On the heels of a record-setting 18-13 win over Rochester last weekend at Selby Stadium, a game in which Ohio set club records in goals (18) and points (27), the Machine will be riding high when it rolls into Boston for this Saturday’s showdown against the Cannons at Harvard Stadium.
The trick will be duplicating the last performance so it can leave on a high note, too.
“We’re on this continuous search for balance, trying to make sure we’re complementing each other in every aspect … on offense, defense, special teams,” Ohio head coach Bear Davis said. “I think last weekend, especially the second half, probably showed, or at least scratched, the most potential that we’ve had yet, as far as finding that balance.”
Down early, the Machine, boosted by attackman Marcus Holman and midfielder Peter Baum, used a 10-3 run to take control of things. Balance certainly wasn’t an issue as Holman and Baum each finished with a team-record five goals, Attackman Steele Stanwick set a club record with six assists and attackman Logan Schuss chipped in four goals for the second straight week.
“A great part about this group is, I don’t think any of them really care who scores the goal,” Davis said. “They know everyone’s capable of scoring goals.”
Boston, meanwhile, will be hungry for a win after last weekend’s slim 16-15 setback at the hands of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Cannons owned an 11-7 lead at the half, but scuffled a bit down the stretch.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Boston head coach John Tucker said. “I think all the teams are very good, and we haven’t had our fair share of luck in some of the one-goal games. We have won one, against an awesome Ohio Machine team that we play this week. So, it’s going to be tough.”
The Machine lost to Boston 17-16 two weeks ago, but has a pretty good idea of what it needs to do in order to get away with a positive result in the rematch: play hard, but don’t change much.
“They’ve got everything head to toe, so for us it’s just a matter of maybe taking a couple of matchups,” Davis said. “We’re talking about a one-goal game and there’s not a whole lot that you’re going to have to change. It’s just maybe play a little harder, get another ground ball. It’s those little details that you’ve got to find an area to get one more possession, get one more shot, one more goal.”
Both teams enter the contest, which is slated for 8 p.m., with identical 3-4 records. The showdown will be broadcast live on the MLL Network. Boston leads the all-time series 4-1, but is just 1-1 against Ohio on at home.