The Ohio Machine won its first season game against the Rochester Rattlers 13-11 after an outstanding team effort across the field.
The Machine took control in the first quarter gaining the early lead with a powerhouse goal from Joe Cummings. Rochester responded with a goal to tie the game, but Cummings’ shots were on fire and scored two more goals for a first quarter hat trick.
Rochester kept up with Cummings’ goals to tie the game 3-3 with minutes to play. Kyle Hartzell fought to bring the Machine lead up 4-3, but John Ranagan cut the Machine’s lead short with a last minute goal to tie the game 4-4.
“We played great transition defense tonight,” said goalie Brian Phipps. “Coach Kavanagh had a good defensive game plan and we were able to execute it. When my team plays well together, I play better so we are always working together.”
The Machine was ready to play when the second quarter started. Connor Martin made his post-injury debut with a diving goal from behind the net to put the Machine back up 5-4. Marcus Holman kept the momentum and scored another goal for a two-point lead against the Rattlers. Matt Striebel tried to break the Machine’s speed by scoring a goal and a 2-point goal to tie the game 7-7.
The Machine was determined to gain the game lead going into halftime, so Logan Schuss put one in the back of the net to put his team ahead, 8-7. Joe Cummings followed with his fourth goal of the game ending the second quarter with a 9-7 Machine lead for the first time this season.
The second half got off to a slow start as both teams shut each other out for the first 10 minutes of the third quarter. Both teams’ defenses and goalies fought to stop each other’s goals, but Rochester’s offense broke away.
John Ranagan scored the first goal of the second half to tighten the Machine’s lead 9-8. With one minute left to play, Connor Martin scored his third goal for his first season hat-trick. The third quarter ended with a 10-8 Machine lead.
“I think the midfields dodged their guys well tonight,” said Connor Martin. “It’s a midfield league, not an attack league and all of our middies pulled their weight tonight. Everyone on my team plays well and that’s why we’re here.”
Stakes were high going into the fourth quarter as the Machine fought hard to keep its lead. Rochester scored two goals to start the quarter, tying the game 10-10. Logan Schuss went on to score his second goal of the game after a challenge and official review to put the lead back up 11-10.
The Machine ran away with the lead in the remaining minutes of the game. Joe Cummings scored his fifth goal and was the MVP of the game. With a final driving shot from Chazz Woodson for the Fireball Whiskey Shot of the Game, the Machine was up 13-11 and walked away with its first season victory.
“We played our most complete game tonight,” said Head Coach Ted Garber. “No game is perfect, but we were able to complete our plays. We played better off ball offensively and defensively and that put us over the edge.”
The Machine takes on the Denver Outlaws next week on June 22 at 6 p.m. MST and 8 p.m. EST. The Machine is back home on June 29 to face the Boston Cannons for the first time this season for “SchoLAXstic Education Night” where fans can get $5 meal deals.