Machine attackman Steele Stanwick capped a 4-0 game-ending run with back-to-back tallies as Ohio nailed down a thrilling 17-15 come-from-behind win over host Rochester Saturday evening at Sahlen’s Stadium.
The win was just a pivotal as it was pulse pounding, as it moved the Machine into fourth place all by itself in the Major League Lacrosse Standings. Among the league’s top tier with just one game left to play, Ohio now controls it’s playoff destiny. A win over the visiting Florida Launch Saturday at Selby Stadium would punch the team’s first-ever ticket to the postseason.
Things actually didn’t look all that great for the Machine in the game’s late stages, but Stanwick and company, down 15-13 with just more than six minutes on the clock, were next to unstoppable down the stretch.
Machine (7-6) attackman Marcus Holman pulled his team within one with his club-record sixth goal of the game a little more than midway through the fourth quarter before midfielder Kevin Cooper beat the Rattlers (9-4) keeper just 34 seconds later to even things up. That’s when Stanwick took over, scoring each of the game’s final two goals to secure his second straight hat trick and, more importantly, the win.
After the teams traded a pair of goals each to open the scoring summary, Holman gave Ohio a 3-2 lead with his second goal of the game. After a Rochester equalizer, Stanwick beat the first quarter buzzer to give his team a 4-3 advantage heading into the second.
Holman completed his early hat trick with a goal to open the second quarter before midfielder Kyle Harrison added a tally of his own to balloon the margin to 6-3. Midfielder Peter Baum then answered a Rattlers goal with the first two-point tally of his young career while Stanwick and Holman added to their stellar stat lines with another goal apiece to give the Machine a 10-7 edge heading into halftime.
Rochester used a big third quarter to swing the momentum in its favor, outscoring Ohio 6-2 in the period before working its way to a 15-13 lead halfway through the final frame, but couldn’t rebound from the late Machine surge.
Holman’s six goals led the way while Stanwick added four and Cooper two to boost the Machine. Stanwick, Holman, Baum and Cooper each had two assists in the win while goalie Brian Phipps stopped 18 of the 33 shots he saw.