The Ohio Machine has started of its 2014 season 1-3, but found itself in every game late. The club has already ushered in multiple individual honors and players have moved up the record books. Some young guns have excelled, and some veterans have stepped up – and it’s still just four games into the 2014 season.
The Machine took a season-opening win at Charlotte, 15-9, on April 26, before making a comeback charge in Denver on May 4. Ohio found itself down 3-0 after the opening frame, but made it 9-7 with a six-goal third quarter. The Machine snagged a four-goal lead on the fourth before falling, 14-12.
Ever since the season-opening victory over the Hounds, close games have been the story for the Machine. After the loss to Denver, Ohio fell 10-9 to Florida and then 11-9 at home against New York. A 1-3 record certainly isn’t what the club wanted to post to start the season, but the squad has proved it can hang with – and beat – the best teams in Major League Lacrosse.
Honors and Records
Ohio’s season-opening win against the Hounds included two shutout quarters for the Machine defense. The club found itself up 6-0 after the first frame, and blanked Charlotte again in the fourth. Machine defender Chad Wiedmaier got the recognition for the performance as he was named the Warrior Defensive Player of the Week by the league. He helped to hold Hounds star attackman Matt Danowski to zero goals and just one assist.
Midfielder Dominique Alexander picked up some individual hardware as well. MLL named him the HEADstrong Humanitarian of the Month for April for his community service work in the Columbus area.
Midfielder Jake Bernhardt has made an assault on the top-10 lists for the Machine. After his game-winner in Charlotte, Bernhardt became the first Machine player ever to score two game-winning goals. He also ranks in the top 10 in club history in shots (10th, 43), shots on goal (T-10th, 26) and all things face-off related. Bernhardt needs two more points to move into the clubs top 10, and three more goals to tie Eric O’Brien for 10th.
The team tied a record with six third-quarter goals at Denver, when it set a club-record with five total assists for the frame. Attackman Steele Stanwick tied his own third quarter record with three of those five assists and had four total points in the quarter.
With an appearance against New York May 20, defenseman Max Schmidt became the club’s all-time leader in games played at 29 – passing Kyle Hartzell.
Attackman Logan Schuss is just one goal away from tying Jim Connolly as the Machine’s all-time leading goal scorer.
The Young Guns
The Machine has made two straight midfielders the No. 1 overall pick in the MLL Collegiate Draft in Peter Baum (2013) and Tom Schreiber (2014).
Baum has made an instant impact, especially on offense. He leads the team with 10 goals and 13 points, and ranks third with three assists. Just four games into his Machine career, Baum is one goal away from entering the club’s top 10 and has already recorded three hat tricks.
Schreiber has also played well to start his MLL career. In just two games, the Princeton product has scored four goals – including a hat trick against New York – and one assist.
Ohio’s roster boasts a handful of big names, some new to the Machine and some not. Midfielder Kyle Harrison has scored six goals to go with four assists so far, and ranks second on the team with 10 points.
Attackman Marcus Holman has five goals and four assists, attackman Steele Stanwick has one goal and a team-leading seven assists and attackman Logan Schuss has four goals in just two games.
Midfielders Kevin Cooper, Jake Bernhardt and Kiel Matisz have combined for eight goals.
Alexander leads the team with 12 ground balls, while O’Brien, defenseman Dana Wilber and face-off man Matt Dolente each have 11.
Two goalies have played so far for Ohio, as Scott Rodgers holds a 1-1 record while Brian Phipps is 0-2. Phipps has a 9.77 goals-against average while Rodgers boasts a .609 save percentage, both ranking in the top-4 in the league.
After the quick home stand, Ohio is set to head back out on the road. The team is scheduled to take on Chesapeake May 31 before returning to Selby Stadium for two home games. The Machine will host the Boston Cannons June 6 and the Rochester Rattlers June 14.
Machine vs. Cannons – June 6 – 8 PM
Machine vs. Rattlers – June 14 – 5:30 PM