The Ohio Machine fell in its first-ever Major League Lacrosse playoff game after surrendering an early advantage to the Rochester Rattlers Saturday evening.
After the Machine was either leading or tied with Rochester for the game’s first 53 minutes, the Rattlers scored five unanswered fourth-quarter goals to pull away for the 15-11 win.
Rochester attackmen Kevin Leveille, Jordan Wolf and Miles Thompson each had two points in the final-quarter push.
Machine attackman Marcus Holman opened the first-quarter scoring to start a four-goal run for Ohio before the Rattlers got on the board. After a pair of Rochester goals, the Machine offense got going once again with tallies from midfielder Kyle Harrison and attackman Logan Schuss. The Rattlers scored once more before the quarter ended, but Ohio kept the lead, 6-3.
Rochester’s Jordan MacIntosh beat the shot clock to start the second quarter before Wolf brought the Rattlers within one 18 seconds later. Machine midfielder Peter Baum answered as an Ohio powerplay ticked down, extending the lead to two. Each team added a goal before the half ended to give the Machine an 8-6 lead heading into the break.
After Baum polished off his hat trick to start the third quarter, MLL’s all-time leading goal scorer Leveille scored his second to bring Rochester back within two. Machine attackman Steele Stanwick made Ohio the first to double digits with his first goal of the game, making it a 10-7 advantage for the visitors. After a flurry of goals in a matter of seconds, Machine goalie Brian Phipps made a diving save in the crease to hold Ohio’s 11-10 lead heading into the fourth.
Leveille scored his fifth goal of the game to open the fourth quarter, tying things for the first time since it was 0-0. The Rattlers took their first lead of the game with 6:45 to play off a Justin Turri goal. Rookies Wolf and Thompson made it five straight for Rochester, giving the Rattlers a three-goal lead with less than six minutes remaining. Leveille added one more to make it 15-11 as John Galloway and the Rochester defense continued to stand strong.
That score held through the final whistle as the Rattlers secured a berth in the MLL Championship.
Baum’s three goals led the Machine while Schuss and Holman each finished with two. Schuss led Ohio with five total points after tallying three assists in the game.
Phipps finished with 11 saves against 26 shots on goal and picked up one ground ball. Face-off men Bobby Dattilo and Eric O’Brien combined to go 13-of-30 at the midfield X while Dattilo led the team with seven ground balls.
Leveille led all players with six goals and Wolf finished with three goals and two assists. Galloway made a total of 16 saves against 27 Machine shots on goal. Rochester face-off man John Ortolani went 16-of-29 on face-offs while Joel White led all players with 11 ground balls in the game.
Rochester will take on the Denver Outlaws, a 14-13 winner over the New York Lizards in Saturday’s other semifinal, in the 2014 MLL Championship Game. That showcase is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.