By JARROD ULREY
October 8th, 2017
PHOTO BY JOE MAIORANA
OBETZ, Ohio – With the excitement from their memorable seasons still reverberating, the Ohio Machine played host to Ohio State on Sunday at Fortress Obetz just south of Columbus.
A steady rain didn’t take the fun away from the Buckeyes as they won 12-10 over a Machine team with several new players in key roles.
Ohio State, which was the NCAA runner-up while Ohio captured the MLL championship over the summer, also got a chance to compete with a 60-second shot clock, which is an experimental rule allowed by the NCAA this fall.
That, too, provided a rush for a Buckeyes team already known for playing with a fast pace.
“I actually really enjoyed it,” Buckeyes freshman midfielder Omari DeBerry said. “We get to run and gun a lot. We just have to play a little bit faster and have to get it up and down the field better. You don’t get to do as much of spinning the ball around.”
The game also used a two-point shot from behind the yellow line that is employed in MLL games, and Ohio State took advantage of it early.
Freshman midfielder Jackson Reid scored his team’s first three goals, including a two-pointer with three seconds left in the opening period.
“That was cool,” Reid said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know it was there. I was just at the right spot at the right time. I’m not a fan of it right now, but it was cool to use it for sure.”
Reid led the Buckeyes’ offense with four goals including the two-pointer, but the Machine also had a two-point goal that got it back to within striking distance later in the game.
The Buckeyes made it 11-6 on a goal by Reid with 11 minutes, 35 seconds left, but the Machine made it 11-7 on a goal by Cory Kahoun with 5:05 to go.
Then with 4:33 remaining, the Machine's Johnny Pearson scored a two-point goal to make it 11-9.
Ohio State answered with 3:38 remaining on a goal by junior attackman Jack Jasinski to seal the win.
“[The two-pointer is] not in my range, but it makes a big difference,” DeBerry said. “It’s a very exciting play.”
“It was good to get our guys together in offseason,” Machine coach Bear Davis said. “Our goal is to portray a positive image of Ohio lacrosse. It was two championship-caliber teams, and there were a lot of positives out of this. I think they honestly play a decent fast-paced style anyway, so I thought they did a great job adjusting to the rules.”
The Buckeyes made it 5-1 on a goal by DeBerry with 14:17 to go in the second quarter and 6-1 just 53 seconds later on a goal by Nick Musci in transition.
The Machine scored the final three goals of the first half, with two coming from Kahoun and one from Pearson that came from just inside the two-point line.
Ohio State retook the momentum in the second half with consecutive goals by Colin Chell, Noah Best and DeBerry during the first seven minutes of the third quarter and led 10-6 heading into the fourth.
“The biggest thing for us was coming back home and bringing the championship home and being able to partner with a college team – to bring those two teams together and get a really competitive game,” Ohio defender Steven Waldeck said. “We were missing a lot of our offensive guys, so it takes a while to get our guys to jell. We felt they were getting into their offensive sets later. They can take their time with no shot clock, but ideally you want to give your offense 45 seconds with your full personnel on the field.”
The Buckeyes practiced with a shot clock throughout the week, but competing with it in a game situation is something coach Nick Myers acknowledges is an adjustment.
“[The shot clock] is something we’ve got to look at,” Myers said. “I’m one that believes a shot clock could really clean up some of the rules in terms of how hard it is to officiate our game right now, and if you can find the right balance with the shot clock, I do think it could be a good thing for men’s lacrosse.
“[A] 60[-second clock] is quick," Myers continued. "If we found that right number somewhere between 75 and 90 [seconds], I think the two-point goal would have to come along with it. It’s something we’re going to look at this fall. It’s exciting that everyone is starting to use it. [The shot clock] really eliminates a lot of that sub game because that takes 30 to 40 seconds of possession time. You’ve got to be really clean in the box. You’ve got to look for those quick clearing opportunities. Otherwise, you’re only working with 20 seconds.”