ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Led by rookie midfielder Rob Rotanz, the Rochester Rattlers remained alive in the race for a berth in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior by posting a 14-13 victory over the Ohio Machine at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night.
With the victory, the Rattlers moved into a tie with the defending MLL champion Boston Cannons for fourth place in the MLL standings. Both teams have an identical 7-5 record.
The Rattlers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker from midfielder Matt Striebel. After attackman Chazz Woodson trimmed the margin to 3-1, Rochester used back-to-back goals from midfielder Jordan MacIntosh and attackman Kevin Leveille to increase its advantage to 5-1 with 56 seconds remaining in the period.
The teams traded goals twice in the second quarter, giving Rochester a 7-3 advantage at the intermission.
After trading goals three times to open the second half, the Machine narrowed the margin to 10-8 with back-to-back markers from Woodson and attackman Connor Martin before Rotanz scored his third goal of the game, an unassisted marker with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Just over two minutes into the fourth quarter, Woodson cut the Ohio deficit to 11-9 when he scored his fifth goal of the game past goalkeeper John Galloway. However, the Rattlers extended their advantage to 14-9 with a pair of goals, including a two-point marker by Striebel, with 9:48 left.
Trailing by a five-point margin, the Machine began its comeback with 8:37 remaining when midfielder Billy Eisenreich scored an unassisted marker. Martin narrowed the gap to 14-12 when he fired a two-point goal past Galloway before midfielder Matt Casey followed with an unassisted goal with 1:59 left to play in regulation.
But, the Rattlers held off Ohio to earn the victory.
While Rotanz earned Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors with his three-goal effort, Striebel contributed a pair of two-point goals with two assists. MacIntosh added three goals with an assist for the Rattlers, who were outshot by a slim 33-32 margin.
Woodson led Ohio in a losing effort by scoring five goals with an assist while Martin tallied three goals, including a two-point marker, with an assist.