Two Undefeated Teams Remain After PLL Week 3 on Long Island

PHOTO COURTESY OF PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE


Two undefeated teams remain after three weeks of the Premier Lacrosse League season. One has been the class of the league through the first three years of its existence. The other is the surprise story of 2022.

The Whipsnakes continued their historic domination of the Atlas, moving to 3-0 for a fourth straight season by besting the formerly undefeated team 12-9 in Hempstead, New York. The Whips pulled ahead thanks to a seven-point third quarter that featured two-point goals from Connor Kirst and Mike Chanenchuk.

It marked the most complete game yet for the Whipsnakes, who have been winning despite not playing to their full potential just yet.

“We just kind of worked on ourselves all week and worked on ourselves in the locker room,” Whipsnakes attackman Matt Rambo said. “We didn’t really talk about what they were doing offensively. We talked about us, how we needed to move the ball more, switching some guys, bringing me up top and having some longer dodges from our middies. We just played faster, and that was the key for our success.”

The Atlas held a 4-2 lead in the second quarter before the Whipsnakes went on a six-point run. Justin Guterding led the Whips with four points, while Chanenchuk had three and four others notched a pair. Kyle Bernlohr made 14 saves, as the defense did a stellar job shutting down the Atlas’ big guns. Jeff Teat was held to one point.

“[Chris] Gray, Teat and [Bryan] Costabile are really good at finding people after they make their initial dodges,” Whipsnakes coach Jim Stagnitta said. “By us being able to win or stay equal on a lot of those matchups, it didn’t allow those guys off-ball to be open for them to find them.”

Meanwhile, the Chrome have already surpassed their win total from the 2021 season after a 17-14 victory against the Waterdogs. The Chrome, who have handed the keys to rookies Logan Wisnauskas and Brendan Nichtern, handled the Waterdogs by turning a 10-6 deficit into a 14-11 lead with the final six goals of the contest.

“We talk a lot about intensity level, and I think a lot of their runs started with mistakes that we made, whether it’s not picking up ground balls, making bad decisions on the offensive end,” Chrome coach Tim Soudan said. “We talked about them and said just flush it, play hard and have some fun and play some offense, and it worked out and we got some guys to step up. And some of the younger guys really stepped up.”

Nichtern scored four goals in addition to dishing out a pair of assists, while Wisnauskas and Justin Anderson each had five points. Nichtern secured the eventual game-winning goal with four minutes and 51 seconds remaining in the fourth.

“I think we were just resilient,” Anderson said. “We played a great team today. There’s lots of ups and downs in lacrosse, but we ended up pulling it out. We stayed composed.”

REDWOOD REDEMPTION

No team dealt with more soul searching after the first two weeks than the Redwoods, who hit a low in Charlotte, North Carolina, when the team mustered just three goals against the Chrome.

All the group’s issues have not been solved yet, but the Woods can at least breathe a sigh of relief after getting their first victory of the season.

Ryder Garnsey broke a 4-4 tie with under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter to give the Redwoods a lead they never relinquished in an 11-7 triumph against the Chaos. The Redwoods went on an 8-1 run stretching from the third into the fourth before the Chaos notched the final two tallies of the game.

Rob Pannell and Jules Heningburg each had four points, while Myles Jones and Garnsey added three. Garrett Epple recorded four caused turnovers and three ground balls on the defensive end.

The Chaos dropped to 0-3 with the loss, but reinforcements are coming. Andy Towers’ group has been incomplete without its players who have been suiting up for the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits during their run to the NLL Finals. The conclusion of that series means the additions of Max Adler, Josh Byrne, Chris Cloutier, Chase Fraser, Ian MacKay, Tehoka Nanticoke and Dhane Smith in the near future.







ARCHERS PUT UP FIRST 20-SPOT

The lack of Grant Ament didn’t stop the Archers from orchestrating an absolute beatdown Saturday against the Cannons.

Backed by a trio of hat tricks, including a five-goal performance from Will Manny, the Archers rolled to a 20-9 victory in the most lopsided contest of the season thus far.

Manny added three assists to round out an eight-point performance, while Tom Schreiber notched three goals and four assists and rookie Matt Moore contributed three goals and three assists.  The Archers held three six-goal leads during the third quarter, then broke the game wide open by ending on a six-point spurt. That secured the first 20-point performance of any team this season.

Ament appeared set to make his season debut, as he was upgraded to questionable on the weekly injury report, but he was a late scratch. That just provided another opportunity for his squad to display its impressive depth.

“At the end of the day, we share the ball well,” Archers coach Chris Bates said. “We pride ourselves on being an egoless team, but we’ve also put under the microscope that we need to be aggressive dodging, too. … If we have a good shortie matchup, we’re going to go at it.”

On the other side of the field, the Cannons got Lyle Thompson back after he missed last week with an injury, but it was not enough to stop the team’s second consecutive defeat.

NOTEWORTHY

The inaugural class of the Pro Lacrosse Hall of Fame was honored this weekend, with each inductee receiving a gold jacket. The class includes Paul Cantabene, Brian Dougherty, John Gagliardi, Gary Gait, John Grant Jr., Jay Jalbert, Pat McCabe, Mark Millon, Nicky Polanco, Casey Powell and Matt Striebel. … Archers-v-Cannons was the first PLL game ever aired on ABC and the first lacrosse game on the station since 1977. It got flexed into that spot after Redwoods-Chaos was originally scheduled for network TV. … The film rights to “Fate of a Sport,” which debuted this week at Tribeca, were purchased by ESPN. … The large crop of Buffalo Bandits players set to rejoin the Chaos will see a familiar face across from them next week. Standing between the pipes for the Waterdogs will likely be Dillon Ward, fresh off winning NLL Finals MVP honors for the Colorado Mammoth. … The Waterdogs were playing with a depleted roster, missing Steven DeNapoli, Chris Sabia, Michael Sowers and Jake Withers to injury.

POWER RANKINGS

Last week’s rankings in parentheses:

1. Whipsnakes (3)
2. Chrome (2)
3. Archers (4)
4. Atlas (1)
5. Redwoods (8)
6. Cannons (5)
7. Waterdogs (6)
8. Chaos (7)

UP NEXT
ALL TIMES EASTERN

(in Baltimore, Maryland)

Friday

Redwoods vs. Whipsnakes, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Chaos vs. Waterdogs, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN+)

Saturday

Cannons vs. Chrome, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Archers vs. Atlas, 8:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

Suggested

Most Recent

PLL Week 5: Atlas Down Former Unbeaten Chrome on Jeff Teat Winner

The Whipsnakes also lost for the first time this summer, while the Chaos have their first win.

Gutsy Trevor Baptiste Helps Atlas Hand Chrome First Loss

Baptise "blew out" his hamstring but still returned to the game to help the Bulls.

All About the Vibe: Authenticity, Brand-Building Keys for PLL Athletes

The PLL puts an emphasis on showcasing the untold stories of its athletes.

Dhane Smith Earns Second NLL MVP Award

The NLL also announced its All-League and All-Rookie teams on Thursday.







Twitter Posts