Di Miller, PLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©
On Saturday June 12, 2021 the Whipsnakes LC (2-0) went up against the newest team to the PLL, the Cannons LC (1-2) at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, GA. The ‘Snakes had nine consecutive wins to their name having not lost since August 25, 2019 and wanted number 10. Joe Nardella who’s so far been the hottest face-off guy in the league over the past couple years, was heading into today’s contest with an impressive 73% wins at the draw. But the Cannons had Lyle Thompson who was coming into the game with 6G, 1A. Chris Hogan would make his professional lacrosse debut with the Cannons after having played four years with the New England Patriots and two Super Bowl rings to his name; Brendan Sunday would also make his debut for the Cannons; and Connor Kirst would make his debut for the Whipsnakes. The game would head into OT with the ‘Snakes continuing their streak. Final Score OT: Whipsnakes LC 15—Cannons LC 14.
The Cannons LC Drew Simoneau would win the opening draw but they could not capitalize on their first possession. The Whipsnakes LC unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on their first possession either as both defensive squads were playing strong. Ryan Drenner (3g) would get the Cannons on the board first 2:13 in on the run turning the corner and firing one in 1-0 Cannons. The ‘Snakes would win the next draw but once again were a bit sloppy and turned it over again. Stephen Rehfuss (2g) would come around the cage and fire one in just under the bar to beat Kyle Bernlohr top corner to put the Cannons up by 2-0 at the 3:41 mark. Both Cannons goals came off Whipsnakes turnovers and that would be it for the Cannons for almost 10 minutes. The Whipsnakes would finally get on the board at the 5:01 mark with a little shovel shot between the legs of Nick Marrocco by Connor Kirst (1g) who made his PLL debut (2-1). That would be the last time the Cannons would have the lead in the contest. The ‘Snakes would tie it up off the rebound on a 2pt shot and Jay Carlson (2g) on the doorstep would pick up the garbage, and slam it over a diving Marrocco with 5:32 left in the first (2-2). On the ensuing face-off, Nardella flip tossed it to Zed Williams (6g) for the quick catch and release only four seconds later with 5:28 on the ticker for the go ahead goal 3-2 ‘Snakes and they never looked back. With 2:52 left on the clock, Matt Rambo (1g, 2a) found himself all alone on the crease in tight and went up top far side with a quick catch and finish on the man-up opportunity and the fourth unanswered goal by the ‘Snakes 4-2. Possession would change hand several times in the next two minutes and with nine seconds on the clock, the ‘Snakes tried to clear the ball and Thompson on the midfield line stole the pass, headed to the net, passed to Andrew Kew in front of the cage and he hit the post, Jake Pulver got the rebound for the 2pt shot but sent it high when the clock ran out. Score at the end of one: Whipsnakes 4—Cannons 2.
The ‘Snakes would continue their run into the second quarter with a nice alley dodge on the run by Mike Chanenchuk and he’d fire one in from the 2pt line 35 seconds in giving them a 6-2 lead. The Cannons would finally stop the scoring drought when Paul Rabil (2g, 1a) got the rebound with the one-handed grab through traffic and found the back of the net while falling down 1:22 in 6-3. But the ‘Snakes wouldn’t have it and Rambo found Brad Smith (2g, 1a) on the crease at 2:13 putting them back up by four 7-3. This was the sixth different goal scorer for the ‘Snakes. Unfortunately the Cannons would get hit with another penalty and once again the Whipsnakes would capitalize. Marrocco would make a great save on a shot, but Carlson was out in front and snagged the rebound for another man up goal at 3:37 putting them up by five 8-3. The teams would go almost six minutes without a goal. With a little over two minutes on the clock, the ‘Snakes would get called for a moving pick giving possession back to the Cannons. They got the ball to Thompson and he found his way all alone to the cage, gave Bernlohr a couple of pump fakes high and then dove for the shot down low far side with 2:04 left in the second 8-4 ‘Snakes. That was it for the second. First half stats: Whipsnakes—Shots 7/23; SOG 14; Saves 11; TO 13; FOW 9 Cannons—Shots 4/22; SOG 15; Saves 7; TO 8; FOW 4. Score at the end of two: Whipsnakes 8—Cannons 4.
The Cannons would win the opening face-off in the third and start it off with 21 seconds left on the man up but they could not capitalize. But, 41 seconds in Rabil got his right hand free and with a nice swim dodge, he switched hands, overpowered his defender and hit top right corner 8-5. The Cannons would score their third unanswered goal at 2:17 on a roll dodge from Thompson with a twister shot far corner down low 8-6. But the ‘Snakes would fire back with two identical plays off the face-off. Nardella would team up with Williams at 4:24 and then eight seconds later at 4:32 with Williams scoring the first time off a little rocker step and over the body shot; and the second (hat-trick) a step down shot high to low putting them back up by four 10-6. On the next possession, at 5:58 Drenner came up from behind the cage and came across his body and trickled it past Bernlohr with seven seconds on the shot clock 10-7. Thompson would get his hat-trick goal with 5:42 left when Bryce Young lost his footing and left Thompson wide open and with the step down shot he fired it far side low 10-8; and he’d score back-to-back with 4:34 left. With a couple of roll dodge and spin moves, Thompson fought his way through traffic, went airborne and slam dunked it over the left shoulder of Bernlohr closing the gap to one 10-9. Simoneau had been spectacular at the draw in the third winning 6 of 9 and this was definitely giving the Cannons the momentum they needed. But once again, penalties plagued the Cannons. They’d get hit again with 3:19 left in the third and the ‘Snakes would capitalize. Rambo sent a nice skip pass to Smith in front of the cage and he fired it low right up the middle increasing the gap back to two. Score at the end of three: Whipsnakes 11—Cannons 9.
Twelve minutes to go and the Cannons wanted that win. Drenner would get his hat-trick 1:31 in with a quick catch and release spinning and sending it low past Bernlohr 11-10. But on the next possession, the ‘Snakes sent a quick pass up the field and at 2:41 Williams fired one across his body from up the middle once again putting them up by two 12-10. Five seconds later Nardella and Williams would team up for the third time and Willliams would notch another at the 2:46 mark 13-10. The Cannons would break up the party and notch their first and only 2pt goal on the night. Deemer Class was wide open in the middle of the field and fired it top corner putting them back to within one 4:05 in 13-12. But just like that, Williams notched his sock-trick coming up from behind the cage, he fired it across his body with a nice step down shot at 4:42 and once again the ‘Snakes were up by two 14-12. The Cannons would get the last two in regulation. With 6:03 left, Rehfuss would duck under his defender, turn and shoot low to high 14-13 ‘Snakes; and with 4:67 remaining, Holden Garlent dished to Kew on the crease and he buried it with a simple catch and shoot to tie it up 14-14. Neither team could close it out in the fourth so the game would head to OT. Score at the end of four: Whipsnakes 14—Cannons 14.
It only took one minute into OT and the game was over. John Haus of the Whipsnakes got the pass and on the run, he fired it past Marrocco for the win. Final Score: Whipsnakes 15—Cannons 14.
Whipsnakes: SOG 30; GB 46; TO 20; CTO 5; FOW 17-31; FO% .55%; Saves 21; SV% .62%
Cannons: SOG 34; GB 35; TO 10; CTO 12; FOW 14-31; FO% .53%; Saves 16; SV% .53%
Zed Williams-Whipsnakes: 6g
Lyle Thompson-Cannons: 4g
Ryan Drenner-Cannons: 3g
Chrome LC (0-1) will take on Waterdogs LC (1-1) at 1:00 p.m. EST and the game can be seen on NBCSN or Peacock.
Chaos LC (0-2) will take on Archers LC (1-0) at 3:45 EST and the game can only be seen on Peacock.
Both games will be at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta, GA
Di Miller, PLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©