By Gary Budzak
Today’s Ohio Machine game at Shelby Stadium has implications, not just for the playoffs, but also for the growth of the game and sustainability.
At noon, six youth girls lacrosse teams from across Ohio will take part in the inaugural Team Esteem Tournament presented by Donatos.
“The growth of lacrosse is fifty-fifty between boys and girls, and there’s so much more opportunity for boys’ tournaments, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a girls’ tournament,” Machine spokesman Noah Sharfman told The Gazette. “This is our first go at it, and we’re hoping to make it an annual thing. Whether the name sticks or not, the important thing is to give girls the opportunity to compete against each other.”
Following the tournament, the Cincy Queens and Cap City post-collegiate women’s club teams will play an exhibition game.
The Machine will then play the Charlotte Hounds at 7 p.m. Both teams have 4-6 records and are a game out of the fourth playoff spot, but the Machine trounced the Hounds on opening day.
Fans can make a day of it by going to the tournament, or gates open at 5 p.m.
The Machine will attempt a zero-waste day, with the help of Big Green Head, Friction Metals, Ohio’s By-Product Synergy Group and Price Farms.
“Zero-waste is when 90 percent of the waste is diverted from either the landfill or its variation,” said Kristen Pendrey, sustainability consultant and tournament organizer. “Our goal is for 90 percent of the waste to either be recycled or composting. This is part of a larger effort to incorporate more girls into the sport of lacrosse. We thought being sustainable was part of the effort to involve the whole community, too.”
For more information, visit www.theohiomachine.com.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.