Date:Saturday May 10, 2014
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Stadium: Florida Atlantic University Stadium
Face-off: 7 p.m. (EST)
TV: SportsTime Ohio (7 p.m. EST)
Twitter: @MachineMLL, @MachineGameDay
The Ohio Machine travels to Boca Raton this Saturday to face the Florida Launch. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m. After last week’s hard fought loss to Denver, the Machine is eager to hit the field with its full force this weekend.
Reflecting back on the Denver game, Machine Head Coach Bear Davis sees the importance of having an aggressive offense.
“We went out there with the thought process that it could’ve been a high-scoring affair.” Davis said regarding last week’s game against Denver. “We just needed to try and manage the face-offs and make sure we cleared the ball, fought hard on our ground balls. Just anywhere we can scrap and get a possession, we needed to do that.”
The Star Wars Day game against the undefeated Outlaws last week proved to be a nail-biting stalemate for the majority of the match. While the final result did no go in the team’s favor, there are a number of positives to take away from the close defeat.
“What I like about this group is just the constant desire to get better. They want to improve, they know we’re not playing our best lacrosse yet, and they’ve got a little drive in them.”
The Machine’s record currently stands at 1-1 entering its week three matchup against Florida. So far this season, second-year attackman Marcus Holman has led the way offensively for the team. His nine points are a team-high and rank second in MLL behind Florida’s Casey Powell, 11.
“One thing that I really like about our attack right now, and Marcus kind of sparks that, is our ability to ride.” Coach stated on Marcus Holman’s impact. “We’re trying to manage the clock even and give other teams a short clock to work with by just utilizing the ride. We feel like we use that to our advantage.”
A major development in 2014 continues to be the steady play of the Machine’s defense. Against Denver, the Machine held the Outlaws to 14 points, the second lowest ever against the team from the Rockies. In week one against Charlotte, the Machine held Hounds’ attackman Matt Danowski to just a single point. Danowski finished last season with 49 points, fourth best in the league.
“Our defense does just a tremendous job of just working hard,” Davis said. “I mean man down, that’s all you’re really doing, you’ve got to work. You’ve got to get your sticks in lanes, you’re giving up two-on-ones all over the place, so, you’re just constantly scraping and it just depends on how hard they want to work.”
Helping the Machine’s defense this season has been goalie Scott Rodgers, who has started both games this year. Rodgers currently leads MLL with 35 saves this season.
Looking forward to its match up against Florida, Coach Davis predicts a change in approach for the game against the Launch. He plans to utilize his skilled seasoned players, specific offensive tactics and overall confidence in teamwork in order to achieve the victory.
“You’re just trying to manage it at that point, and keep the points, the shots to the low angles and make sure we try to get some plus’ with our matchups. For us, with Princeton not making it in (the NCAA tournament), that gives us a little different options with (Tom) Schreiber and we’re looking forward to that, and then we’re going to see what is the best mix for us going into Florida, which we feel pretty good about.”