The Charlotte Hounds move to 3-3 and dominate Ohio Machine in second half.
On Saturday night the Charlotte Hounds reached the .500 mark for the second time this season with a 13-7 win over the Ohio Machine. The loss continues a winless season for Ohio, as the team has struggled to start the 2013 campaign. This was a game that featured the two franchises that made their debut in the MLL last year, and the differences in where the teams are at this point could not be more different.
Charlotte (3-3) has seemingly hit its stride as the team begins 3 straight games at home with a win in a game that they needed if they are to be considered a playoff caliber team. Heading into halftime it seemed like the team was playing on Ohio’s level instead of taking over the contest. It was the 8-2 run in the 3rd quarter was one that really put the game away. “Our guys came out very determined in the second half. You saw that energy in the midfield and that’s what really sparked us,” said Coach Cerino following the team’s 1st home win of 2013.
Ohio (0-6) is a team that really looks lost. Members of the team have really tried to be positive about the start, but it is clear that there are some issues with the Machine. “As we establish our roles, we are really trying to figure out who we are. We don’t really have an identity, yet, so I think if we can do that we will be okay. It’s all about figuring out who we are,” said Steele Stanwick. There really isn’t a more true statement that encompasses the way the Machine have begun this season. If they are to get into the win column, finding an identity has to be at or near the top of the checklist for improving.
Overall, the quality of play was high throughout the game. Ryan Flanagan and Brett Schmidt really did a good job with the duo of Stanwick and Marcus Holman, holding the Machine attackers to only 2 goals between them. While the Machine’s defense struggled in the 2nd half, the play of Chad Wiedmaier on Ryan Young was a sign of the potential of the Ohio stopping power in the future. Young was held scoreless for the 1st time this year. He did manage to get in the scoring sheet with 2 assists, but Wiedmaier did an admirable job trying to limit his opportunities. The Hounds have an offensive unit that is somewhat underrated. They have yet to score in single digits, a mark that only holds true to them and Denver. Eric Lusby has shown that he deserved the praise that he received in the preseason, scoring a game high 5 goals and earning game MVP. Matt Danowski added 3 goals himself, and the offense showed the explosiveness that could see this unit emerge as one of the more elite in the league.
Next weekend Charlotte hosts a struggling Boston team and will try to win another game in which they will be favored in to win. A win against the Cannons would mark the 1sttime Charlotte has been above .500 in franchise history. Ohio will try to rebound from their early season struggles when they host the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday night.