MLL: Machine Road Show Starts with a Bang
from staff reports
CARY, N.C. -- The owner-less Machine, formerly of Chicago, opened up a season-long road campaign with a 16-9 victory Sunday over the defending Major League Lacrosse champion Toronto Nationals at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Chazz Woodson’s unassisted goal gave the Machine an early
1-0 lead. John Grant Jr. then notched Toronto’s first
goal of the game two minutes later to tie it up. The Nationals then
added a 2-pointer by Josh Sims to take the lead 3-2 before the
Machine responded with four unanswered goals by Brett Garber on a
powerplay, Matt Striebel, and by Terry Kimener twice, to retake the
lead 5-2. Sims later answered again for the Nationals, trailing the
Machine 5-3 after the first quarter.
Brett Garber, in his first game with the Machine, opened the second quarter by catching Toronto’s defense sleeping and snuck through two defenders for an easy chip-in goal to extend the lead 6-3. Jordan Hall then put Toronto back on track by grabbing a behind-the-back pass from Gavin Prout to trail 6-4. The Machine then added two consecutive goals by Kevin Leveille and Bill McGlone before Toronto netted a goal by Hall to close the gap by three goals for the Nationals. McGlone then closed the second quarter with a blazing shot to extend the lead 9-6 Machine at the half.
As both teams opted for their backup goalies in the second half, the Machine opened up with consecutive goals, once by Kevin Leveille after fooling Toronto’s goaltender Brett Queener with a low-high shot and later to losing the battle to Greg Bice’s laser shot toward the top right corner to extend Chicago’s lead by four. Brodie Merrill returned the favor for the Nationals with a behind the goal pass by Craig Point for a chip-in goal before Mike Leveille scored his first goal of the game to extend Chicago’s lead by five. Grant hugged the crease for a righthanded goal to close out the third quarter to bring Toronto within four.
The final quarter of the game was opened with Grant’s swim dodge through two Machine defenders for his third and final goal of the game. For the remaninder of the game, the Nationals struggled with the ball and were unable to make a scoring run to get back into contention. Instead they saw the Machine score three consecutive goals by Striebel, Mike Leveille, and Kimener with a two-pointer to finish the game with a 16-9 victory for the Chicago Machine.
Bud Light MVP Matt Striebel finished with two goals and commented, “We have a strong attack this year and the middies have improved for our first win. The last couple years, we’ve been up and downs and this year there’s a new mentality to the team and with the addition of Coach O’Hara and the improvement to our defense, I think we’ll have a better run this year being on top this season.”
Machine goalies Bud Petit and Mike Gabel posted a combined effort with six saves on 14 shots. Terry Kimener lead the team with three goals, one being a two-pointer while Striebel, Kevin and Mike Leveille, Garber, and McGlone netted two goals each. Bice and Woodson contributed with a goal each while Brian Clayton lead the team in assists with two. Face-Off specialist, Anthony Kelly won 12 draws out of 24 tries for a .500 percentage.
The Machine heads to Boston next weekend to take on the Cannons at Harvard Stadium on Saturday, May 22 at 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on Universal Sports and on ESPN3.com.
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