Chicago Machine Week 5 Preview
By: Dan Kopf
Last week the Chicago Machine escaped Toronto with a narrow victory over the Toronto Nationals thanks to a two-point goal by midfielder Brett Garber with no time left on the clock to secure the win. This week they head to Albany, New York in search of their fourth win of the season. Their opponent will be the Long Island Lizards
The Lizards are 1-4 on the season after suffering a loss on the road to the Denver Outlaws. In that game Long Island was led by midfielder Chris Fiore who tallied five points in defeat.
The Lizards are also led by former Duke standout and attackman Matt Danowski. Danowski, the 2007 Tewaaraton Award Winner, will be facing his former teammate and this year’s Tewaaraton winner Ned Crotty. Crotty was selected by the Machine with the first overall pick in this year’s MLL draft and according to General Manager Scott Hiller, Crotty will see plenty of playing time this Saturday. “He knows how to win and is a pure distributer. He’s going to fit in right away in our system and will definitely be on the field in Albany,” Hiller said.
The Machine also added midfielder Josh Sims and goalie Doc Schneider on a draft day trade with Toronto. Garber believes that the Machine’s new found depth on offense gives them an advantage. “On the offensive end no one really cares whose getting the credit,” Garber said. “We all know we can score and make the team successful and I think that really goes a long way when no one cares about the individual credit and instead cares more about winning the game and playing together.”
The Machine will need the extra firepower in order to get past Long Island’s goalie Drew Adams. Adams is currently fourth in the league in goals against average, allowing 12 goals a game. He has however given up seven two pointers which is the most in the league. Given past experience Garber knows that playing against Adams will be a challenge. “It’s going to be fun playing against their goalie [Drew Adams], who I played against all through college,” Garber said. “He’s playing for his second year this year and we had some great battles when I played against him at UMass.” Adams played collegiately at Penn State.
Besides boasting a strong goalie the Lizards are also one of the most physical teams the Machine will face all year. “Long Island is a very intense team and they’re very aggressive especially on the defensive end,” Garber said. “They’re very physical, and we expect them to come out and play to win and give us their best effort.”
Garber also knows that the Machine cannot let the Lizards physical play get into their heads. “You can’t really worry about getting hit or getting hurt. You have to play at full speed and be able to take that physical part of the game because it is part of it,” Garber said. “Every team in this game is physical but you know that they [the Lizards] do come after you pretty hard.”
The Machine will try and take advantage of the Lizards physical play. Chicago is tied for the MLL lead with eight man-up goals this season. By contrast they have only allowed two man-up goals all season.
With a win Chicago would improve to 4-1 on the season, marking the first time in franchise history that the team has won more than three games in a season.
The Lizards and Machine will face off at John Fallon Field in Albany this Saturday at 7p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.com.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend
presented by Warrior
, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com