We saw a lot of meaningful lacrosse in Week 7 of PLL action in Colorado Springs. Every game matters all season long, but with just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the games this weekend felt more impactful than ever.
While no teams were officially eliminated, three teams locked up their spots and will now be part of the fight for a first-round bye.
The Cannons and Chrome will be the only teams with just one game this upcoming weekend, and it just so happens that they’ll play each other. The loser will be out of the playoffs.
PLL Colorado Springs Weekend Welcomes Meaningful Lacrosse
Atlas (19) vs Chrome (10)
To put it bluntly, Atlas dominated Chrome throughout this game.
Props to head coach Tim Soudan, who isn’t afraid to tinker with the lineup to find answers, but I can’t help but remind myself that the Chrome have the worst injury luck in PLL history. If healthy tomorrow, their first four attackmen would be Dylan Molloy, Jordan Wolf, Justin Guterding, and Jackson Morrill. That would quite the welcome sight. This team struggles to find a consistent offensive identity. Add in Jesse Bernhardt on defense, and you have a a team that I think is regularly competitive.
This young Atlas side, on the back of Trevor Baptiste’s 83 percent at the stripe, pushed the ball all day long and took risks on offense, which often times paid off.
Archers (15) vs Redwoods (12)
The depth of the Archers offense never ceases to amaze me. We finally saw rookie Tre Leclaire come alive for three goals, and let’s agree to never call Latrell Harris a D-mid. The guy tried to set three picks before an attackman initiated the two-man game with him, and he found the back of the net with ease.
This game ultimately came down to the Redwoods’ inability to consistently run a clean offense and find premium looks. Adam Ghitelman was on fire, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth that I thought the ‘Woods looked comfortable. The 23 turnovers quickly erased any advantage gained by TD Ierlan’s 74 percent faceoff clip.
Waterdogs (11) vs Whipsnakes (6)
Not much to say here. Both defenses were stout in the first half before the Waterdogs came alive in the third and fourth quarters.
The Whips seem lost, and the loss of Matt Rambo has only magnified some deficiencies that we’ve seen all season. Let’s not forget that the Whips have narrowly escaped several games this season, and they don’t look like the same teams that won PLL championships. When healthy, the attack is exactly ad advertised, but I’ve felt a noticeable shift in the production from midfielders this season. If they can get consistent offensive production from the midfield unit, it will take some of the attention and stress of Zed Williams and Rambo (when/if he comes back).
Chaos (14) vs Chrome (12)
Considering where these teams sit in the standings, this game was surprisingly one of the best of the weekend, and there were huge playoff implications as the winner was essentially guaranteed a postseason spot.
When you look at the game’s stats, it was almost completely even with one noticeable exception: Blaze Riorden had a 67 percent save percentage compared to John Galloway’s 50 percent. During the game, it was apparent how easy it was for the Chaos to get to the cage, while every possession for the Chrome seemed labored, often resulting in settling for bad shots and inflating Riorden’s save percentage higher.
Per usual, the Chaos started the PLL season off slow before finding their rhythm in time for playoff lacrosse.
Atlas (13) vs Cannons (12)
The Cannons looked to earn a playoff spot and take advantage of Atlas’ two-game weekend. But they fell short despite an insane fourth quarter.
Lyle Thompson absolutely cam alive in the final period, but it wasn’t enough. As I said in last week’s podcast, if the Cannons could win 45 percent of faceoffs, they would win this game. Well, they only won 22 percent and lost by one, so I guess that logic held true. You can’t win a game by winning six faceoffs.
Another noticeable hole in the Cannons offense was the lack of midfield production, with only one midfielder registering a goal. That’s a lot of pressure on the attack unit. Baptiste continued a dominant weekend during the PLL’s Colorado Springs trip, winning 76 percent of draws while the young Atlas offense has six different goal scorers.
Cannons play Chrome in Week 8 in a win-and-you’re-in situation. The loser will miss the playoffs.
Five Stand out PLL Performances
Trevor Baptiste, Atlas LC FOS: 25-of-30 with 19 ground balls and three points.
Adam Ghitelman, Archers LC goalie: 15 saves for a 63 percent save percentage.
Dillon Ward, Waterdogs LC goalie: 19 saves for a 67 percent save percentage.
Blaze Riorden, Chaos LC goalie: 20 saves for a 67 percent save percentage.
Cade Van Raphoorst, Atlas LC defense: three caused turnovers and five ground balls.