With the season less than three months away, everything is falling into place for the Ohio Machine, including all of their players being fully committed to play during the 2012 inaugural season. As of Thursday, March 1, all of the Machine players had sign ed their 2012 season contracts and couldn’t be more excited to being playing for the new team. And the way the numbers are laying out, this team will be competitive right out the gate.
23 Four-Year Universities
The team’s roster consists of players from 23 different universities including eight from The Ohio State University. The team also has players from seven different non-division I schools. Attackman Connor Martin played collegiately at Chapman University and is the only player on the roster who played all four years in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
“I am pumped to be a part of this squad. This season is all about coming together as a team and actually embracing the unselfish concept of playing together in a league built around individual performance. I think the bossmen have put together a group of guys who will immediately want to play for each other and I can't imagine anything more enjoyable than that,” said Martin.
Eight MLL All-Stars
The roster features eight MLL All-Stars including Greg Bice (3 times), Anthony Kelly (3 times), Jordan Levine (2 times), Brett Hughes (1 times), Kyle Hartzell (1 time), Brian Phipps (1 time), Chazz Woodson (1 time) and Ray Megill (1 time).
Goalie Brian Phipps was named to his first MLL All-Star game last year after leading the Chesapeake Bayhawks back to the playoffs. Phipps tallied 117 saves and was also named MLL Defensive Player of the Week.
"I am very excited to be a part of the growth of this sport and Major League Lacrosse into the Midwest as we start to get ready for the 2012 inaugural season with the Ohio Machine. It is wonderful to see more teams being added to the league, and looking forward to helping make this team a contender for the championship. We have an extremely talented group of guys that will be dedicated to winning and helping the Machine excel in its first MLL season,” said Phipps.
Six MLL Champions
Attackman Buggs Combs, defenseman Kyle Hartzell, Josh Coveleski and defenseman Ray Megill won the MLL championship with the Chesapeake Bayhawks in 2010. Attackman Ian Dingman was also a part of the Philadelphia team that won the 2007 MLL Championship. Midfielder Jordan Levine won the MLL Championship in 2009 with Toronto.
"I was very excited to see our complete roster after the drafts were over. It is a team made up of unselfish players that know what it takes to play together as a team and win as a team. Individuals win games, whereas teams win championships. Cannot wait to kick this off and head into training camp and get rolling," said Ray Megill.
Three Big-Time MLL Veterans
Defender Greg Bice is entering his eighth season in the MLL, while attackman Chazz Woodson and midfielder Anthony Kelly are beginning their seventh seasons in the League.
“It means a great deal to me that the Machine thought enough about me to take me with the first pick in the supplemental draft, particularly after having been injured and then out of the League for a year. In addition to helping establish a franchise in a new market, I'm excited about reuniting with some of my teammates from LA (Anthony Kelly, Greg Bice and Matt Casey). As that was, without question, one of the most enjoyable lacrosse experiences of my life. The opportunity to play with those guys, and a few others, is 95% of why I chose to accept this opportunity," said Chazz Woodson.
Three MLL Team Captains
Greg Bice and Anthony Kelly have both captained each team they’ve been on since 2008, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Rochester. Andrew Combs led the Chesapeake Bayhawks to their 2010 MLL Championship as captain as well.
One Bud Light Championship Game MVP
Kyle Hartzell won the MVP award after helping lead the Chesapeake Bayhawks to the 2010 MLL Championship win.
“I am very excited to get things rolling with my new teammates and coaches. This is going to be a new experience for me, as well as everyone else on this new expansion team. Lacrosse is growing all over the place, especially in Ohio. I cannot wait to see what our team can do this MLL season. Throughout all the drafts we have picked up a lot of talent that will make our training camp a competitive one. This year I am hoping we can have a successful regular season and make it to the playoffs,” said Hartzell.
One New Balance Sportsman of the Year
Greg Bice has won the New Balance Sportsman of the Year twice during his MLL tenure. He won it with Los Angeles in 2007 and Rochester in 2011.
“People are excited for Ohio Machine to be here in Ohio and it’s going to be a great atmosphere at Selby Stadium,” said Greg Bice.