Machine Defend the Fortress 5/12/18

Photo Credit: MLL

Tom Coyne, Beat Writer Dallas Rattlers
Lacrosse is Awesome

On May 12th the Ohio Machine (2-1) played host to the Dallas Rattlers (3-2) at the Fortress Obetz in Ohio. The Fortress is one of the MLL’s premier venues, built and billed as a lacrosse-only stadium. There were 2,068 Machine fans in attendance to watch their 2017 MLL Champions go head to head against the newest team in the league.  The Machine, the league’s defending champs going into this game had only played two games with a bye next week while on the other hand the Rattlers, the league’s newest franchise, had already played in four games, this being their fifth.  Dallas has been playing surprisingly well in their inaugural year, but unfortunately for the Rattlers, the defending champs would defend the Fortress.  Final score:  Ohio 14—Dallas 12.

The scoring started quickly just 16 seconds into the game off the opening faceoff as Mike Manley (1G) with his defensive long-pole, charged over the midfield line on a middie-back situation heading towards the cage where Jack Near (1A) fed him a perfect pass. Manley performed a classic roll dodge complete with a change of hands and fired a lefty shot past Machine goalkeeper Kyle Bernlohr (19 saves) scoring his first goal of the season. The Ratz Drew Simoneau would win the next face-off (15-28) and Jack Curran (2G, 1A) would shoot twice point blank but was denied by Bernlohr on both attempts.  But as usual Ty Thompson (2G) was in the right place at the right time, gathering up the rebound and put it past Bernlohr at just over the minute mark of the first putting the Ratz up 2-0.  Ohio would finally get on the board at the 10:10 mark with an unassisted goal by Patrick Harbeson (2G). At the 12:33 the Ratz Cody Radziewicz (1G) would score down low on a fast break, assist Brian Kormondy (1G, 2A) who threaded the needle from up top. The quarter would end that way 3-1 Rattlers ahead.

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In a sign of things to come, Pat Young (1G) would score off of a split-dodge from up top unassisted and under a minute into the second quarter, 3-2 Rattlers still ahead. Curran (2G) would score with the assist coming from Near, the former Notre Dame captain at the 3:58 mark.   The next goal would be the most bizarre of the game, coming at the 11:09 mark on a power-play.  Ryan McNamara (two-2ptG, 1A) scored on what looked to be an errant pass to Thompson in front of the crease. It apparently was never touched by Thompson and bounced past the frustrated Bernlohr.  The goal was credited for two points after a successful challenge from first-year Head Coach Bill Warder.  Rattlers led 6-2.

The defending champs were champs last year for good reason.  Two of them being League MVP Tom Schreiber (1G, 3A); and Championship Game MVP Marcus Holman (3G).  Schreiber would find Holman in traffic with a pass that Holman would turn and burn past net-minder John Galloway (22 saves) at the 11:58 mark. This was a harbinger of things to come. Holman would score twice more in the next 90 seconds–unassisted at 12:47; and off an assist from Jake Bernhardt (2A) at the 13:28 mark. The Rattlers would get on the board again with just .08 seconds on the clock with Curran scoring off an assist from Tim Harder (1A), his first point of the season and as a Dallas Rattler. At halftime, the Rattlers still held the lead 7-5.

With less than a minute having ticked off in third, the Sheen’s Ryan Ambler (2G) would score as he was falling with a one-handed no angle shot 7-6 now. A minute later Harbeson would score on another falling shot after going coast to coast on a clear, running past multiple Rattlers he shot as he was about to do a face-plant leading to the first tie of the game 7-7.  At the 5:51 mark Schreiber, a native of Long Island, would put Ohio ahead for the first time 7-8, and they would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game.   Outscoring Dallas in the third 7-2 the quarter ended 9-12 Ohio ahead.

The Rattlers never gave up, almost coming back but it was too little too late.  The scoring barrage in the third wore down them down, both physically and mentally.  Final Score:  Machine 14—Rattlers 12. Ohio.

Perhaps fatigue played a role in the Rattlers loss coupled with Ned Crotty missing the game while coaching for Duke; and having star attackman Jordan Wolf leave the game in the first quarter due to an injury suffered while taking a diving shot.  The third quarter comeback for the Machine took its toll.  The Rattlers may have run out of steam this being their fifth game in four weeks; while the Machine were fine-tuned and rested, only having played three games in four weeks.

Player of the game goes to Marcus Holman (3G); with Kenny Massa making his MLL debut, playing a key role winning 13-28 face-offs most of them in the second half running a close second.

Dallas fans are looking for their second victory at home and the team will be donning pink gear in support of cancer awareness.

Tom Coyne, Beat Writer Dallas Rattlers
Lacrosse is Awesome