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Pro Lacrosse Roundup : Baltimore Edition

Premier Lacrosse League action on Saturday afternoon from Johns Hopkins saw the Archers lock up a playoff appearance with an overtime win over the Atlas. Tom Schreiber found net with a righty rip running off a two-man game at the top of the arc. Schreiber was 0-1 the first 3 Quarters. Canned the last 2 including the game winner in OT. He Scored to take a 13-12 lead with 3:21 to go in regulation and Scored 1:03 into OT to win it. Clutch.

Connor Fields had dodging success in the first half and the Archers, down 3 with about four minutes to play, somehow summoned the energy to rally late. The Atlas, much improved in their schemes, were led by Jeff Teat and Chris Gray.

The nightcap pitted the Whipsnakes against the Chrome. The Chrome continue to struggle on offense and the Whips are getting healthy and stronger each week. Chrome managed just one goal in the second half and are shooting a league low 23.5%. Whipsnakes outscored Chrome 6-1 in the 2nd half. Chrome’s Cross Ferrara shot 3-9. Everyone else was 2-21.

Meanwhile, Mike Chanenchuk had a six-point day, showcasing his wristy release and variety of shot locations. Rookie FOGO Petey LaSalla went 20 for 20 as the Chrome didn’t dress Connor Farrell. Whips goalie Brendan Krebs (Manhattan 2022) was sharp, starting for injured Kyle Bernlohr. This game featured 15 former Maryland Terrapins – an incredible number considering only 38 dressed. It’s a testimony to the recruiting and player development being done in College Park by coach John Tillman and his staff. Homewood Field was packed with spirited fans, many sporting PLL swag of their favorite players.

Pro Lacrosse Roundup : Baltimore Edition

Kyle Harrison joined our TV crew in the booth for all four PLL games and added terrific insight. The PLL juniors competed during the weekend in U11 and U13 categories.

Pro lacrosse in Baltimore continued on Sunday live on ABC at 1pm with the Redwoods and the Chaos. Chaos LSM CJ Costabile and versatile midfielder Ian MacKay each nailed two-pointers, triggering a Chaos comeback for the win. MacKay scored on a one-handed wrap around shot from X and his two-pointer for 15 yards plus was timed at 104mph.

Redwoods let this one slip away. They led 5-0 after ten minutes yet Lost 14-12. Redwoods also led 12-10 after 3 quarters. Blaze Riordan came alive in the 4th. Blaze in the 3rd Quarter had 0 saves and 6 goals allowed. In the 4th quarter he made 7 saves, 0 goals allowed.

They got it done without Josh Byrne, who was out with an injury. Woods rookie Cole Kirst, pushing to the net with uncommon confidence, was a bright spot for gang green.

Cannons took the Sunday finale over the Waterdogs, to clinch a playoff spot and improve to 5-2. They used a fourth quarter spurt and a two-pointer from Cade Van Raaphorst to blow open a tight game. Game featured 5 ties, 4 lead changes, and the van Raaphorst 2-pointer with 10:18 to go put Cannons ahead for good 9-7. Undrafted Ethan Rall was all over the field. He Led the team with 4 GB and added 2 CT’s. Marcus Holman and Asher Nolting finished with 2 goals and 2 assist each.

The Boom Squad has won five straight games. They have become the biggest story of the summer, ascending from the cellar to contention for new coach Brian Holman. Their culture and body language have flipped. They share the ball. They Keep it simple and execute the winning plays. Individuals like Matt Kavanagh, Ryan Drenner, Ethan Rall, Colin Kirst, Asher Nolting and Bubba Fairman have all carved a niche and are thriving in their roles, while also enhancing the play of their line mates. Marcus Holman leads the league in points, Nolting is third in assists and the team is shooting 32%.

The Waterdogs didn’t get their normal midfield punch as Thomas McConvey and Jake Carraway were injured during the contest. The reigning champs have a speedy lineup and remain a viable title contender. The pack of teams who can win a title would seem to include the Archers, Cannons, Waterdogs, Chaos and Whipsnakes. The Atlas and Redwoods are in the next tier with the Chrome at the bottom of the league right now. The tour has remaining stops in Colorado, Tacoma and Salt Lake before the quarterfinals from Gillette Stadium on Labor Day.

The Premier Lacrosse League plays in Denver on Friday and Saturday night at DU. Tickets are scarce. Teams will be wearing throwback uniforms. You can watch on ESPN+ and Saturday (5pm EST Atlas vs Waterdogs) on ESPN2 where I will be paired with Chris Cotter, coach Bill Tierney and Dana Boyle.

I watched some Athletes Unlimited women’s pro lacrosse on Thursday night with Paul Carcaterra and his daughter. In person, the athletic ability and physicality of AU brand lacrosse jumps off the page. The wrap checking, one-on-one confrontations and on-ball defense has a tougher, grittier, more confrontational feel. The referees are trying to strike the right balance. I Was impressed with Sam Apuzzo, Lizzie Colson, Marie McCool, Dempsey Arsenault, Britt Read, Kenzie Kent, Lauren Gilbert, Ally Mastroianni, and goalie Taylor Moreno. Charlotte North is a star and draws young fans to the gates with her shooting and dodging arsenal. It looks as if Moreno and Apuzzo will battle for top honors this week. If you live within a 60 mile radius of Sparks, MD you should attend on Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. It’s a fan friendly event that’ll benefit young players. My only adjustment would be in the scoring where a turnover is -10 points and an assist is just +4. This balance doesn’t encourage offensive risk taking. But I remain a big fan of AU lacrosse.

Cost of Realignment

Realignment hit college sports hard this week with Oregon and Washington joining the Big Ten and while it may make sense for college football I worry about women’s lacrosse – having to zigzag the country for regular season games. Who’s paying for this? How are student-athletes going to handle it? USC and Oregon are in a league with Johns Hopkins, Penn State and Rutgers. The travel will be ridiculous. Non-revenue sports would benefit from a more regionalized schedule. Realignment makes no sense for the non-revenues and will have an impact on the mental health, academic health, and overall happiness of the women’s lacrosse college athlete.