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Top 10 Machine Moments of 2012

December 26, 2012
When the Ohio Machine arrived to Selby Stadium on July 14th, prior to its game against the Hamilton Nationals, many of its players were exhausted.  Before reaching the stadium the team had spent its night on a bus traveling from Hamilton, Ontario to Delaware, Ohio to play its second straight game against the Nationals. The trip from Canada was arduous, but the strain of the long bus trip was wiped out by the players’ euphoria from winning their second game of the season. 

The team’s win was not only an important victory for the young franchise, but was also the first win for seven of the team’s players as members of the Machine.  One of these players was midfielder and face-off specialist Eric O’Brien. 

O’Brien was on the sideline for the Machine’s first win on May 19th when the team defeated the Rochester Rattlers 16-10.  The team’s game on July 13th was not only O’Brien’s first win of his MLL career, but also featured his first career goal.  

With less than a minute to go in the first half O’Brien won the face-off and sprinted towards the goal to net his first ever tally.  O’Brien followed up his goal in the third quarter with another unassisted goal. 

For O’Brien, scoring his first career goal and being a part of the Machine’s second win was an important moment in his young career.  “I’ve had some opportunities and some well-placed shots, but finally breaking the seal and scoring gave me confidence,” said O’Brien.  “It was also great to be a part of one of the first franchise wins.”

O’Brien’s second goal of the day tied the game up at 10 in the middle of the third quarter.  The Nationals seized the lead a minute later, but Machine midfielder Kiel Matisz and attackman Jim Connolly scored back-to-back goals to secure the Machine’s second win of the year.   

Ohio’s win did not move them up in the standings, but it was still an important victory for the team.  “We’d been very close to another win, but hadn’t been able to get it done,” said rookie attackman Steele Stanwick.  “To finally get the win was an awesome feeling.” 

Winning in Hamilton showed Stanwick how hard it was to win on the pro-level.  “I learned that winning gets harder as you go up the ranks,” said Stanwick.  “My rookie year was humbling.  It’s so hard to get one win, but it proved to be something that we could build on.”

Despite going winless the rest of the season the Machine continued to improve each week and capped off their season against the Boston Cannons with perhaps their most memorable performance of the year. 

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