The Ohio Machine is coming off a road win against the back-to-back Major League Lacrosse champions, and looks to build on that success on Friday.
With its second win of the season in the rear-view mirror, the Machine is set to take on the Boston Cannons for the first time in 2014 at Selby Stadium. The Machine (2-3) beat the Bayhawks on May 31 by a score of 15-11 that included a seven-point run in the second half.
Machine Head Coach Bear Davis said the win showed his team what they can be capable of going forward.
“We lost so many games by a couple goals, typically that’s like one play,” Davis said. “It’s a play or two away from that game being different…The positive for us is we just found out that we have that one more play in us.”
Davis also stressed the importance of picking up ground balls and taking quality shots in order to win lacrosse games.
The Machine totaled a season-high 42 ground balls against Chesapeake, and scored its 14 goals – including a 2pt goal by attackman Marcus Holman – on just 24 shots on goal. Ohio also finished four-for-seven on power play opportunities, which is a trend the team will look to continue.
“We’ve really been taking that basketball approach, that mindset of just making sure those guys are getting to where they want to take their shots and how to free up your teammate, how to get them to their spots where they can get their quality takes,” Davis said. “And that’s how we’ve kind of designed the man up to some degree, with those theories in mind.”
Heading into its matchup with Boston, Ohio has scored a total of eight power play goals in 2014, led by two each from attackman Logan Schuss, Holman and midfielder Peter Baum.
Baum ranks among league leaders in both goals, 13, and points, 16, so far in his first MLL season. He, along with his line-mates Tom Schreiber and Kyle Harrison, will be tasked with carrying much of the offensive load against the Cannons.
While the Machine has certainly been working to prepare for Boston, its opposition is just as aware of Ohio’s recent success.
“It’s another great team that we have to play, and they’re coming off a huge win against the Bayhawks,” Boston Head Coach John Tucker said. “They’re extremely talented, and we have our work cut out for us defensively.”
As Tucker and his team prepare for the Machine, Davis said his squad just needs to keep improving and adjusting for each opponent – starting with the Cannons.
“We’ve just got to keep getting better,” Davis said.
The Machine will take on the Cannons at Selby Stadium Friday, June 6. Face off is set for 8 p.m EST and the game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.