In front of a rain-drenched and cold crowd, the Ohio Machine faced another tough battle on Thursday night against the Hamilton Nationals on at their home at Selby Stadium. After a strong, fast-paced first half, the Machine lost their second half edge, causing the Nationals to break away and win the game, 16-9.
The first quarter began with an early Hamilton lead, with two goals from Kevin Crowley and one goal from Joe Walters. The Machine put an end to the streak and stuck by the Nationals to put one goal on the scoreboard from Kiel Matisz. The Machine defense fought hard to stop any more goals in the first quarter, ending the first 15 minutes with a 3-1 Hamilton lead.
Hamilton opened up the second quarter strong with another goal from Crowley and a two-point goal from MJ Kiekebelt. Joe Cummings responded with back-to-back goals to tighten up the gap as the Machine trailed by only three goals halfway through the quarter. The offense pushed to make sure Hamilton did not break away with the lead.
“In the first half we played hard; we made simple plays, won our groundballs and had possession,” said Cummings. “In the second half, we couldn’t pull through. We have to build on our offense, improve and start playing smart.”
Steele Stanwick added one more goal to the scoreboard, pulling the Machine closer to tying the game. Cummings found the net one more time with seconds remaining before the end of the quarter, giving him a hat-trick before the second half. Cummings’ last second goal before the half earned him the Fireball Whiskey Shot of the Game. The Nationals went into halftime only leading 7-6.
Hamilton dominated the second half of the game after an 8-0 scoring streak throughout the third and fourth quarters. Machine rookie Marcus Holman was able to put some points on the board during the third quarter scoring a 2-point goal for his first MLL career goal and the first 2-point goal for the Machine.
“It feels good to be out there because I think we had a good run,” said Marcus Holman on his first MLL career game. “The game’s a little bit faster, but it’s practically the same game because it’s simple. Hopefully we keep building off the chemistry we had tonight and use that to make some opportunities.”
Kyle Hartzell was able to put away one more goal for the Machine, but it was not enough to catch up the large Nationals lead. Hamilton walked away with a 16-9 victory for their fourth win of the season.
“If we didn’t have bad luck then we would have no luck,” said Head Coach Ted Garber. “We thought we’d be in good shape for tonight’s game but we weren’t recognizing the quick moving pace of the game fast enough.”
The Machine takes on the Rochester Rattlers next Sunday, June 2 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York at 5 p.m. and face the Rattlers again for the next home game on Saturday, June 15 at Selby Stadium at 7:30 p.m. for Ohio Lacrosse Night.