By Olivia Tharp | 5/15/14 3:20 PM
Date: Saturday May 17, 2014
Location: Delaware, OH
Stadium: Selby Stadium
Face-off: 8 p.m. (EST)
Series: New York Leads 4-0
TV: SportsTime Ohio (10:30 p.m. EST)
Twitter: @MachineMLL, @MachineGameDay
The Ohio Machine returns to Selby Stadium to host its much anticipated home opener this Saturday at 8 p.m. against the New York Lizards. The Machine is fighting for a home victory after last week’s narrow fall to the Florida Launch in Boca Raton. Following three straight road games to open the season, the Machine is eager to step on the field at Selby Stadium for the first time in 2014.
“There’s something to be said for after you score a goal and you get some momentum in the crowd, you have a crowd there to support you,” Head Coach Bear Davis said. “The first three games we would score a big goal and it’s just quiet. We’re cheering, we’re having a good time, but you don’t get that big support from the fans. I think our fans are ready to be there, in full support, and I think our guys will feed off of that. That’s nice to have when you’re going into game four.”
The Machine opened the season with a victory over Charlotte followed by two one-goal road losses. Starting fast is a key that Coach Davis has stressed to the team heading into the home opener.
“There’s no question that in our last couple games we’ve had slow starts and then didn’t finish strong,” Davis said. “When you look at the first game and we won, we had a fast start and we finished strong. It looks there’s a trend of three runs, then maybe a quarter where it’s evened out. The trick is just making sure we come out firing.”
Tom Schreiber, the first overall in this past year’s Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft, made his professional debut against Florida. Davis praised the rookie’s performance this past weekend.
“I think Tom did a great job. He played fast and, it didn’t look like he was trying to figure out if he belongs or not. I think he knows he belongs, and he’s a confident player,” Davis said.
Looking for a win this weekend, the Machine turns its attention to New York. To get back in the win column, the Machine looks to dynamic strategies and an overall mentality shift coming into the game.
“The Lizards are pretty dynamic offensively, so our defense has to make sure that the game plan is set and we don’t let them hit that early run,” Davis said. “Face-offs are going to be an intriguing matchup as well. There’s no question that they’re pretty strong in that area. You’ve just got to look at the whole game plan and make sure we’re doing our best to plan and manipulate the situations in our favor.”
The Machine offense faces a difficult test this week with New York goalie Drew Adams.
“Drew Adams is one of the best goalies in the league,” Davis said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re picking our opportunities and we’re not just throwing the ball at him to avoid increasing his confidence and have our guys question their shooting.”
Fans in attendance at the home opener on Saturday night will be in for a treat. The fastest sport on two feet just got faster as Coach Davis promises that speed will be on display this weekend.
“What we told our guys is that we’ve just got to get faster,” Davis said. “This is a race. Being faster than our opponents is our ultimate goal.”