On May 5th, the Ohio Machine began its inaugural season against the Chesapeake Bayhawks in Annapolis, Maryland. Ohio was down by two goals early in the first when midfielder Matt Casey scored the first goal in team history. A goal by midfielder Matt Witko with 5:33 left in the first quarter gave the Machine their first ever lead. The Machine was unable to maintain the lead and fell behind 11-9 heading into halftime. Attackmen Chazz Woodson and Jim Connolly were the only Machine players to score in the second half and the Machine fell to the Bayhawks 23-11.
A week later the team traveled to North Carolina for its first ever matchup against fellow expansion team the Charlotte Hounds. The Machine jumped out to a three-goal lead and went into the second quarter leading 6-4. In the second quarter, the Hounds seized the lead on the strength of a five-goal run. Halfway into the third quarter Ohio was down 14-9 when Connor Martin’s back-to-back goals ignited a five-goal rally. The Machine was unable to carry its momentum into the fourth quarter and suffered an 18-15 loss to the Hounds.
In front of 6,126 fans the Ohio Machine made its inaugural home debut at historic Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio against the Rochester Rattlers. Rochester defenseman Steve DeNapoli scored a 2pt-goal to open up the game but the Machine scored seven straight goals to take a commanding 8-2 lead. The Rattlers cut the lead down to two early in the third quarter. Chazz Woodson answered with a goal of his own and the Machine closed out the game on a 7-2 run to win its first ever game 16-10. Woodson finished the game with four goals and was named Bud Light Player of the Game. Machine goalie Stefan Schroder had a career day for the Machine netting a career high 17 saves and only allowing eight goals. Schroder’s effort earned him his first MLL Defensive Player of the Week award of his career.
Schroder now leads the team in saves with 31 and has a 13.78 goals against average. On offense the Machine is led by Woodson (9G), Jim Connolly (7G 2A) and Connor Martin (5G 4A), who each have nine points. Woodson is currently tied at sixth and Connolly tied at 13th in the league for goals scored. Midfielder Anthony Kelly is leading the team in face-off wins with 47 and has a .600 faceoff percentage in his last two games.
After a bye week, the Machine will return to action June 1st against the Long Island Lizards. The Lizards are 1-2 and coming off of a 9-8 win against the Charlotte Hounds. The Lizards are led by offseason midfield acquisitions Brian Langtry and Max Seibald. Langtry leads the team in goals (9) and points (12) and Seibald is second on the team in goals with five. Rookie attackman Matt Gibson had one goal and four assists in his MLL debut.
After traveling to Long Island the Machine return home to Ohio for a three-game homestand starting off on June 9 against the Denver Outlaws. The Outlaws are currently 3-1 and tied with Chesapeake for the second best record in the league. The Outlaws only loss came against the undefeated and 2011 MLL champs Boston Cannons. Outlaws’ midfielder Jeremy Sieverts leads the league in goals with 11 and has 17 points. Denver goalie Jesse Schwartzman is fourth in the league in goals against average with 10.61 and is second in saves with 45.
The Machine continues its homestand on June 16 against Long Island followed by fellow expansion team Charlotte Hounds on June 23.
Great seats are still available for the three-game homestand and can be purchased by calling (614) 754-1973 or by clicking here.