in the defense and maybe thinking one step ahead of how a defense is going to react,” he said. “I was able to find those seams and put them on cage.”
Holman also said his teammates were doing a great job of finding him and he gave credit to one teammate in particular who assisted him on five of his 11 goals: midfielder Tom Schreiber.
“Tom Schreiber is, I think, the best passer in the world, he’s the best player in the world and when he steps onto the field, he commands so much attention,” Holman said. “And that allows me to float off the ball.”
Schreiber attributed the time spent together as part of their success.
“This is year five with Marcus and I playing together and a couple of adult tournaments thrown in there as well so … we’ve had a good connection,” Schreiber said. “He’s just such a great player, he knows where to be on the field, he releases the ball so quickly. Any time you have a guy like that on your team, you’re in pretty good shape.”
The son of former Johns Hopkins goalie Brian Holman, Marcus said his dad was integral in making him a prolific scorer.
“He’s my mentor, he’s my idol. He’s instilled in me a mindset of working really hard and being relentless in whatever I’m doing, whether it’s playing, coaching or just being a human being, just being the best that you can be,” he said.
It probably doesn’t hurt that Brian was a three-time All-American, played in four straight national championships and was part of the Blue Jays’ 1980 national championship team.
“He said, ‘goalies don’t like to see a lot of rubber, right? They like it when your shots miss the cage,” Marcus said, quoting his dad. “So it’s just something I’ve worked on and … when I practice during the week, I’m just trying to hit the cage.”
And it also probably doesn’t hurt that his dad is still mentoring him at Utah where Brian has been the school’s club team head coach for two years.
In his second year as an assistant for the Utes, Holman has taken his dad’s advice and mentorship and turned it into a prolific professional career.
Entering his sixth year in the league, Holman finished third in goals scored last year, has made the all-star game the last four consecutive seasons and has helped the Machine to the championship game the last two seasons.
“I study the game, I love to play,” he said. “It’s my passion.”
The Machine’s next game is Saturday at home against the Charlotte Hounds (2-0) with the ball dropping at 5 p.m.
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