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Ohio Machine (1-11) at Boston Cannons (5-7)
Saturday August, 3, 4 p.m. EST
Harvard Stadium, Boston, Massachusetts
Fans can watch the game live on Major League Lacrosse’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/MLL.
After a hard loss against the Charlotte Hounds at Selby Stadium for the final home game of the season, the Machine heads to New England to battle the Boston Cannons at Harvard Stadium. This is the second time the teams will meet in the 2013 season. Earlier this season the Machine lost to the Cannons at home, 13-10. The Cannons are looking for a way to keep their 2013 playoff hopes alive with a win over the Machine.
In the last home game of the season, the Machine lost 13-10 to its league rivals, the Charlotte Hounds. The Machine started off strong scoring the first two goals of the game and led going into the second quarter. However, in the second quarter the Hounds quickly responded with a 5-0 scoring streak. The Machine saw a possibility to break the streak by scoring one goal, but that just was not enough to stop the Hounds. At halftime the Hounds led 7-3. The third quarter was sawtwo Machine players score back-to-back goals to make the score a close 7-5. The Machine outscored the Hounds in the third quarter leading with five goals to Charlotte’s two goals but the Machine still found themselves behind by three. Charlotte fired off two goals to start the fourth quarter, raising the pressure for the Machine to stay in the game. Eight minutes into the final quarter, Logan Schuss responded with back-to-back goals giving the Machine a chance to come out victorious but it was not enough to call it a win. The Machine lost its final home game of the season 13-10.
# 19 (A) Joe Cummings– Cummings played outstanding as a rookie in both match ups last season against the Boston Cannons. Cummings scored a total of five goals between two games for the Machine. Cummings was named the Machine’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year at the Machine’s final home game.
#20 (A) Logan Schuss – In the previous game against the Cannons in the 2013 season, Schuss had a career-high game where he scored five goals and had one assist. Schuss was named 2013 Ohio Machine Rookie of the Year with his 23 goals which also leads all MLL rookies. Schuss is also in the running for MLL Rookie of the Year.
#21 (A) Jim Connolly — Connolly led the Machine in goals against Boston last season and tallied three goals in each match up for a total of six goals against the Cannons last season.
#44 (D) Greg Bice – Last season against the Cannons, Bice scored in the second match up between the two teams. Bice returns after sitting out most of the season from what was thought to be a season-ending injury.
#81 (D) Kyle Hartzell – Last year against Boston, Hartzell scored his ninth two-point goal of the season giving him 21 points on the season and set the MLL record for most points scored by a defenseman in a season. Hartzell currently has six total goals in the 2013 season and two assists for eight points.
Team of Talent and Heart - During the last home game last weekend, several players were awarded honors for their skills, leadership and attitude. Logan Schuss received Machine Rookie of the Year, Brian Phipps was named Machine Defensive Player of the Year, Joe Cummings was named Machine Offensive Player of the Year, Steele Stanwick received 2013 Machine MVP of the Season and goalie Scott Rodgers was named Machine Unsung Hero for his support and leadership throughout the season.
Rookie Takeover – The Machine currently has the most rookies on an active MLL roster with five (Alexander, Bernhardt, Carraro, Holman and Schuss).Those five rookies account for 46 total points this season for the Machine. Schuss is one of three MLL rookies that are currently in the Top 25 leading attackmen. Will Manny (Boston) and Rob Pannell (New York) join Schuss in the rankings.
Game to Game Goals: “Our goal going into the first games was to learn how to compete but now our goal is to win and that just hasn’t happened yet. In the last game, we had four to five minute lapses that caused us to have to battle back from but now going into this week we need to focus on eliminating those lapses. Once we do that, we will be even with Boston and have a good chance to win. We are going into this game focusing on what we can control and not thinking about anything else but playing good lacrosse.”
Difference of Five Weeks: “Going into the Boston game last time, the coaches and I didn’t fully know who we had or what they were capable of. We know all of our players now and what they are capable of out on the field. We now can go through our line up confidently and pick out our match ups better because we’ve had time to see what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are.”
Coming Up Short: “Every time we step out onto the field we are looking for wins but we are also looking for growth within the program. And we are showing continuous growth game to game. Going from an 8-1 second quarter and then battling back to within two to three goals says a lot about these players and their character. One of the biggest hurdles is getting through difficult situations like the ones we’ve had over the past few games and realizing that we can still be in it.”
Bice Back from Injury: “We thought he looked good coming out of practice last Friday and proved to us against Charlotte he is ready to be back out on the field. There is no question he has such a physical presence and a quarterback on defense who is very vocal and can lead out there. Because he is such a physical player, he changes the way teams prepare to go up against our defense.”
The Machine first saw the Cannons back in June when they lost 13-10, where Bear Davis made his debut as the Machine’s head coach against the Cannons and was determined to pick the Machine up with a new game plan and new strategy. Rookies Marcus Holman and Logan Schuss put the Machine on the board 3-0 but Boston’s Paul Rabil responded with a goal ending the first quarter 3-1. The second quarter was dominated by Boston’s offense when they had a 4-0 scoring streak with goals from Cameron Flint, Will Manny and Kevin Buchanan. Flint scored another goal putting the Cannons up 6-4 in the second quarter. Kiel Matisz responded with a goal ending the second quarter in a close 6-5 score at halftime. The Cannons shot out of the beginning of the third quarter with a 5-0 scoring streak but was broken by a goal from Logan Schuss making the score 11-6 going into the final quarter. Ray Megill fired off at two-point goal starting the fourth quarter making the score 11-8 followed by Schuss with two back-to-back goals to make the score 12-10. Boston’s Ryan Boyle scored the final goal and the Cannons walked away with a win, 13-10.
Last weekend, the Cannons faced the 9-3 Hamilton Nationals and lost 17-12. The Cannons dropped to 5-7 and fifth overall in the league. Hamilton dominated the first quarter with a four goal streak. Boston’s offense couldn’t respond with any goals due to Hamilton’s impeccable defense. Boston only scored one goal the first quarter. Boston scored at the beginning of the second quarter but Hamilton answered with three more goals to make the score 8-2. Boston soon got back in the game with a three goal streak. The score going into halftime was 9-5. Boston seemed to be in control in the third quarter with two straight goals. Hamilton quickly broke the streak and ended the quarter 13-8. By the fourth quarter, Paul Rabil scored his only points of the game with a two point shot along with Stephen Berger and Kevin Buchanan who added a point each for the Cannons. The Cannons were defeated 17-12.
The Machine will travel to New York for the last game of the 2013 season where it takes on the New York Lizards. Fans can watch the game live on ESPN3.com or rebroadcast on SportsTime Ohio at midnight.