Last year, the Machine’s season was something to forget as the team went 2-12 overall last season. The season also included losing six straight games before recording their first win over the Rochester Rattlers. Despite their poor record there were some bright spots for the rebuilding franchise. First, they came on strong during the second half of the season as they lost three games by three goals and two others by one goal apiece. If the ball bounces their way in a couple of those games, we may be talking about a totally different team.
Furthermore, they may have the best young attack line in the MLL. Logan Schuss had a great case to be the MLL Rookie of the Year as he led the team with 35 points despite playing in only 11 games last year. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Marcus Holman had 20 points in 10 games and joins fellow ACC attackman and Team USA honoree Steele Stanwick on the roster. Together all three ranked in the top four in points on the team.
As the team headed into the offseason, there was nothing for this team to do but improve as they had seemingly hit rock bottom. The Machine were real busy in what could be classified as one of the craziest offseasons, not only in lacrosse history, but all of sports as well. Here is a summary of all the moves they made this summer:
Trade: Acquired defenseman Brian Farrell from the Boston Cannons in exchange for defenseman Diogo Godoi and the Machine’s third round pick in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
Trade: Acquired faceoff man Matt Dolente and SSDM Kevin Cooper as well as the 13th overall pick in the 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft, in a trade with the New York Lizards. In return, the Lizards receive Machine defenseman Kyle Hartzell.
Trade: Acquired midfielder Stephen Peyser through a trade with the New York Lizards. In return for Peyser, the Lizards receive midfielder John Austin and the Machine’s second round pick (13th overall) in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. THEN Ohio trades Peyser to Chespeake for Chesapeake’s first round pick in the 2015 Supplemental Draft and second round pick in the 2015 Collegiate Draft.
2014 Ohio Machine Supplemental Draft:
Round 1, No. 1 – Bill McGlone, M, Maryland
Round 2, No. 9 – Dana Wilber, D, Drexel
Round 3, No. 17 – Ryan Nizolek, D, Virginia
Round 4, No. 19 – Max Van Bourgondien, M, Cornell
Round 5, No. 25 – Bobby Eilers, M, Syrcause
Round 6, No. 41 – Bobby Dattilo, FO, Hobart
Round 7, No. 49 – Stefan Schroder, G, Ohio State
Round 8, No. 57 – Cody Solaja, D, Hofstra
Round 9, No 65 – Connor English, A, Cornell
Round 10, No. 73 – Kevin Mack M, Ohio State
Round 11, No. 81 – Kyle Feeney, G, Bucknell
Round 12, No. 89 – Bobby Tyler, M, Massachusetts
2014 Ohio Machine Collegiate Draft:
Round 1, No. 1 – Tom Schreiber, M, Princeton
Round 2, No. 13 – Rob Guida, M, Johns Hopkins
Round 4, No. 25 – Jackson Place, D, Bucknell
Round 4, No. 27 – Scott Loy, M, Syracuse
Round 5, No. 39 – Derek Maltz, A, Syracuse
Round 6, No. 41 – Steve O’Hara, D, Notre Dame
Round 7, No. 49 – RG Keenan, M, UNC
Round 8, No. 57 – Spencer Schnell, M, Ohio Wesleyan
Marcus Holman, Erik Krum, Logan Schuss, Steele Stanwick
The attack unit is the strongest on the team as Holman and Stanwick were named to the final Team USA roster which will compete in Denver in the FIL Championships. With a full year under his belt, Holman should improve upon a 20 point season. Despite his size, he has a blistering shot from the outside and isn’t afraid to take it to rack either.
Meanwhile, Stanwick had 32 points last season for the Machine and worked nicely with Holman and Schuss. Stanwick is the quarterback of this offense and now has more weapons at his disposal. While we are talking about weapons, Logan Schuss emerged into one of the league’s best attackmen last season. In only 11 games he recorded 35 points for the Machine and was a goal scoring machine. He should challenge for the league lead in goals this season as well.
Finally, the team adds Salisbury star Erik Krum from the LXM Pro Tour. At Sailisbury he reocrded 192 points, 148 of which found the back of the net. Stanwick now has plenty of goal scorers to feed the ball to in Holman, Krum and Schuss.
Dominique Alexander, Peter Baum, Jake Bernhardt, Chase Carraro, Kyle Harrison, Jim Connolly, Jordan Houtby, Kevin Cooper, Bobby Dattilo, Matt Dolente, Greg Downing, Connor Martin, Kiel Matisz, Bill McGlone, Eric O’Brien
The team really gets a boost at the midfield. They may have one of the most improved units in the league as they had essentially no one last year who was a threat from up top. Now they add 2012 No. 1 overall pick Peter Baum as well as LXM Pro Tour teammate Kyle Harrison. Harrison is more versatile then Baum but both are huge additions.
Matt Dolente will improve the team at the faceoff X and Denver graduate Chase Carraro should spell Dolente when needed. Meanwhile, Dominique Alexander, Jake Bernhardt and Kevin Cooper can all help on defensive midfield.
Lastly, the team gets a possible stud in Bill McGlone. McGlone starred at Maryland before coming to the MLL where he has played eight years for various teams. He may not be the No. 1 midfielder on the team but he will provide a good veteran presence on the team’s second line. He recorded 17 or more points in seven of his eight seasons in the league.
Brian Farrell, Greg Bice, Chris Lightner, Max Schmidt, Chad Wiedmaier, Dana Wilber
Defensively, the team is a little light. Greg Bice leads the team down low and they essentially traded Brian Farrell for Kyle Hartzell. Farrell might be a little better in between the lines but that could be pushing it. Chad Wiedamaier is a solid defenseman out of Princeton but hasn’t really distinguished himself in the league yet.
It will be interesting to see who steps up here on defense down low. Will they stay with Wilber and Wiedamaier or maybe take a look at the guys they drafted such as Bucknell’s Jackson Place and Notre Dame’s Stephen O’ Hara? Place is currently second in the nation in takeaways while O’Hara is considered by many as a stout defender.
Brian Phipps, Scott Rodgers, Stefan Schroder
Phipps and Rodgers make a solid combo in goal but nothing to exactly brag about. Phipps edges out Rodgers here, however, the Machine weren’t shy about seeing what Rodgers had as they gave him five starts in 2013. He was slightly worse than Phipps as both only won one game. Phipps saved nearly 53 percent of the shots he saw in nine games while Rodgers had a save percentage below .500.
It will be interesting to see how the improved talent on offense will help this defense, seeing as they shouldn’t have to see as many possessions.
Defenseman Matt Cafarelli, Attackman James Delaney, Midfielder Kevin Mack, Defenseman Matt Silvia
Midfielder Marshall Burkhart and Defenseman Ryan Nizolek