With the season starting tomorrow we conclude Evan's team previews by looking at the Ohio Machine and the Rochester Rattlers. Catch all the action this weekend on ESPN3, YouTube and local television (check your listings). And don't forget to watch Evan as he hosts "Inside the MLL" every Thursday, exclusively on CBS Sports network.
2012 Record: 2-12
Key Losses: Brett Hughes (D), retired
Key Additions: Peter Baum (A), drafted #1 overall from Colgate
For a franchise that has yet to truly have a breakout season, the Machine’s 2-12 last place record during their inaugural year in Ohio had them looking to rebuild in the offseason. Should number one overall selection from the 2013 MLL Draft Peter Baum join the squad after his obligations are fulfilled at Colgate, he’ll add another dangerous aspect to the Machine alongside Steele Stanwick, who despite entering the league mid-way through the 2012 season ended up leading all MLL rookies in assists.
Evan says: “I think Ohio’s gotten better. We saw at the end of last season, they kind of seemed to find a rhythm and a chemistry-a youth movement, if you will- and I think that can continue into the season. Getting Peter Baum is great; I think he’ll be able to play midfield, I think he could be able to be there early in the season unless Colgate has a magical ride through the Patriot League tournament and into the NCAA Tournament, I think Baum will be there. The work that he can do at the midfield with Connor Martin, and allow Steele Stanwick to be the quarterback of the offense, the attack with Joe Cummings, it will offer Ohio fans a lot of fun lacrosse to watch. Beyond them, on the offensive end, I just don’t know how deep this team is, and that gives me some pause to know how good they can be long term throughout the season. I still like their defense, and they made a trade for Scott Rodgers, which I think is a great trade. I’m not sold that he’s an every day starter in this league, he’s too up-and-down for me- but Brian Spitz is there, so there is- there’s competition and I think you have two solid goalies if nothing else.”
“I think it’s important that Ohio get off to a strong start, it would help if all their guys are there week one and they can have a strong training camp, because starting in a hole like they did last year will be kind of tough for them to get out of it.”
2012 Record: 7-7
Key Losses: Mike Gable (G)
Key Additions: John Ortolani (M/Faceoff)
After finishing 7-7 (fifth overall) in 2012; Rochester will be looking to keep their team’s relevance high in 2013. In playing two regular season home games in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga., two possible expansion markets for the MLL, Rochester will need to make an impression to increase both their visibility, as well as the league’s. The defense of the Rattlers looks strong, and physical, on paper, but the holes in their offense could pose problems for the Rattlers in the coming months.
Evan says: “You have, in my opinion- when healthy- one of teh top attackmen in the league in Ned Crotty and you have the Leveille brothers back, so those are all good things offensively. Matt Striebel is still getting it done at the midfield, Rob Rotanz is there, Brad Ross when hitting the cage is effective, but I just don’t see enough difference makers on the offensive end or in the midfield to really cause a lot of problems. Rochester’s one of those teams where they play so well defensively. I like their defense as much as any in this league when Galloway’s dialed in. Then he’s got Manly and Wade in front of him, I think they’re really, really physical and strong. But I don’t think there’s enough weapons on this team to put them in a top category. In my mind its Rochester and Ohio, and Charlotte, to a degree sort of in that second and third tier of the league.”