Ohio Machine Machine dominate Lizards in season opener
It does not look like there is any championship hangover for the Ohio Machine to start the 2018 season.
In front of 3,347 strong at Fortress Obetz, the Sheens capitalized on a single-game, record-setting day from attackman Marcus Holman to maul the New York Lizards, 25-13, which also set a single game team record for goals scored.
After winning last season’s Major League Lacrosse championship to take home the Steinfeld Cup, Machine head coach Bear Davis said having a hangover was something the team discussed before the start of the season.
“We said let’s enjoy this (winning the championship),” he said after the game. “But you know, we’ve got work to do. Every year we set new standards and we’ve never won back-to-back championships. We’ve never had a home opener (and) we knew we were going to have a nice crowd today and wanted to start off right and prove to ourselves … that we didn’t have a hangover.”
Holman notched 11 goals and broke an MLL record that was previously set at 10 by another Machine player, John Grant, Jr. in 2016.
“I felt like I could have had one or two more,” Holman said with a big smile on his face. “If I’m being honest with you.”
Machine goaltender Kyle Bernlohr said having a performance like that makes his job a little easier.
“For sure,” he chuckled. “They score more points down there, it’s less pressure on us. The less pressure we feel, the easier it is to play defense, the easier it is to make saves.”
Holman started his scoring bonanza by notching the first goal of the game, unassisted, one minute and 17 seconds in but would stay quiet for the rest of the quarter while his teammates would score the next four goals to give the Machine a 5-4 lead to end the first.
After that, he woke up and ripped off four goals – three on assists from midfielder Tom Schreiber – and chipped in an assist to defenseman Matt McMahon on the team’s last goal of the first half, giving the Sheens a 13-7 lead.
At that point, Holman said he was “in the zone”.
“That flow state you get into, you don’t really have any emotion,” he said. “I knew we were winning, I was excited but, you know, I was kind of just like, really even-keeled and just tried to keep that going into the second half.”
That he did by contributing to the team’s five straight goals to start the third quarter, scoring four of them while sandwiching in an assist to midfielder Jake Bernhardt on the third goal of the quarter.
The Machine held the Lizards to only two goals in the third while netting seven and held a commanding 20-9 lead entering the final stanza.
Holman would rip the nets two more times less than two minutes into the fourth quarter for his 10th and 11th goals of the game and watched teammate Pat Harbeson score the Sheens’ third consecutive goal of the fourth to give them a 23-9 lead.
Holman led all players with the 11 goals and a total of 13 points.
The Lizards outscored the Machine after that 4-2 in the final 10 minutes of the game on an unassisted powerplay goal from attacker Mike Bocklet, two goals from attacker Will Manny and a late one from midfielder Joe Walters on an assist from midfielder Paul Rabil. It was Rabil’s only point of the game.
Manny led New York with four goals and tied attackman Rob Pannell with four points, who had three goals and one assist.
Schreiber finished second on the Machine with five points (all assists) while former Lizards attacker Ryan Ambler second on the day with three goals and third on the team with four points.
Bernlohr ended with 22 saves on 35 shots on goal.