The Machine played the defending MLL champions Chesapeake Bayhawks this weekend and lost 13-12 in the closest game of the season.
The Machine wasted no time in the first quarter and scored the first goal of the game with a shot from Kiel Matisz. With an early lead, the Machine felt the fire and was ready to stop the Bayhawks in its tracks. Joe Cummings answered with a goal to bring the score up 2-0.
Chesapeake soon gained control of the game halfway through the first quarter and went on a 3-0 scoring streak. The Machine fought to reignite its chemistry on offense again and found Logan Schuss to break Chesapeake’s streak and tie the game. The Bayhawks scored one more goal to lead 4-3, but Chase Carraro fired a fantastic no angle shot for the Fireball Whiskey Shot of the Game to tie the game 4-4 with seconds left in the first quarter.
The second quarter was a constant battle between the teams for the game lead. Drew Westervelt opened the quarter with a goal for a 5-4 Chesapeake lead. Joe Cummings would not let the Bayhawks break away again and tied the game up 5-5.
The Machine continued to answer Chesapeake with goals to keep the game tied throughout the quarter. With the help of Logan Schuss, Jake Bernhardt and Joe Cummings, the game remained tied 8-8 going into halftime.
“We saw a different energy tonight and we made things happen,” said Joe Cummings. “I think everyone is buying into what coach is talking about, and when we all buy in then everything starts to work.”
The Machine came out of halftime determined to the lead and remained tight on defense to stop the Bayhawks on offense. Kyle Hartzell scored the first goal of the third quarter to give the Machine the lead the team was looking for and was up 9-8.
The Machine defense shut out Chesapeake for the majority of the quarter and held them to two goals within the last few minutes. The game was at another tie at the end the third quarter and went into the final 15 minutes, 10-10.
The Machine had one more quarter to break away from the Bayhawks and push its momentum on offense. Chesapeake beat the Machine to the net first and scored three quick goals to put its lead up 13-10. The Machine offense forced its way to the Chesapeake goal and scored two more goals to tighten the lead back up to a one goal deficit, 13-12.
Tensions were high during the last few minutes, but the Chesapeake defense was prepared for a hungry Machine offense. The Machine couldn’t find another scoring opportunity and lost 13-12 in one of the toughest battles of the season.
“We played more even tonight and less on a roller coaster,” said Head Coach Bear Davis. “We didn’t care who we played tonight and we just focused on us. I have a boxing gloves analogy for the guys; if you let your guard down once, the other team is going to keep punching.”
The Machine will be back at home on July 27 at 7 p.m. for the final home game of the season against the Charlotte Hounds. There will be fireworks, giveaways, meal discounts and prizes for our fans for “Fan Appreciation Night!” Purchase your tickets