7/26/10 12:00 PM
By: Dan Kopf
The Chicago Machine come into week 11 with one thing on their minds, win and they’re in. Chicago’s playoff lives are on the line this week as they face off against the (4-7) Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Machine are currently tied with Bayhawks for the last spot in Championship Weekend presented by Warrior.
Chicago midfielder Bill McGlone knows that this week’s game is a must win. “It’s a playoff game, they already started. I’m definitely coming into this game with a chip on my shoulder,” McGlone said. “If we win we’re going to get Chicago to the playoffs for the first time in history and we’re coming in focused and confident.”
Due to the Bayhawks’ 17-14 loss to the Machine in May their road to Championship Weekend is much more difficult. The Bayhawks have to win and defeat Chicago by a margin of four goals or more in order to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Machine will have to start playing more consistently if they want to head to Annapolis. The Machine held a 10-7 lead over the Denver Outlaws before allowing eight goals in the fourth quarter. Midfielder Anthony Kelly knows the key to playing more consistently is to start playing smarter. “We need to stop making stupid errors, and small mental mistakes,” Kelly said.
Chicago was also hurt by the lack of their starting attack unit which was in Manchester, England. McGlone felt the negative impact the absence of his teammates made. “It changed the whole dynamic of the team. Missing three of the best attackman in the game hurts,” McGlone said. “We had to put Chris Rotelli (a midfielder) down on attack. We had some guys playing roles that they didn’t naturally play, even though we ended up adjusting pretty well.”
This week Chicago welcomes back their attack unit consisting of the Leveille brothers, Mike and Kevin, and rookie Ned Crotty. Matt Striebel and D.J. Driscoll also return to the team after leading Team USA to a gold medal.
The return of their top two scorers will help the Machine get past Bayhawks’ goalie Chris Garrity who has had a magnificent year for Chesapeake. Garrity leads the league in saves with 148 through ten games.
Chicago will also have to watch out for Chesapeake midfielder Kyle Dixon who leads the MLL in two point goals with nine. The Machine have allowed four two-point goals over their last two games.
Watch this Saturday as the Chicago Machine’s playoff fate is decided as they face off against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com. Also follow all the action and join in a chat with MLL fans in our Live Blog and Chat presented by Warrior beginning 15 minutes before faceoff.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com