11/2/12 9:00 AM
After securing a historic home field and a veteran Major League Lacrosse coach, the next step for the Ohio Machine was to start forming the foundation of its inaugural season team. The first building blocks were traded for in September 2011 and came in the form of defenseman Greg Bice, goalie Stefan Schroder, midfielder Brett Garber and face-off specialist Anthony Kelly.
With this historic trade, Bice, Kelly and Schroder were being brought back to the state of Ohio where they made names for themselves on the lacrosse field during their college tenures at The Ohio State University. Between the three of them, they combined for a total of two All Americans, one GWLL Conference Player of the Year, two Team MVPs, three 1st Team All-Conference and two 2nd Team GWLL All-League. Garber also had a standout college career at University of Massachusetts where he played for four years. He was named to the All-New England First Team twice, as well as All American and Team Offensive MVP.
With these four veterans in place, the foundation of the inaugural team was laid and the coaching staff could continue building upon it.
“Bringing in that core group of veterans helped shape the identity of the team and also gave us better direction in the drafts that followed by allowing us to focus on complementary players,” said President and General Manager John Algie. “We were also excited that we were able to bring in some great players with ties to Ohio.”
The next move towards the 2012 season came when the Machine traded for defenseman Kyle Hartzell. Hartzell came from Chesapeake where he won the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship with the Bayhawks and was named MLL Championship Weekend MVP, the only defenseman in league history to win the MLL Championship MVP.
"These guys gave us an initial solid core of players at the midfield and defensive positions going into training camp," said Head Coach Ted Garber. "It also gave us a group of players that not only previously proven themselves on the field in the MLL, but they also brought their own unique positive leadership qualities to the organization,"
Going into the first game of the Machine’s season, the five veteran players had a combined total of 202 MLL games played and at the end of the 2012 season boasted 30% of the Machine’s total points. Hartzell led the team in two-point goals with nine, which put him sixth in two-point goals during a single season all time, and set the record for two-point goals in a season by a defenseman. His 21 points on the year also broke reigning MLL Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merril’s record for most points by a defenseman in a season.
Garber ended the season early due to a shoulder injury but not before he tallied five goals and four assists for a total of 10 points in only eight games. Bice, co-captain of the team, played in 13 of the 14 games and finished the season with 28 groundballs. Schroder started in nine games for the Machine, making 99 saves. Kelly played in seven games for the Machine and collected 23 groundballs before being traded to the Denver Outlaws in July.
"All five of them were counted on to utilize each of their personal lacrosse strengths and abilities within the framework of being part of the team structure. They all definitely made an tremendous impact to the team's overall chemistry because of how well they were able to fulfill the above expectations," said T. Garber.
“Each of those players has already left an indelible mark on the team, not just in terms of their individual performances in year one but also in helping set the tone for this team as far as work-ethic and game preparation,” said Algie.
Season tickets for the 2013 season are now available to purchase and to choose your own seats online. here