The result of the Ohio Machine’s game against the Charlotte Hounds Saturday, July 19, could be season defining for both teams involved.
The Machine is 4-6 in 2014 and sits just one game back from the Boston Cannons and the fourth playoff spot. Charlotte holds the same record, but is at a slight disadvantage to the Machine after Ohio beat the Hounds 15-8 on opening day.
Machine Head Coach Bear Davis said this game, and rest of the season, is time “to come out guns-a-blazing and get after it.”
“I kind of look at it as that old western movie when you kick in the doors and you start firing,” Davis said. “That’s how we have to come out form the first whistle and we have to end that way with the last whistle.”
Each hoping to make a run at the playoffs, the two teams will face-off at 7 p.m. at Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
The game marks the second of a three-game home stand as the Machine closes out 2014 with four of five games at home.
“This stretch at home, we want to defend our turf,” Davis said. “We want to prove who we are and show that we’ve matured, and I’m certainly excited to have Charlotte at our place.”
With four games remaining in the season, there are a plethora of possibilities for Ohio, but it all starts with an attempted repeat of its April 26 matchup with the Hounds.
“We opened up the season down there and I felt like we played pretty good lacrosse,” Davis said. “Kind of showing that we’re going to be a different team this year, and now we get to prove it again.”
The Machine offense will need to continue its prolific run as the season hits its home stretch. Behind 28 goals from midfielder Peter Baum, 22 goals from attackman Marcus Holman and 21 goals from midfielder Kyle Harrison, the Machine is tops in the league with 134 total goals scored.
Baum’s 28 goals put him in a tie for the club’s season record with Logan Schuss, and he could break that record and become the first Machine player to score 30 goals in a season with a brace against Charlotte.
As the FIL World Championships wrap up Saturday, the Machine could be facing off with the Hounds without its full roster.
“For us it was a matter of just looking through our lineup and figuring out who we currently have on our roster who can help us make sure that we don’t have too much to change,” Davis said.
One of those names could be rookie midfielder Rob Guida, who scored his first career goal in the Machine’s July 4 win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
“The only way you get the defense moving is by running by people, and Rob certainly can do that,” Davis said. “He has the ability to run by people, plus he’s a great shooter.”
Regardless of who is on the field, Davis said the Machine will prepare for the Hounds all the same, and get ready for the end-of-season push with its back against the wall.
After its game against the Hounds, Ohio will take on the Denver Outlaws Saturday, July 26, at Selby Stadium. Face-off is set for 4:30 p.m. That game will again be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Tickets can be purchased starting from $12 for general admission by visiting TheOhioMachine.com/tickets or calling 614-754-1973.