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Machine bounce back with win over Rochester

The Ohio Machine used a season high seven-goal first quarter effort and managed to stave off a second half comeback on their way to a 17-12 win over the Rochester Rattlers in Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Marcus Holman led the charge having a season high seven points on five goals and two assists, leading all players.

The tri-captain attackman sparked the first quarter scoring frenzy when he dropped in the game’s first goal 54 seconds in off of an assist from Steele Stanwick.

Holman scored the team’s second goal two minutes later and would dish an assist to Tom Schreiber on his way to a three-point first quarter.

Stanwick finished with two more assists for a total of three points.

Schreiber had his third game with a hat trick, totaling four points on three goals and one assist.

Not to be outdone, rookie attackman Jimmy Bitter also got in on the action as he scored two first quarter goals, closing out the quarter with his second goal to give Ohio a 7-3 lead.

He also completed a hat trick for the game when he started out the second quarter with another goal to give them an 8-3 lead, giving him his second hat trick on the year.

Bitter, who was the Machine’s first pick in the 2015 draft and playing in only his third professional game, finished with the three goals and one assist, matching his season-high of four points which he got in his first game in a win against Denver on May 29.

From there, the Machine would build a six-goal lead by the end of the first half, leading 11-5.

They saw their lead dwindle, though, in the third quarter as the Rattlers came out fired up and outscored the Machine 5-2 to pull to within three points, 13-10.

The game got a little more tense for Ohio as Rochester’s Jordan Wolf started out the fourth quarter with another goal but that’s when Holman stepped up and zipped in two straight goals to push the Machine’s lead to 15-11.

Wolf finished with four points on three goals and one assist.

After Wolf scored again to make it 15-12, the Machine’s defense locked down and wouldn’t allow the Rattlers to score for the final six and a half minutes, with Kyle Harrison putting the icing on the win with his third two-point goal of the season.

The Machine’s tri-captain finished the game with four points scoring on a one-point goal in the first quarter and chipped in his only assist of the game on Bitter’s closing first quarter goal.

Coming in to the game, head coach Bear Davis felt the key to getting back in the win column the team would need to take better quality shots.

“I don’t need to overcomplicate it, we need to shoot better. If you’re going to get 50 plus shots, you need to make sure that they’re at a higher quality,” said Davis in Wednesday’s weekly teleconference call.

In last week’s loss to Chesapeake, Davis also felt the team took too many long distance, one-point shots and said they needed to take advantage of more two-point opportunities.

“It just doesn’t make sense to take a 14-yard shot,” he said. “You’re either going to take an eight-yard-and-in shot or take a 16-yard shot.”

The team must have received the message because they got a number of high quality shots, scoring 15 goals on 27 attempts, including two two-pointers, one from Harrison and the other from defenseman Brian Farrell.

It was only the second game of the year the Machine scored a two-point goal.

The win put them at 6-4 for the season and separated them from a five-way tie for second place in Major League Lacrosse. They are now currently in a two-way tie for second with the Boston Cannons and only two games back from first after the New York Lizards (8-2) dropped their second game in a row on Friday night to the Florida Launch.

The Machine come back home on Saturday, July 4 for a rematch with Rochester in Selby Stadium at 4 p.m.

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