(April, 22, 2017) – The Ohio Machine are now 1-0 to start 2017, after beating the Atlanta Blaze for the first time in franchise history, 10-9 Saturday at Fifth Third Stadium. The game was a back-and-forth battle as the scored remained tied through the majority of play. But the veteran defense would be the leaders for Ohio as they held Atlanta’s offense to just nine goals. It was MLL veteran midfielders Jake Bernhardt and Peter Baum that provided the Ohio Machines’ continuous offensive momentum, with Bernhardt scoring a hat trick and the game-winner.
On the Scoresheet
Ohio rookie Mike Rooney tallied his first MLL career goal and then added two more for his first hat trick of the year, while midfielder Jake Bernhardt would also score three goals including the first tally on the board and the game winner. Greg Puskuldjian won 13-of-22 faceoffs and picked up three groundballs, with Matt McMahon and Steven Waldeck picking up three as well. MLL veteran Scott Rodgers made 14 saves in the Ohio cage. MLL Rookie Patrick Kelly and midfielder Peter Baum would each pick up two goals for Ohio.
Next Up – Charlotte Hounds
The Ohio Machine will travel to Charlotte with a game against the Hounds at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Ohio will have their home opener in the very first lacrosse specific stadium, Fortress Obetz, on May 6 at 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.
Quoting Head Coach Bear Davis
“Our defense was incredible. They stepped up and made plays you expect veterans to make. Even though, it was back-and-forth game throughout, we field like coming in the fourth it was all about us. We settled down and played much cleaner in the box and the Sheen chemistry was back tonight, and it's great to see these guys get the W.”
In the First Half
The teams traded late goals, with the Ohio Machine’s Jake Bernhardt scoring at 1:29 and Atlanta tallying the 2pt for the Blaze at 1:20. Atlanta then went on to score one more in the first at 0:54 to take the 3-1 lead after 15 minutes.
Bernhardt would tally the scoreboard first in the second quarter with a goal at 14:03 assisted by Michael Rooney for a 3-2 game. Rooney would come in hot for Ohio scoring the first Major League Lacrosse goal of his career at 10:44 assisted by Mark Cockerton to make the score 3-3. Atlanta tallied at 5:25 for the 4-3 advantage. Patrick Kelly would also score the first MLL goal of his career at 4:27 to make the score tied 4-4. Atlanta would score the finally tally of the half at 12:41 to give the Blaze the 5-4 advantage.
In the Third Quarter
The Ohio Machine would score first in the third with Peter Baum registering his first tally of the year at 13:13 to make the score tied 5-5. Ohio would continue their offensive momentum with Rooney tallying his second of the game at 11:03 assisted by Mark Cockerton to give Ohio the lead 6-5. Atlanta scored at 6:17 to make the game tied 6-6. Kelly tallied at 7:24 assisted by Kevin Cunningham for his second of the game and second of his career for the 7-6 Ohio advantage.
In the Fourth Quarter
Atlanta would score at 14:12 to make the score tied 7-7. Baum would snag a tally for Ohio at 11:01 to put the Machine back on top, 8-7. Atlanta tallied at 10:08 to tie the score once again 8-8. Rooney would come in clutch for the Machine at 7:48 to score his third of the game and of his career for the 9-8 advantage. Atlanta would tally for the last time at 5:35 to tie the score 9-9. Bernhardt scored for Ohio at 4:33 for the game winner. Ohio would win the game 10-9 for their first victory against the Atlanta Blaze and the first of 2017.
Shots and Saves
The Ohio Machine outshot the Blaze 25-22, in the game. Rodgers had 14 saves for the Machine, with only nine goals against to start the season. He now has a 0.64 save percentage to start out 2017.
Faceoffs and Groundballs
Puskuldjian won 13-of-22 faceoffs in the game to lead Ohio to victory. He had three groundballs, along with Waldeck and McMahon.
Ohio Machine won the groundball battle 20-19. Rodgers racked up the most with four.
Noting the Machine
The Ohio Machine beat Atlanta for the first time in franchise history.
This is only the second time the Ohio Machine have won their home opener as a franchise.
Bernhardt scored the first tally and the game winner in his hat trick performance.
Ohio rookie, Mike Rooney scored his first three MLL of his career in his very first MLL game
Ohio rookie, Patrick Kelly also saw his very first goals of his MLL career, notching two.
The faceless defense held Atlanta’s powerful offense to just nine goals
Rodgers led the goalies with 14 saves and only nine goals against for a 0.64 save percentage.