The Ohio Machine edged out the Boston Cannons, 17-16, at Selby Stadium Saturday in the final regular season game of 2015 to earn the number two seed in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse playoffs.
With the win, the Machine will host the Rochester Rattlers at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Selby Stadium.
After dropping both contests to Boston in 2014, the Machine (9-5) came into the game looking to sweep the Cannons (8-6) after they took a win in Boston on July 11.
In a back-and-forth game that already had a playoff feel, Tom Schreiber and Steele Stanwick gave the Machine the edge with four goals apiece, including a pair down the stretch to give Ohio the win.
With both teams already secure in their playoff fate but with home field advantage on the line, the first half opened a hard-hitting contest. Marcus Holman tied his 2014 league-leading goal tally of 37 with the first goal of the game.
The Machine offense continued to spread the ball in the first quarter as five different players, including Holman, were able to find the back of the net. The Cannons were able to match the Machine only twice, including a two-point goal, to give Ohio the 5-3 advantage at the close of the first quarter.
However, Boston reversed this fate in the second quarter by outscoring the Machine 6-4 to tie the game at nine apiece. Holman fired in two goals in the second quarter to record a hat-trick by halftime.
The third quarter opened with Boston breaking the tie after just two minutes of play in the second half. However, Schreiber made sure this lead was short-lived by scoring goal number 26 of the season. Schreiber has doubled his production from his 2014 rookie campaign and leads the Machine in points so far this season.
Stanwick and Schreiber combined for two more goals to take back the lead for the Machine before Will Manny of the Cannons was quickly able to tie the game back up at 12.
Completing two respective hat-tricks of their own, Stanwick and Jimmy Bitter dropped goals within seconds of each other to bring the Machine lead back to two.
A quick two-point goal from the Cannons would move the game back to a tie with 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
However, the Cannons could not find an answer for Schreiber or Stanwick. The duo dumped in two goals as the final minutes of the fourth quarter ticked down to lead the Machine to victory.
Ohio will host its first-ever playoff game next Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4 p.m. The Machine will take a three-game winning streak into the playoffs where they will face the Rochester Rattlers.
The Machine played at Rochester in the 2014 MLL Semifinals, the team’s only playoff appearance. Rochester advanced to the 2014 MLL Championship game before losing to the eventual champion Denver Outlaws.
Information for this story was provided by the Ohio Machine.