Machine win third of the season, set records along the way
On a night when they were without two of their top scorers, the Ohio Machine (3-3) still managed to put together their best offensive game of the year Saturday evening, setting franchise records and season-firsts by paying back the Florida Launch, 20-12, in a rematch from May 9.
The team was without leading scorer Peter Baum, who was out with an injured hamstring, and attackman Steele Stanwick (ankle) who ranked third in points coming into tonight’s game.
Head coach Bear Davis felt the two could’ve played but didn’t want to put them into action if it wasn’t necessary.
“Considering we’ve been beat down the attack … we talked to our training staff and thought, ‘do we really want to push it?’” said Davis.
“I think we need those guys for the rest of the year, so we went ahead and sat them out,” he said.
But to put together an offensive showing without Baum or Stanwick was something the team was prepared for, said Machine attackman Jimmy Dailey.
“I think we kind of had the attitude of ‘next-guy-up’ and they were ready for the opportunity and embraced that tonight and did a really good job,” he said.
“Both those guys are tremendous players, though, they’re all pros. It was definitely a huge void not having them.”
Filling the void were a number of veterans, including Marcus Holman who set a franchise record when he scored the 57th goal of his career to become the team’s all-time leading goal scorer.
The captain attackman finished the game with two goals for a total of two points.
It was the first four-goal game of the season, though, for Dailey who had had two previous hat tricks on the year but never a four-goal effort.
He finished the game with the four goals, including seven shots-on-goal and tied midfielder Tom Schreiber for second on the night with a total of four points.
It was also the first game of the season where not just one, not two but three two-point goals were scored, two of which were flung in by captain midfielder Kyle Harrison.
Before tonight, the Machine had yet to score a two-point goal all season.
“We’ve actually been practicing two-pointers the last two weeks,” said Harrison. “I had two opportunities, so I shot it.”
At first, he didn’t realize his first two-point goal was a two-pointer until the ref signaled.
“Honestly, I didn’t know where it was until the ref put two fingers up so I put two fingers up,” he said. “It was exciting.”
Harrison capped off his night with the team’s third and final two-point goal 26 seconds into the second half, finishing with three goals and an assist to lead all players with six points.
The Machine’s other two-point goal came from midfielder Kevin Cooper, who scored early in the second quarter, ending with the one goal and an assist for a total of three points on the night, which was matched by attackman Zach Palmer who had two goals and one assist.
Another guy who stepped up was newly acquired midfielder Jovan Miller who the team picked up earlier in the week from Chesapeake’s practice squad. He kicked off his Ohio Machine debut by scoring his first goal for the team early in the third quarter and finished the game with an assist for a total of two points.
“He’s a great talent,” said Davis. “The league is so stock full of quality talent that it’s about finding the right ones and making sure they mesh.”
Another talent the Machine activated this week was former Ohio State standout David Planning.
After the Buckeyes lost to Denver in the second round of the NCAA playoffs, and with the loss of Baum and Stanwick, Davis decided to activate the midfielder for tonight’s game.
Planning saw limited action but notched his first official Major League Lacrosse stat by having a shot on goal.
The loss gave Florida the worst record in MLL at 1-5, their only win coming against the Machine.
Launch attackmen Kieran McArdle and Lyle Thompson both led the team with four points apiece, McArdle on four goals and Thompson with one goal and three assists.
The Machine hit the road against the Denver Outlaws on Friday, May 29 at 9 p.m. in a rematch that saw Denver pull out a last-second win in Selby Stadium on April 19, 14-13.