By Alex Casola | 1/16/14 11:50 AM
The 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft proved to be very successful for the Ohio Machine as eight new players were added to the roster. The recent draftees bring new assets to the roster and are expected to bolster the lineup in 2014.
The midfield position was an area of focus at the draft. The Machine added considerable depth to its young core by drafting Tom Schreiber, Rob Guida, Scott Loy and Spencer Schnell.
Schreiber, the No. 1 overall pick and a Tewaaraton Trophy (awarded to the nation’s top college player) finalist last year, has led the Princeton Tigers in assists for three consecutive seasons and enters his senior year with 73 career assists. Schreiber’s ability to move the ball across the midline to his attackmen will open more opportunities for the Machine’s offensive weapons like Logan Schuss, Steele Stanwick and Marcus Holman. Scott Loy and Spencer Schnell also offer help on offense as the two have combined to score more than 100 goals during their first three college seasons.
Rob Guida, the Machine’s second round pickbrings speed, vision and elusiveness to the midfield position,. His strengths of playing without the ball and ability to distribute will help the Machine on the offensive side of the field.
The Machine added one attackman, Derek Maltz, to an already potent offensive lineup. With the likes of Schuss, Stanwick and Holman up front, a group that combined for 47 goals and 87 points last season, Maltz will add more fuel to the fire with his speed, accuracy and hustle. Through three seasons at Syracuse, Maltz has tallied 63 goals and collected 44 ground balls.
R.G. Keenan joins the Machine as a face-off specialist to stand alongside returning face-off leader Eric O’Brien. At North Carolina, Keenan has a .574 face-off percentage, winning 594 face-offs in his career. Keenan’s quick hands and ability to win the ball to himself will help to generate more offensive possessions for the Machine.
On defense and in goal, the Machine added to a group of MLL veterans that includes Greg Bice, Max Schmidt and Chad Wiedmaier. With the additions of Jackson Place (25th overall) and Stephen O’Hara (41st overall), the Machine defense will add fresh legs and an updated style of play. Machine goalies Brian Phipps and Scott Rodgers remain in goal after holding down the position in 2013.
Combined with a solid young core of players, the new additions to the midfield, attack and defense acquired through the MLL Collegiate Draft, the Machine look to poised to build a fast-paced exciting brand of lacrosse in 2014. Watch for an experienced attack and a strong midfield to help a revamped defense transition the ball smoothly from defense to offense and create more scoring opportunities after winning back possessions in the defensive zone.