Di Miller, PLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
The No. 3 Seeded Archers LC (5-6) went head to head against the No. 4 Seeded Redwoods LC (6-5) in the first ever playoff game in PLL history. The games are being played at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH and this is the first of three games this weekend. In the first half there were 11 goals scored between the two teams; while in the third quarter there would be a combined 11 goals. The teams would combine for three two-point goals in the third; and Wes Berg, Redwoods midfielder would notch a true hat-trick at the end of the third. Unfortunately for Archers, they would suffer two injuries, the first they’d see Tom Schreiber go out at the end of the first with a dislocated shoulder from a hit by Garrett Epple; and the second off a fluke collision between LSM Jackson Place and LSM Eddy Glazener of Redwoods. With 2:19 left in the game, play stopped and so did the hearts of the fans and players as they watched the medical teams care for Place and eventually take him off the field on a stretcher. From that point on, the Archers hearts were on their teammate and winning the game was the farthest thing from their minds. Up until then both teams were fighting tooth and nail for the win with Redwoods coming out on top in the end. Final Score: Redwoods 16—Archers 12.
Archers would win the opening face-off and be the first to score. Joey Sankey (1g) off the spin dodge from “X” got underneath Sergio Perkovic to get them on the board with 26 seconds off the ticker. They’d continue with two more. Tom Schreiber in traffic would feed the ball to Will Manny (2g, 1a) on the screen with the quick catch and finish at 1:26; and Schreiber would come through on another assist coming from behind the cage with the feed to Marcus Holman (2g, 1a) out in front he found the open lane and fired it past Troutner putting them up 3-0 at 5:59. Kyle Harrison (1g) would stop the run firing it past Ghitelman top corner over his defender to get them on the board at the 6:44 mark. Redwoods would go on a man-up off the Holman holding call at 2:42 but couldn’t capitalize. After several possession changes, Matt Kavanagh (1g) would get the pass from Jules Heningburg at “X” and with a nifty spin move, he’d send the bounce shot through the five-hole on Ghitelman with 31.5 seconds on the clock. With time ticking off the clock, Archers had the ball near midfield when Schreiber took a hit from Garrett Epple sending him off the field for what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder. He would not return. Score at the end of one: Archers 3—Redwoods 2.
Redwoods would tie it up 40 seconds into the second frame. Perkovic moved the ball from behind the cage with a nice pass to Heningburg (2g, 2a) with the slide in front of the cage he’d find the opening to tie it up at three apiece. The tennis match would continue for the remainder of the frame with the teams matching point for point. Ryan Ambler (3g) would notch his first of three with a strong cut into open space and caught the Redwoods defense sleeping and fired it across left to right 4-3 at the 2:21 mark. For six minutes the fans would see the ball go up and down the field with both goal-keepers making great saves. Ryder Garnsey (2g, 3a) would tie it up once more when he somehow found a way to fight through the defense and with a no look shot, found an opening and hit twine with 3:27 remaining in the half. Redwoods would notch another from Heningburg when he slipped in from behind the cage with the backhanded shot on the door step for the go ahead goal 5-4. Archers would notch the final two in the frame. With 1:38 left, Christian Cuccinello (1g) would come from “X”, make a nice spin dodge, jump and slam dunk the ball over the right shoulder of Troutner to tie it up 5-5. Ambler would put another on the board with 46.1 seconds left with a quick stick on the back door off the feed from Scott Ratliff to give them the lead. At the end of the first half Archers led in shots 20-14; and saves 5-4. Redwoods led in turnovers 10-4; and face-offs .615% to .385%. Score at the end of two: Archers 6—Redwoods 5.
The third quarter would see as many goals scored as the first half with Redwoods outscoring Archers 9-5. It took only 53 seconds for the scoring barrage to start and three ties over 10 minutes. Garnsey would come from “X” down low with the submarine shot far side low to tie it up at six apiece. Less than a minute later at the 2:18 mark Ratliff would feed the ball to Manny with the shot left to right putting them up again 7-6. It only took six seconds for Redwoods face-off specialists Greg Gurenlian (1g, 1a) to flip the ball at the face-off dot, scoop the GB, head down field and fire it past Adams in cage to tie it once again at 2:24. Another Archers goal from Ambler sweeping around the cage and whipping it across his body to notch his hat-trick at 3:31 for yet another lead 8-7. That’s when the 2-pt fest started. Sergio Perkovic (1 2ptG) would get it going for Redwoods. They had only hit two 2-point goals all season, this would be their third. With 6:18 left in the frame, Perkovic would head down the field with a full head of steam and fired a bullet about five feet outside the two-point arc straight up the pipe for the lead 9-8. Danny Eipp (1g, 1a) would tie it back up off the bounce shot through the five-hole with 5:36 remaining off the cross field pass from Holman 9-9. That’s when we’d see two consecutive two-point goals one from each side. Brent Adams (1 2ptG) would use his defender as the screen to notch one for Redwoods at 3:35 for the go ahead goal 11-9; and Scott Ratliff would score his first two-point goal of the season firing it far side low on Troutner to tie it again 11-11 only nine seconds later at 3:24. The remainder of the frame was all Redwoods and the Wes Berg (3g) show. He’d notch a true hat-trick in the process. His first he’d come around the horn off the tic-tac-toe with extra step up field, fake left-right-left at 1:56; the second off the face-0ff win from Gurenlian with the catch and low to high finish only eight seconds later at 1:48; and the final at the buzzer with the feed from Garnsey with the quick stick shot with .01 on the ticker. Score at the end of three: Redwoods 14—Archers 11.
The fourth quarter slowed to a snail’s pace with a combined three goals. It took almost five minutes for the scoring to start and it would be Redwoods. John Sexton (1g), LSM for Redwoods would find his way down field and had a nice face dodge on Ambler made the bounce shot just inside the crease for perfect placement five-hole on Adams with 4:49 off the clock giving them a four goal lead 15-11. Holman would get his final goal of the game with the feed from Eipp at the 6:30 mark and that would be it for Archers. Redwoods had found their niche’ while Archers had lost their steam having one of their key players on the sidelines with an injury. Already down a man, the unthinkable happened, a fluke collision near the Archers crease between Jackson Place and Eddy Glazener. Place would go down with a serious neck injury with 2:19 left in the game. As the medical team attended to Place, the Archers squad was more worried about their friend than the win. They had already lost one teammate to an injury and this was too much. When play resumed, they couldn’t keep their composure and Redwoods was able to put one more on the board with 1:39 remaining. Garrett Epple (1g) would top it off taking it down the field to put the final nail in the coffin for the playoff hopes for Archers. Final Score: Redwoods 16—Archers 12.
Archers—Shots 40; SOG 23; Shot% 27.5; GB 28; FO% .428; TO 12; CTO 5
Redwoods—Shots 32; SOG 23; Shot% 43.7; GB 36; FO% .571; TO 21; CTO 5
Goal Keeper Stats:
Archers Adam Ghitelman—Saves 5; GA 5; Sv% .500
Archers Drew Adams—Saves 4; GA 9; Two 2PtGA; Sv% .307
Redwoods Tim Troutner—Saves 12; GA 11; One 2PtGA; Sv% .521
Archers LC (5-6) will play in Round Two of the First Draft Pick Bracket against the loser of Game Three on Saturday September 7 and will face either Chrome LC (2-8) or Atlas LC (5-5) on Saturday September 14, game time 8:00 p.m. EST and the game can be seen on NBCSG.
Redwoods LC (6-5) will play in Round Two of the Championship Bracket and will face the loser of Game One on Saturday September 7 and will face either Chaos LC (7-3) or Whipsnakes LC (6-4) on Saturday September 14, game time 5:00 p.m. EST and the game can be seen on NBCSN.
Di Miller, PLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©