12/7/11 12:00 AM
The Ohio Machine has started their Draft season off with a bang with the 10 MLL players they drafted today that will go towards their 2012 inaugural season roster.
The Machine acquired attackman Connor Martin with their first pick (3rd overall) and Columbus natives Brett Hughes and Max Schmidt in the draft, as well as defenseman Kevin Ridgway, midfielder Dan Groot, attackman Jim Connolly, midfielder Jordan Levine, goalkeeper Brian Phipps, midfielder Matt Casey and midfielder Scott Kocis. The Machine drafted defenseman Brian Spallina but traded him and the Machine’s fourth round MLL Collegiate Draft pick to the Chesapeake Bayhawks for the Bayhawks’ third round pick in the MLL Collegiate Draft.
“After today’s draft, we now have two great MLL caliber goaltenders and a great defense. We also have midfielders who can play both ends of the fields,” said Machine President and General Manager John Algie. “We targeted players who we felt could contribute on the field right away and that some players have local ties is an added bonus.”
Connor Martin enters his third MLL season with the Machine after spending the past two seasons with the Denver Outlaws. While with Denver, Martin scored 13 goals and recorded four assists. In his MLL debut, Martin netted a hat trick and one assist earning him the MLL Rookie of the Week. Martin was drafted in the 2010 MLL Collegiate Draft by Denver after playing at Chapman University in MCLA, making him the only field player from a MCLA school to see playing time in the MLL. While at Chapman, Martin earned First-Team All-American as a junior and senior, and was also named MCLA Player of the Year his junior year.
"Connor is an exciting, dynamic player that will bring a lot of positive energy to the team on and off the field,” said Head Coach Ted Garber. “Fans will definitely be excited to see him play next season."
Brett Hughes, an Upper Arlington native, joins the Machine as a six-year MLL veteran and MLL All-Star after playing for New Jersey, Los Angeles and Denver teams. Hughes was drafted into the MLL after playing at four years for University of Virginia. While at UVA, Hughes started every game from 2001-2005, including the 2003 NCAA Championship, and was a two-time All-American.
Max Schmidt will play his first MLL season with the Machine after being drafted by Chesapeake in 2011. Schmidt played for University of Maryland from 2008-2011, where he received 2011 USILA Honorable Mention All-American, 2011 Preseason Honorable Mention All-American, 2010 Preseason Third Team All-American, 2010 Preseason All-ACC, 2009 All-ACC and 2009 Preseason Honorable Mention All-American. While attending Maryland, Schmidt played for the U.S. U-19 team at the 2008 IFL World Championships where he won a gold medal. Schmidt attended Upper Arlington High School playing all four seasons where he helped the team to four straight state titles and two Midwest Championships.
“Brett brings a great veteran presence to our back line and his familiarity with Central Ohio is a great bonus for us,” said Algie. “And Max had a great college career at the University of Maryland and brings a mixture of talent and athleticism to our defense.”
Jordan Levine will be entering his fourth season in the MLL after spending last year with the Rochester Rattlers. Levine will also be bringing MLL championship experience to the Machine after helping the Nationals win the 2009 title.
Former Notre Dame standout Kevin Ridgway comes to the Machine after being drafted 18th overall by the Hamilton Nationals in the 2011 Collegiate Draft. With Hamilton, Ridgeway played in seven games notching his first career assist. As a member of Notre Dame, Ridgeway helped lead his team to the 2010 NCAA Championship game.
Goalie Brian Phipps is coming over from Chesapeake where he played for two seasons. Now in his third year, Phipps is hoping to continue his success in the net. Before his MLL career, Phipps was a team captain for the Maryland Terrapins and a member of the All-ACC Academic Team.
Dan Groot was drafted in 2009 by the Bayhawks and will be entering his fourth year in MLL. In his rookie season with the Bayhawks, Groot scooped up two ground balls while also scoring one goal and tallying two assists. Groot came to the Bayhawks after playing four years with the University of Maryland.
Now in his second year Jim Connolly comes to the Machine after scoring his first Major League Lacrosse goal with the Boston Cannons. Connolly entered MLL after an illustrious career with University of Massachusetts, where he tallied over 100 points. In his senior season, Connolly became the only player in UMass history to score in every game he played in.
MLL veteran Matt Casey will join the Machine for his seventh MLL season. Casey played his last four seasons in Boston where he helped the team win its first MLL title last season. In college, Casey played for the Division III program Ithaca where he was named Empire-8 Player of Year.
During his rookie year, Scott Kocis played in one game for the Long Island Lizards. Kocis was drafted by the Lizards in 2010 with the 16th overall pick. Kocis came to the Lizards after being named to the First Team All-ECAC as a member of the Georgetown Hoyas.
Ohio Machine MLL Expansion Draft Picks:
1st – A Connor Martin (3rd overall) – Chapman
2nd – D Kevin Ridgway (5th overall) – Notre Dame
3rd – M Dan Groot (7th overall) – Maryland
4th – A Jim Connolly (9th overall) – Massachusetts
5th – M Jordan Levine (15th overall) – Albany
6th – GK Brian Phipps (17th overall) – Maryland
7th – D Brett Hughes (19th overall) – Virginia
8th – M Matt Casey (21st overall) – Ithaca
9th – D Max Schmidt (23rd overall) – Maryland
10th – M Scott Kocis (27th overall) – Georgetown
11th – D Brian Spallina (29th overall) – Hofstra – traded
The Machine will have more opportunities to acquire players during the MLL SupplementalDraft on December 14 and the MLL Collegiate Draft on January 13.
“Fortunately all the work we did for the expansion draft will translate to the supplemental draft,” said Algie. “Now that the expansion draft is over we will be able to focus on positions we need and we have a long list of players who we are interested in who are still available in the player pool.”