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614Sports: What you snoozed on over the weekend

jimmy lentz

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The Sheen’s 25 Men Put on a Show in Season Premiere   

Nicknamed “the Sheen,” the Ohio Machine is a professional lacrosse team that opened their 2018 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) campaign and sixth-year in the league yesterday afternoon at home under the guidance of head coach and general manager Bear Davis against the New York Lizards.

Prior to face off, the Machine was recognized for winning their first MLL Steinfeld Trophy—the league championship—from last season.

The Sheen play down the road from the Crew SC practice facility in Fortress Obetz, which is the first lacrosse-specific stadium that was built in 2017 with a 6,500-seating capacity. That makes two professional sports teams in Columbus with groundbreaking sport-specific stadiums.

Following a first quarter that began and ended with goals by the Lizards—including a goal with one second left in the quarter—the Machine created permanent separation with eight goals in the second quarter that included a sleek behind-the-back score by #6 Connor Cannizzaro and twelve goals in the second half that cemented a blowout 25-13 Ohio win against New York on a chilly spring day in front of 3,347 fans.

The impressive victory featured a new single-game record for Machine team goals (25), plus a new Machine and MLL single-game record for goals by an individual (11) by the talented and equally humble #1 Marcus Holman.

“Coming out of halftime and getting that one (his sixth of the game), I was like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to keep shooting,’” Holman said. “And then, again, I was open…just trying to mix-up my shot locations so the goalie couldn’t get a read on where I was shooting.”

Earthquake Registered 1 at MAPFRE Stadium

Courtesy of a blast from right back #25 Harrison Afful in the 27th minute from well inside the California visitor’s 18 on the shooter’s right side with an assist by #10 Federico Higuaín, Crew SC took the first lead of the match this past Saturday night against the San Jose Earthquakes in MAPFRE Stadium.

But just one minute before halftime, San Jose’s #9 Danny Hoesen equalized the score with an uncontested header.

Fast-forward to second half Crew SC substitute #13 Mike Grella who remained cool under pressure to cleverly tuck his game-winning goal inside San Jose’s near post by settling a cross from #9 Pedro Santos and carefully dribbling between two Earthquake defenders in the 83rd minute.

The Crew’s 2-1 win was their third home victory during this still early 2018 season.

One thing for certain is that Crew SC head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter needs to keep #28 Niko Hansen on the pitch with quality playing time.

Goals should materialize in the coming weeks if Mr. Hansen continues to put himself in great goal-scoring positions, which has been evident throughout the past couple games.

Columbus Crew SC (14 points) will travel across the country to play the struggling Seattle Sounders (4 points) this Saturday at 4 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. The game will be televised on Spectrum Sports.

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Columbus is a frontrunner to host return of the NHL in proposed plan

Mike Thomas

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With some teams telling players to report for workouts on May 15, the future of the current NHL season is still anything but certain. For now, it seems hockey commissioner Gary Bettman is eyeing a a plan to finish out regular season play by centralizing games at four locations. According to a report from the New York Post, Columbus and the facilities at Nationwide Arena are among the frontrunners being considered to host one of these proposed "quadrants," should the NHL resume play this summer.

Hockey blog thehockeywriters.com offers a deep-dive into the many factors that have put Columbus on the short list of candidates for this modified NHL season, including the abundance of hotels in the area of Nationwide Arena, the more-than-adequate facilities of the arena itself, and the encouragingly low number of Covid cases in Franklin County.

While it's still way, way too early to say whether or not this plan will move forward, it's encouraging nonetheless to see Columbus recognized as a frontrunner for the return of national televised sports. Just don't count on sitting in the stands with 80k of your fellow fans anytime soon.

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Memorial Tourney gets mid-summer date but will fans be allowed?

614Now

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It may be a little early to break out the polo shirt and comfy walking shoes, but the good news is that one the city's most visible sporting events will be held this year after all. The big question remains: will Gov. DeWine allow fans to attend?

Thursday, the PGA Tour announced The Memorial Tournament will play the week of July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and feature an increased field from 120 to 144 players. The invitational’s one-time expanded field size allowance will provide additional playing opportunities for touring professionals in light of the TOUR’s reduced schedule.

“This is an unprecedented time in our world, as well as the world of sports,” said Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “I can’t emphasize enough the message related to doing your part by social distancing and helping our nation and world by slowing this pandemic. But while we all need to come together and be strong, we also need to be understanding and flexible."

Recognizing Governor DeWine’s Ohio Stay at Home order and public gatherings ban guidelines currently in place, the Memorial will proceed with an understanding that its operation may require alterations. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will continue to offer patron badges, enhanced with a special offer that includes honoring original presale badge rates – starting at $185 for a weekly patron badge – and a complimentary $20 merchandise card (limit one per order, per household) redeemable at all on-site golf shops during Tournament week.

The Tournament plans to monitor the State of Ohio COVID-19 regulations and will employ changes relative to patron access if needed. If it is determined that the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will be staged without patrons, a full refund policy will be implemented.

“This has been a couple months we would soon like to forget, but hopefully we can make this a summer to remember," added Nicklaus.

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Goodbye Yellow and Black? Columbus Crew could change name

614now Staff

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With the announcement of the new downtown stadium in the post-"Save the Crew" era, the future of Columbus Crew SC seemed secure.

Now, a report from The Dispatch is once against casting doubt on the club's continued existence—at least in its current form. According to "sources close to the Crew’s front office," management is giving serious thought to changing the team name, colors, and logo by the time the new stadium opens in the summer of 2021.

For commentary on the situation, including a statement from a team spokesperson, read the full rundown at The Dispatch.

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