Week 3 in Baltimore had it’s fair share of big moments. We had an OT winner. We saw the debut and the “I’ve arrived” moment of the 1st overall college draft pick. We also saw the champs fall for the first time in 672 days to a team that was previously winless. Week 3 in the PLL most certainly did no disappoint and the results left the standings (and tie-breaking goalie differential) murkier than when the weekend began. Buckled up friends. We are in for a wild ride the rest of the season.
Game 1: Rambo scores another game winner as Whips edge Atlas 12-11 in OT
The weekend started off with a bang as Atlas took the reigning champs to overtime on Friday night. This one was close throughout, with the largest goal differential in the contest being a 3 goal lead for the Atlas at half. This lead vanished in after a big third quarter for the Whips. The goalies turned this one into a war of attrition; Jack Concannon (16 Sv, 69%) and Kyle Bernlohr (11 Sv, 52%) were instrumental in keeping the score differential within reach for their respective teams. Rookie Jake Carraway (2 G, 1 2G, 1 A) continued his impressive start to the season for the Atlas in the loss, including this authoritative 2-bomb:
The Whipsnakes tied it up thanks to a four-goal third quarter push and took the lead after scoring the first two goals of the fourth quarter off the sticks of John Haus and Chris Aslanian. The Atlas battled back with their own pair of goals by Eric Law with four minutes left and Mark Cockerton with 45 seconds left to send the game into overtime:
Following a defensive stand by the Atlas in overtime, the Whips’ Jay Carlson made a herculean effort on the ride, getting the ball back for his squad. Once they retained possession, Matt Rambo netted the dagger, getting topside for a goal similar to the game-winner of the 2019 championship.
The PLT Win Probability Engine showed Atlas fighting back for a slight advantage going into overtime, but a simple mistake gave the slight edge to the Whipsnakes who immediately capitalized.
PLL Betting Breakdown: Those who picked the Atlas to cover could breathe a sigh of relief when Atlas forced overtime. Over bettors can blame the outstanding goalie performances for their losses this week.
Game 2: Chaos get first win on the season with 11-9 victory over Redwoods
TD Ierlan (77 % FO) showed his worth yet again for the Redwoods and Ryder Garnsey (2 G), taking injured Ryan Lee’s place at attack, had an impressive showing. Otherwise, it was an underwhelming performance from the Redwoods, who’ve now lost two straight following a loss to the Atlas in Week 2. The offense was not generating looks from dodges, off ball movement was lacking, turnovers were aplenty, and the defense only generated 4 CTs in total.
The Chaos offense took advantage of a slow day for the Redwoods. Seven players had at least two points, lead by Jake Froccaro (4 A). Chris Cloutier ( 1 G, 1A) and Kyle Jackson (1 G, 1 A) posted highlight reel goals which landed Jackson the 7 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
Mark Glicini used his body to stop a last minute two-point attempt by a Woods offense in the final seconds of the game, sealing the victory for the Chaos.
PLL Betting Breakdown: Redwoods’ faithful are lamenting their moneyline picks and habitual over bettors were on the edge of their seats as game time ran out, but ultimately ended with their face in their palms.
Game 3: Archers stay hot in dominant 17-8 victory over Waterdogs
The Archers’ offense has been one of the most impressive units in the league this season thus far, and that did not change in week three. From precision passing to goalie goals at the buzzer, the Archers’ offensive showing Saturday night at Homewood had a little bit of everything. That included yet another ridiculous goal from Tom Schreiber (2 G, 2 A).
A six-goal first quarter set the tone for the Archers offensively, but defensively they held the Waterdogs shooters in check, limiting them to alternating between one and three goals per quarter the entire game.
As for the Archers’ attack, balance and unselfish play was the name of the game as seven different players scored and five players picked up at least three points (including Adam Ghitelman, yes THAT Adam Ghitelman). In addition to three points (1 2G, 1 A), Ghitelman made nine saves for a 52% save percentage. Ghitelman’s assist came when Scott Ratliff launched a two-pointer in the second quarter. The two-bomb made Ratliff only the second LSM to ever record 100 career points, joining Brodie Merrill.
Archers’ are now the PLL’s lone undefeated team, but will have a date with a potentially depleted and angry Whipsnakes squad on July 4. Fireworks are confirmed for this one.
PLL Betting Breakdown: The Archers came out of the weekend as the only team to cover the spread in all of their games, while the Waterdogs fall to 2-2 against the spread so far this season.
Game 4: Atlas defeat Cannons 18-17 behind big day from Jeff Teat
In a game that felt like the defenses barely existed, Atlas managed to outscore a very hot Cannons teams for the victory behind a huge day by rookie Jeff Teat ( 7 G, 2 A). In our recap of Week 2, we highlighted that Michael Rexrode (4 CT, 1 GB) would need to have a big weekend as he was likely to guard Rambo and Lyle Thompson during week 3. While Rambo managed to score 5 point in the Atlas’ OT loss on Friday, Rexrode found success in defensive fundamentals again Thompson (2 A). The Rutgers alum used his body, fighting for good position and did not let Thompson get the separation he wanted. Leading the offensive charge for the Atlas was the long-awaited Teat. After just one weekend, Teat justified his selection as the 1st pick in the college draft and even got the attention of Sports Illustrated:
Brent Adams (1 G, 2 A) and Romar Dennis (2 G), both has strong showings for the Bulls as well. Both of Dennis’ goals showcased his strengths: a strong split dodge down the alley and a shot that is tough to stop.
Trevor Baptiste (69 %, 8 GB) contended against both Drew Simoneau and Tommy Kelly in a strategic move by the Cannons to wear Baptiste down at the stripe to no avail. The Atlas LSM tandem of Craig Chick (1 CT, 7 GB, 1 G) and Kyle Pless (1 GB) has proven effective for Ben Rubeor’s new-look squad.
Despite the loss, the Cannons still managed to finish with 17 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Five players had at least three points: Andrew Kew (3 G, 2 A), Ryan Drenner (4 G), Connor Buczek (3 G, 1 A), Paul Rabil (2 G, 1 2G), and Stephen Rehfuss (2 G, 1 A). Rabil continues to make anyone calling for his retirement silly and is close to retaking his spot at the top of the all-time points leaderboard, currently held by John Grant Jr.
Rabil and Rehfuss have already proven troublesome for defensive midfielders, but if Buczek can continue Sunday’s performance moving forward, it could be a deadly midfield unit going forward. Their defense struggled as they did against the Whipsnakes in Week 2, but Nick Marrocco (18 Sv, 50 %) managed to help the Cannons contend against the Atlas’ 51 Shots, 36 of which were on goal. Even against this onslaught, the Cannons had the chance to tie the game in the final seconds with a last attempt from Thompson. Rexrode took Thompson to the ground, jarring the ball loose, and time ran out leading to calls for a flag from the Cannons’ bench. No call came and time expired, giving the Atlas the victory.
The win probability shows how closely the Atlas escaped the Cannons at the end of this game.
PLL Betting Breakdown: Over bettors were sitting comfortably before the end of the third quarter and Atlas moneyline bettors were able to rejoice!
Game 5: Chrome deliver Whipsnakes first loss in 672 days, winning 16-6
It was bound to happen at some point, someone was going to beat the Whips and stop their winning streak. It just so happened that it was Tim Soudan’s Chrome team that not only became the first team to beat the Whips in 672 days, but they also became the first team to hold the Whipsnakes offense to single digits in the three year history of the club.
The Whips were without Zed Williams for the entirety of the game and lost Matt Rambo early, leaving some pretty giant holes in the juggernaut’s armor. Chris Aslanian attempted to pick up some of the slack left behind, but his three goals on the afternoon wasn’t a of match for the outing that the Chrome put together.
After surrendering the first goal of the afternoon the Chrome ticked off the next six goals led by a pair from Colin Heacock (3 G, 1 2G) to take a 6-1 lead after the first quarter. The Chrome limited the defending champs to a single goal again in the second quarter, taking a 8-2 lead into halftime. Spoiler alert, the Whipsnakes never got within seven goals the rest of the way.
John Galloway put on a vintage performance making 21 saves, stopping 77%. of the shots he faced. Heacock and rookie Jackson Morrill lead the men of Chrome with four goals each on the afternoon. Morrill added another pair of assists to cap off a six point outing in the homecoming for the Baltimore native. All together, seven different players scored in the victory for the Chrome, while only three different Whips scored; Aslanian, Brad Smith (1 G), and rookie Connor Kirst (2 G).
PLL Betting Breakdown: If you took the Chrome at +305 on the moneyline, take a bow!
Yet, if you picked the favorites this week, then we feel for you…
Epoch Moments of the Weekend
Not only did Adam Ghitelman have a nice day in cage for the Archers, he also had a big day on OFFENSE. After being on the receiving end of a goalie goal during his MLL days, Ghitelman had been waiting for his moment to find the back of the cage himself.
Two Epoch moments from the Archers, you say? They are just that good. The Bunkbed Boys showed out in full force in front of Marcus Holman’s hometown crowd, including this apple from his buddy Will Manny. I mean, really. How can you defend this?
It’s safe to say that the first overall pick was worth the wait. After a lower scoring performance in his debut, Jeff Teat torched the Cannons for 9 points. He was absolutely dominant and will be a catalyst for the Bulls success the remainder of the season.
Did this Epoch moment happen on the lacrosse field? No. Did it show how athletic professional lacrosse players are? Yes. Rob Pannell could be seen on America Ninja Warrior Sunday night dawning his Woods’ gear. While he didn’t make it through many obstacles, this was another great way for the sport to draw the attention of non-lacrosse fans.
Death, taxes and Mark Glicini having no care for bodily harm. I know we already highlighted this last second block by Glicini, but we think it’s worth re-watching. This guy has ZERO fear. There’s a reason we call blocked shots Glicks.
Looking ahead to Week 4
Only one undefeated team remains heading into Week 4. The 3-0 Archers will face their toughest foe yet in the Whipsnakes on Long Island—and they’ll do so on short rest. Not to be overlooked though is their first matchup of the weekend against the Chrome—the team that just knocked off the previously undefeated defending champions.
The Cannons and Chaos both find themselves sitting at 1-3 after four games. Their matchup could have major playoff implications as both sit at the bottom of the standings along with Chrome. Likewise, the Redwoods and Waterdogs will also look for a win after falling to .500 this past weekend. Last year the Dogs fell to the Woods 11-9 in the playoffs, but both teams feature very different rosters this time around.
Finally the Chrome will face a red hot Atlas team that appears to be a contender. Can Chrome carry their momentum from Week 3 into their doubleheader on Long Island, or will they revert back to the Chrome we saw in their first two contests?