Machine get offensive, win second of the season

The Ohio Machine came home Saturday night and made the best of their return after two straight road games to put together their best game of the season, beating the Charlotte Hounds, 14-10. The win pushed their record to 2-3, and gave the Hounds their fourth loss of the year (1-4).

Marcus Holman led the way, scoring a season-high six goals, and became only the second player in team history to score 50 goals.

“It feels great, especially when you can tack on a win,” he said.

The third-year attackman also attributed the win to the team’s defense, which allowed the second-lowest goals scored on the year.

Tri-captain Kyle Harrison agreed with his fellow captain, saying the defense gets beat up a lot by folks.

“Those guys, they fight their butts off every single week, they compete in the middle of the field and I can’t say enough about what Brian Phipps means to our team,” said Harrison. “Goalie skills aside, he’s been incredible all season long.”

Phipps finished the night with a season-best 21 saves despite facing 31 shots on goal, the most for a single game this season.

“Not bad,” said the Machine goalie, with a smile. “I wish it had been only eight (goals scored), they got a couple of easy ones there at end.”

The team’s third captain also gave credit for his performance to back-up goalie Scott Rodgers.

“He keeps me motivated, keeps me focused,” Phipps said. “He sees something from the bench that I don’t see when I’m looking the other way so it’s nice to come every timeout and just hear him talking from the sidelines.”

He also felt coming back home to friendly confines seemed to help the team get into the groove, which was resonated by his teammates and head coach Bear Davis.

“You want to control your own destiny and it really shouldn’t matter where you’re at, but I do think there’s an advantage,” Davis said in the weekly MLL conference call on Wednesday. “You look at any major sport, there’s a reason why there are winning records at home, there’s a comfort level. There’s a certain energy about being home that’s great.”

Holman kicked off the game and started his scoring bonanza at the 4:14 mark of the first quarter, which was quickly answered by the Hounds’ Michael Ehrhardt 19 seconds later.

The two teams traded off goals for the rest of the quarter, ending on Holman’s second of the game with 17.5 seconds left to play and gave Ohio a 3-2 lead.

Charlotte’s John Haus tied it up 3-3 with 12:41 remaining in the first half but Holman sparked a four-goal run with 7:14 to play that saw Harrison and midfielders Kevin Cooper and Tom Schreiber also score goals to put the Machine ahead, 7-3.

Holman would score his fourth of the game and end the second quarter much like he did the first by scoring in the waning seconds.

The Machine then came out in the third quarter and scored two more quick goals with the help of attackman Zach Palmer scoring his first of the evening and then assisting on Holman’s fifth goal of the night, extending their lead to 9-3. Palmer ended the game with those two points.

After Charlotte’s Kevin Drew scored his only goal with 11:37 left in the third to make it 9-4, Harrison netted his second goal of the game five minutes later. And Holman capped off his double hat trick in style as he slashed his way toward the goal with a diving strike in front of the crease that stung the back of the net with 1:04 to go in the third that gave Ohio an 11-4 lead.

Harrison finished the game with the two points and Holman finished with six, which led all scorers.

“My number one goal is to get wins for this program and I just felt it was a complete team victory tonight,” Holman said.

The Machine return to action in Selby Stadium on Sunday, May 24 in a rematch to take on the Florida Launch (1-4) who’s only win was against the Machine.

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