In his second season with the Machine, midfielder Jake Bernhardt was named the team’s 2014 Unsung Hero following the team’s regular season finale on August 9. Bernhardt did it all for the Machine in 2014, from offense to defense to special teams.
“Jake is a player that we can put in every situation and we are confident he will get the job done,” Machine Head Coach Bear Davis said. “His ability to play all phases of the game makes him a threat in transition and creates miss matches for the other team. Jake mastered the minor details that often go unnoticed and he is extremely deserving of this award.”
Bernhardt opened the season playing an attacking midfield role and netted a hat trick in the Machine’s season opening win over Charlotte. As players like Steele Stanwick and Logan Schuss rejoined the team, Bernhardt transitioned to a defensive midfield role where he became the team’s top short stick defender.
“Jake and the other defensive midfielders were very good this season,” Machine assistant coach and defensive coordinator Tom Mariano said. “They bring a lot of competitive toughness to our defense and play with energy and passion when they are out there. No doubt they have been a big part of us and Jake sets that tone.”
When the spotlight is brightest, Bernhardt shines. He netted the game winning goal over Charlotte on April 26, and with the game on the line against the Chesapeake Bayhawks on the Fourth of July, Bernhardt again secured the victory for the Machine with a late goal. Down three regular contributors on July 19, Bernhardt found Tom Schreiber for the overtime game winning goal. With three career game winning goals, Bernhardt is the club’s all-time leader.
Bernhardt finished the season with eight goals, five assists and 13 points, the most points among non-offensive players. Bernhardt also won four of 11 face-offs, the majority of which came with the Machine on man-down situations.
The Machine’s team award for the Unsung Hero is a great honor and places Bernhardt in elite company. He joins Scott Rodgers and Ray Megill who won the award in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
In the following days, TheOhioMachine.com will announce the remaining 2014 team awards including Breakout Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, the Oil Can Award and Team MVP.