By Ally Annear | 6/7/12 2:00 PM
Watch & Follow: SportsTime Ohio (re-air 6/11 at noon), ESPN3, Live Blog
The Big Picture: The Ohio Machine will host the Denver Outlaws this Saturday at 7 PM for the first time in MLL history. The Machine are coming off of a 1-3 start and a tough 10-20 loss to the Long Island Lizards last weekend.The Outlaws are 3-2 on the season after losing 16-18 to the Bayhawks at home last weekend.
Ohio Machine: The Machine return home this weekend, where they hope to continue a home win-streak and stay out of the bottom of the MLL tables. The Machine are coming off of a devastating loss to the Long Island Lizards, where they struggled to score 10 goals. However, Head Coach Ted Garber is not worried about his team's ability to perform. "We're not in any kind of panic mode," says Garber. "We just want to bring our new guys into the mix and get some momentum going."
Rookie Rob Rotanz is one of the new guys who the Machine expect to be a major contributor this season. "He figures out how to read the defense," says Garber of Rotanz. "And the next thing you know, he has scored a goal." Rotanz had one goal in the loss to the Lizards last weekend, but Garber claims he will be a force to be reckoned with in games to come. Connor Martin contributed 4 goals and Chazz Woodson tallied 2 goals and an assist in a losing effort for the Machine.
Players to Watch: Chazz Woodson is always exciting to watch with his often extremely acrobatic goal scoring. Connor Martin, a.k.a Con Bro Chill, is the team's point leader with 13. Rob Rotanz will be someone to keep your eye on as he gets more familiar with the league. As always, veteran Kyle Hartzell continues to be one of the strongest defenseman in the league.
Denver Outlaws: The Outlaws travel to play the Ohio Machine for the first time in league history. The Outlaws started off the season strong with a 3-0 start that had them tied for first place in the league going into Week 4. They have since lost their last two meetings dropping them into third place. Head Coach Jim Stagnitta believes that once the younger guys have a little more experience, the Outlaws will be more consistent.
Rookie Mark Matthews had a breakout performance with 4 goals and 2 assists in his MLL debut last weekend. "He makes our attack a real strong unit from top to bottom," says Stagnitta about Matthews. "He takes some pressure away from Brendan." Brendan Mundorf tallied 3 goals and 5 assists in a losing effort for the Outlaws.Jordan McBride matched Matthews effort with 4 goals and 2 assists of his own in the Outlaws loss to the Bayhawks.
Players to Watch: Rookie Mark Matthews was named Bud Light Player of the Game as well as Cascade Rookie of the Week. Veteran Brendan Mundorf continues to be a force at attack along with Jeremy Sieverts, the team's leader in points. Jordan McBride has put up consistent performances for the Outlaws and rookie Drew Snider should be someone to look out for as the season progresses.
Next Match-ups: The Machine are at home again next weekend as the look to get redemption against the Long Island Lizards on Saturday, June 16 at 7 PM ET at Selby Stadium. The Outlaws return home to face-off against the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday, June 16 at 9:30 PM ET.