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The Machine Fall Short in First Ever MLL Game

March 19, 2016
Midfielder Jim Connolly’s first career hat-trick was not enough to fuel the Ohio Machine (0-1) over the Chesapeake Bayhawks (2-0).  The Bayhawks’ used a 12-2 second half run to win 23-11. 

The Bayhawks’ scored the game’s first two goals but Machine midfielder Matt Casey scored the Machine’s first ever goal in franchise history to cut Chesapeake’s lead to one.  The Machine took its first ever lead with 5:53 left in the first quarter when midfielder Matt Witko scored his first goal of the season. 

Chesapeake seized the lead when Bayhawks’ midfielder Kyle Dixon broke the league’s record for career two-pointers, surpassing Roy Colseys record of 33 two-point goals.  Dixon added two more  two-point   goals in the second half to become the eighth player in MLL history to score three  two-point  goals in a game.  Dixon’s historic effort gave him 10 points (4G 3 2pt 3A) for the evening. 

The Bayhawks’ began to pull ahead in the second quarter until midfielder Brett Garber scored a  two-point  goal before half time.  Going into half time, the Machine only trailed the Bayhawks by two goals, 11-9. 

Ohio was unable to keep up with the Bayhawks’ offense in the second half, getting out scored 12-2. 

Despite the tough loss Head Coach Ted Garber saw some positives in the team’s first ever defeat.  “We played good team lacrosse,” said Garber.  “When we had the ball we were sharing it and were unselfish and that’s a good sign.  Even when we were behind, we tried to get the ball to the open man and work together as a team.”

The team’s unselfish play led to five different Machine players scoring goals.  Along with Casey, Connolly, Garber and Witko, veteran attackman Chazz Woodson scored twice including an acrobatic goal in the first half. 

Machine goalie Stefan Schroder had a busy day in his first MLL start - tallying nine saves in 45 minutes.  Goalie Johnny Rodriguez also saw action in the net.  In his first MLL game, Rodriguez made three saves in only 15 minutes of action. 

In the loss the team picked up 27 ground balls.  Coach Garber hopes to improve that area for next week’s game.  “We have to get more of the possessions in order to win the games coming up,” said Garber.  “We really got clocked on the groundball situation for whatever reason.”

For the Bayhawks, midfielders Ben Hunt and Steven Brooks had four goals apiece.  Goalies T.C DiBartolo and Joey Kemp split time in the cage, combining for 16 saves. 

The Machine will return to action next week when they travel to Charlotte to face fellow expansion team the Charlotte Hounds.  The game begins at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN 3 and will be rebroadcasted on Sports Time Ohio at 11:30 p.m.