Grant Leads Ohio by Charlotte to MLL Championship Game

BLAINE, MN The top-seeded Ohio Machine on Saturday defeated the No. 4 Charlotte Hounds, 16-10, at National Sports Center Stadium in Minnesota to advance to next weekend's championship game. Ohio will take on the No. 3 seed Denver Outlaws On Saturday, August 20, at 7:00 pm ET.

John Grant Jr. led the Machine's offensive attack with six goals and three assists. He has recorded 19 points (16g, 3a) in his last two games. Marcus Holman added three goals and three assists, while Peter Baum and Steele Stanwick each recorded two goals and one assist.

Ohio jumped out to a 5-2 lead after one quarter behind three points from Steele Stanwick. They entered halftime with an 8-5 advantage. The Machine scored the first four goals of the third quarter, including two from Grant Jr., and never looked back.

The Hounds were led by Joey Sankey, who tallied one goal and added four assists, and rookie Dylan Donahue, who netted four goals. Charlotte finished the season at 8-7.

The championship game will be played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. It marks the third consecutive year that the MLL champions will raise the Steinfeld Trophy in Atlanta, GA.

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BLAINE, MN (Aug. 13, 2016) - The Charlotte Hounds on Saturday night fell to the Ohio Machine 16-10 at National Sports Center Stadium in the Major League Lacrosse semifinals. The Hounds never held a lead in the game and were unable to recover from an 8-5 halftime deficit. John Grant Jr. was named Coca-Cola Player of the Game following a 9-point (6g, 3a) performance. The Hounds were lead by Joey Sankey with five points.

Steele Stanwick opened the scoring four minutes into the game off an assist from Grant Jr. Kevin Crowley answered less than a minute later assisted, by Sankey. Kyle Harrison and Grant Jr. scored back to back to give Ohio an early 3-1 lead. Sankey found Crowley again with three minutes to go in the quarter to cut the deficit to one. But Stanwick and Jake Bernhardt went back to back to give the Machine a 5-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Dylan Donahue cut the lead to 5-3 three minutes into the second quarter, only to be answered by Marcus Holman and Peter Baum 1:27 apart. Hounds goaltender Charlie Cipriano made back-to-back saves on Holman, which lead to a fast-break goal by Ryan Brown with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter. Grant Jr. answered three minutes later with his second goal of the night, making the score 8-4 in favor of Ohio. Donahue notched his second goal of the night with just two seconds remaining in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 8-5 heading into halftime.

Ohio kicked it up a notch to start the second half, scoring four-straight goals in the first four minutes off the sticks of Bernhardt, Holman and Grant Jr. Sankey ended the run halfway though the third quarter, but Grant Jr. fired in his fifth of the game two minutes later. Donahue and Brown traded goals with Grant Jr. to close out the third quarter with Ohio leading 14-8.

Donahue notched his fourth goal of the game to cut the deficit to five with 10:54 to go in the fourth quarter. After some back and forth action, Holman and Baum scored back-to-back to extend Ohio's lead to 16-9. Joe McCallion notched a goal on a diving effort to make the score 16-10 with under two minutes to play, but it wasn't enough for the Hounds.

Cipriano finished with 32 saves on 48 shots while Ohio goalkeeper Scott Rodgers stopped 46 of 56 shots.

The Hounds finish the season at 8-7, while Ohio (9-6) will move on to face the Denver Outlaws in the Major League Lacrosse Championship Game on Aug. at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA. The Outlaws topped the New York Lizards 20-17 in the day's first semifinal game.


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