By Natalie Johnson | 5/17/14 11:43 PM
The New York Lizards used a four-goal game from Tommy Palasek and a huge third quarter to spoil the Ohio Machine’s home opener and move to .500 on the season after an 11-9 victory on Saturday night.
Ohio got off to a quick start, something they had struggled with in previous weeks. During the Machine’s first possession, Peter Baum started the scoring with a goal just inside the 2-point arc, and after a quick New York turnover, Baum added a second point. Less than six minutes in, rookie Tom Schreiber recorded his second professional goal to make the game 3-0 for Ohio.
Despite the difficult start, the Lizards didn’t let the game get away from them. After the opening run by Ohio, goalkeeper Drew Adams seemed to settle in, making several great saves for New York. The Lizards’ offense fought back to tie the game with goals from Jo-Jo Marasco, Max Seibald, and Albert Maione, and then took the lead when Rob Pannell came from behind the net to score.
A shot clock violation by New York in the second quarter led to an impressive offensive sequence from the Machine. After moving the ball around the field, Logan Schuss’ shot sailed above the goal. Luckily for Ohio, their offensive backbone Steele Stanwick was waiting behind the net, and swiftly fed the ball to Schreiber, who was able to tie the game at 4.
Eric O’Brien’s pushing penalty gave New York the man up advantage, and the Lizards quickly capitalized, with Marasco’s second goal of the night. However, Schuss was able to tie the game yet again, and the two teams went into halftime knotted up at 5-5.
The second half began almost exactly like the first, as Ohio scored on their opening possession when Eric O’Brien won the face off and took the ball all the way down to score. The Machine got another quick goal from Kyle Harrison, but after that, New York took control of the game.
Greg Gurenlian’s proven dominance at the X started to pay off for the Lizards, as Ohio suddenly found it difficult to get possession and allowed New York to score four straight goals, including two from Palasek. The Lizards were also able to use smart play behind the net, as they caught the Machine defense and goalkeeper Brian Phipps out of position on more than one occasion.
After that run by New York, the Machine managed to score just once more in the third quarter, as Tom Schreiber utilized his impressive speed and footwork to score his third goal of the night. Palasek added two more goals for the Lizards as New York tried to put the game away.
Despite a third goal from Baum and crucial saves from Phipps, Ohio wasn’t able to sustain much offensively in the final minutes. They were plagued by turnovers, none bigger than the dropped ball on their final possession. Ultimately, New York was able to hold on for an 11-9 win.
Both teams will be off next weekend, but MLL play resumes the following week. Ohio (1-3) will go to Annapolis to play the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Saturday, May 31 at 7:00 PM EST, which can be seen on CBS Sports Network. New York (2-2) will welcome the Boston Cannons to Shuart Stadium on Friday, May 30, at 7:30 PM EST. That game can be seen on ESPN3.
-New York is now 5-0 all time vs. the Ohio Machine.
-The Lizards were 2-for-3 on power play opportunities, while the Machine were 0-for-1. Coming into this game, Ohio had only allowed one power play goal all season.
-Ohio D Max Schmidt played his 29th game in a Machine uniform, setting the team record for games played.
-2014 No. 3 draft pick Joe Fletcher recorded two ground balls for the Lizards in his MLL debut.
-This game featured six former Tewaaraton Award winners, including the last five: Kyle Harrison (2005), Max Seibald (2009), Ned Crotty (2010), Steele Stanwick (2011), Peter Baum (2012), and Rob Pannell (2013). The game also showcased two 2014 finalists, Joe Fletcher and Tom Schreiber.