Do you notice and recognize miracles?
Machine started the weekend against the hometown team, PoNY, and their big-time off season acquisitions, Ben Spielman & Joshua Stevens-Stein. PoNY galloped to an early lead, but two early second half breaks narrowed the gap, before Machine eventually took the lead with meticulous patience from the D line’s offense. The hard cap horn sent the game to universe with Machine on O, but a high stall huck came up short, and PoNY was able to convert for 12-11 victory.
In game two, Machine squared off with Raleigh’s Ring of Fire, and a series of immediate errors and 3-4 pass conversions put Machine in the deepest hole in team history at half. The D-line would get a few second half breaks back, but even that was not nearly enough to close the gap on a 6-15 laugher.
Machine’s offensive struggles would carry into the final game of the day versus Philadelphia Patrol, going down 0-3 to start. A single hold was enough to right the ship, and the offense steadied for the rest of the game (save a centering pass miscue late in the second half). The defense would again show patience on the turn, converting a high clip of opportunities and eventually stretching the lead to 15-11.
On day 2, Machine would face Denver’s Johnny Bravo to advance to quarters. Day 2 also came with more reserves as Pawel Janas and AJ Nelson were both able to attend, and later in the day Alex Evangelides would arrive (unfortunately this was off-set with his Carleton counterpart Sam Kanner having to miss day 2). Both the O and the D were consistent early, leading to a comfortable 2 break lead for the majority of the game. In the second half, defensive pressure dipped, and brother, when the O faltered, the D was not able to step up to the occasion. Late breaks mounted for Bravo, and Machine fell 11-13 on hard cap.
Consolation saw in region rival High Five. The teams traded breaks and leads throughout the game, but High Five was stingy with the disc late in the second half, and made Machine pay for each and every turn. A 13-15 loss sets the stage for what should be a strong regional battle for the Great Lakes later in September (September 22/23 in Aurora, IL).
The final game of the weekend for Machine brought another opportunity to work on core process goals, and saw another match-up with Philadelphia’s Patrol. While Machine did not get in an early hole this time around, Patrol stayed tight, and another light performance by the D-line kept it close through the finish. Fortunately, the O put together a stronger performance, and was able to hold Patrol at bay 14-11.
After games, Machine headed to the house of teammate Michael Pardo. All 25+ guys piled into the sprawling country home and enjoyed a night full of barbecue, drinking, and bonding. (Things obviously escalated into a full on house party). On Labor Day, the team enjoyed a hike into the forest to dip in a secluded reservoir. From there, the boys in five shades of blue ventured into NYC for some sights, pizza, additional flight delays.
Up next, the series.