7/5/10 8:00 AM
By: Dan Kopf
For the second consecutive week the (4-4) Chicago Machine will face off against the (3-5) Long Island Lizards. Last week the Lizards defeated the Machine 13-12 in overtime for their second overtime win over Chicago this season.
After two heartbreaking losses to the Lizards the Machine will come into this Saturday’s game with extra motivation. “We definitely have a chip on our shoulder,” Chicago goalie Bud Petit said. “We are really happy that we are playing them right away. We lost both games on our own doing and we know that we are the better team.”
The Machine will have to contain the Lizards' Zach Greer who scored the game winning goal in overtime. Greer has totaled eight points over his last two games against Chicago. The Machine will also look for an answer to Long Island’s goalie Drew Adams. Adams has been spectacular over his last two games against Chicago, only allowing 23 goals while netting 28 saves.
Long Island is also led by an aggressive defense which has earned a fearsome reputation throughout the league. Petit knows aggressive teams can be tough to matchup against, but also knows the advantages. “That type of defense can lead to easy goals and high percentage opportunities,” Petit said. “Our ability to communicate on offense will be a huge factor.”
On offense the Machine will continue to rely on their attack unit which has been on fire since the addition of rookie phenom Ned Crotty. Along with the Leveille brothers, Chicago’s attack has netted 19 points in the season series against the Lizards.
Chicago’s offense will be backed up by Petit who knows the Machine will have to work on their fundamentals in order to earn their first victory in franchise history against Long Island. “We have to improve on the basics,” Petit said. “We broke down on defense a few times and on offense and we dropped a few passes we shouldn’t have. We played really well but we have to take advantage of opportunities.”
Petit also places some of the blame on his own shoulders, “I really have to focus and communicate better. Last time out I didn’t really tell our defense how to communicate and didn’t control the defense as best as I could have,” Petit said.
Petit will have to play at the top of his game because the team’s defensive leader and member of Team USA, D.J Driscoll, will still be recovering from injury. In his absence Greg Bice has stepped up to take Driscoll’s spot and has played very well for Coach O’Hara, who believes that Bice alongside Driscoll have been the teams MVP’s. Machine defender Kyle Guadagnoloalso received praise from Coach O’Hara who called Guadagnolo the team’s “unsung hero and our steadiest defender.”
The Machine’s defense will carry the team into Columbus, Ohio, this Saturday as they host the Long Island Lizards at 7 p.m. This game can be seen live on ESPN3.com.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com
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|07/10/2010||Live Blog and Chat: Lizards vs Machine|