Eck Dominates, Cannons Storm Past Machine
from press release
BOSTON - Midfielder Chris Eck won 24 of 32 face-offs and recorded a game-high 13 ground balls as the defending Major League Lacrosse champion Boston Cannons (8-5) remained in the hunt for a postseason berth with a 19-13 victory over the Ohio Machine (2-11) in front of 9,056 fans at Harvard Stadium on Saturday night.
Led by Eck, the Cannons remained in a tie for third place in the MLL standings with the Long Island Lizards after the Lizards lost at Chesapeake by a 13-6 margin on Saturday.
The Machine jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first four minutes of the opening quarter before attackman Kevin Buchanan narrowed the margin to 3-1 with an unassisted goal with 9:17 remaining in the period.
Midfielder Dan Groot answered for the Machine with 5:57 left in the first quarter, regaining the Machine's three-point advantage. However, the Cannons countered by scoring three of the final four goals in the first quarter, including a pair of markers from midfielder J.J. Morrissey, to trim the deficit to 5-4.
Attackman Connor Martin increased the Machine's lead to 6-4 just over a minute into the second quarter by converting a pass from Groot. But, the Cannons used a pair of goals, including a two-point goal from midfielder Paul Rabil, to take a 7-6 lead with 12:11 left in the first half.
Rookie attackman Steele Stanwick tied the game at 7-7 with just under nine minutes in the first half by scoring off an assist from defenseman Kyle Hartzell. However, the Cannons countered with a five-point run, including a pair of goals from attackman Matt Poskay, to take a 12-7 advantage.
Attackman Chazz Woodson scored an unassisted goal with 1:14 remaining in the first half, cutting the Machine's deficit to 12-8 at the intermission.
A pair of goals from midfielder Jim Connolly to begin the second half narrowed the margin to 12-10 before the Cannons erupted for five unanswered goals from a commanding 17-10 advantage with 12:57 left in the fourth quarter. Buchanan scored twice during the run while attackman Ryan Boyle scored a goal with an assist.
After rookie attackman Joe Cummings scored with 10:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Rabil added a pair of unassisted goals to give Boston a 19-11 lead. Midfielder Max Schmidt ended the game with a two-point goal as time expired, narrowing the deficit to 19-13.
While Eck earned Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors for his efforts, Rabil scored three goals, including a two-point marker, with three assists. With his seven-point effort against the Machine, Rabil upped his MLL-leading point total to 68 points, which is tied for third in MLL single-season history.
Meanwhile, Boyle added a goal with five assists for the Cannons, who outshot the Machine by a 56-40 margin.
Connolly led Ohio in a losing effort with three goals while Martin and Cummings each scored twice.
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