Major League Lacrosse National Champions Ohio Machine to Host NCAA Championship Finalist Ohio State at Fortress Obetz Stadium
COLUMBUS (September 28, 2017) - Ohio lacrosse fans should mark their calendars for Sunday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m., when Fortress Obetz Stadium will host the inaugural Ohio Lacrosse Fall Classic. This FREE event will showcase the best of the sport played at the highest levels in an all-out Ohio game.
The day will be highlighted by a match-up between the 2017 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Champion, Ohio Machine, and the 2017 NCAA National Finalist, The Ohio State University men's lacrosse team.
“The opportunity for the 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes to be a part of the inaugural Ohio Lacrosse Fall Classic is another piece of fulfilling our dream of showcasing what lacrosse means to Ohio,” head coach of the Ohio Machine Bear Davis said. “To have the chance to host the NCAA Championship Finalist is a great honor, and I am excited at the opportunity to see these teams compete.”
"We're thrilled to be partnering with a championship-winning organization like the Machine to put on an event that will help grow the game of lacrosse in central Ohio," said Ohio State head coach Nick Myers. "Between the success that both the Buckeyes and Machine have enjoyed this year, lacrosse in Ohio has never been stronger. For us, the fall is all about getting better, and having the chance to compete against the MLL champions and use MLL rules will help to accomplish that. I can't thank Bear Davis and the Machine organization enough for including us. This will truly be a win-win for everyone involved."
Gates are scheduled to open to the public at Fortress Obetz, home of the Ohio Machine, at 10 a.m. There will be no admission or parking fees for this event, however, donations for the Ohio Machine Lacrosse Foundation will be accepted at the gate.
The Buckeyes and Machine are both coming off the most successful seasons in their respective histories. Ohio State won a program-record 16 games and advanced to the NCAA Championship game against Big Ten companion Maryland, while the Machine defeated Denver in the MLL title game. Ohio's roster includes two former Buckeyes: midfielder's Dominique Alexander and Tyler Pfister. A total of three players were taken by the Machine in last year’s draft: Pfister, JT Blubaugh and Johnny Pearson.
Additionally, the Ohio Lacrosse Fall Classic will serve as an opportunity for the participating teams to assist in growing the game of lacrosse within the Central Ohio area. Other event highlights include a free youth clinic in conjunction with Columbus Recreation and Parks and players will be available for a meet and greet at approximately 3 p.m.
The games during this event will incorporate experimental NCAA timing rules that closely mimic those of the MLL, including a 60-second shot clock. The two-point arc featured in Major League Lacrosse games will also be utilized during these scrimmages.
LACROSSE IN OHIO HIGHLIGHTS:
Ohio continues to be a “lacrosse hotbed” for many reasons:
The opening of Fortress Obetz in 2017, the home of Ohio Machine, was the first-ever professional lacrosse specific stadium to be built in the country.
The Ohio Machine won the 2017 Major League Lacrosse Championship game, defeating the Denver Outlaws (17-12) inside the Star in Frisco, Texas to become the MLL Champions for the first time in franchise history. Ohio Machine midfielder Tom Schreiber won the MLL MVP awards for the second year in a row and Ohio Machine midfielder, Peter Baum, led the league in points with 52.
The Ohio State Buckeyes went to the NCAA finals for the first time in school history. Head Coach Nick Myers and his elite Buckeyes, fought their way to the top of standings, beating out the best teams in the NCAA to make it all the way to Gillette Stadium to take on the Maryland Terrapins. A record six members of the team were selected in the Major League Lacrosse Draft going into this season. Three Buckeyes – Johnny Pearson, Tyler Pfister and JT Blubaugh – were drafted by the Ohio Machine, the Atlanta Blaze picked Jake Withers first overall, Tom Carey was drafted by the Denver Outlaws and Eric Fannell was a selection of the Rochester Rattlers.
The six Buckeyes selected bring the total Ohio State players drafted in the Major League Lacrosse Draft to 18. The previous high of three players selected was in 2013, when Logan Schuss, Dominique Alexander and Kevin Mack were all drafted.
Cleveland State University instituted a new NCAA Division I program in 2017 featuring Head Coach Dylan Sheridan and assistant coach (Ohio Machine starting goaltender) Kyle Bernlohr.
The Denison Big Red have long been an impressive NCAA Division III program, dominating their competition year after year. But 2017 was especially impressive as the program went to the NCAA Final Four for the third time in school history and the first time since 2001. The Big Red traveled to Salisbury to take on the Sea Gulls. Although the team didn’t come out with the win, head coach Mike Caravana and his team battled against the NCAA Champions losing by one point in the final 10 seconds of action.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association held its first Boys and Girls Lacrosse State Championships this past spring in two divisions with Upper Arlington defeating Massillon Jackson in Girls Division I and Cincinnati Indian Hills winning over Chagrin Falls (13-12) in Girls Division II. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller beat Cleveland St. Ignatius (9-8) in Boys Division I and Cincinnati Mariemont outlasted Toledo St. Francis de Sales in Boys Division II.