Week 2 of the Premier Lacrosse League season was humbling to many teams. Some hot starts fizzled out quickly while some grew to levels we thought unimaginable.
After two weeks, the standings are finally starting to shape up, separating the clear best from the absolute worst. Not only are the team’s abilities separated, but so are the players, with the standout stars coming into fruition.
The games played were dogfights so fierce even Pete “Maverick” Mitchell would be impressed. The league has gotten grittier and more physical, and the scores show which teams have more of that than the rest.
Chrome vs Redwoods
The Chrome put in a dominant performance, pummeling the Redwoods 12-3. This Chrome team is surprising its viewers, powerfully overperforming to their expectations. Hell, even I predicted this team would only win 2 games all season in my Preseason PLL Predictions, but now they have 2 with 8 games to go.
This team dominated in all aspects of the game. On offense, Logan Wisnauskas scored 5 goals on 8 shots, shooting a great 63%. On the line, Conner Farrell won two-thirds of his faceoffs, cementing himself as one of the best FOGOs in the league. Lastly, their Goalie Sean Sconone held it down in the net, saving 7 out of 10 shots on goal, leaving him with a 70% save percentage.
The Chrome dominated the entire game, starting with 4 goals in the first quarter. They never let go of this momentum, and beat the Redwoods in convincing fashion, proving themselves a powerhouse in the PLL.
Chaos vs Archers
This match was closer than the previous but still ended in a clear victory by the Archers 17-12. Most of the game was close, and you could tell the box score didn’t show how difficult of a game it was.
What it really came down to was defense and shots on goal. The Chaos was putting up worse, more contested shots, and the Archers were hitting their open looks. You can look at the save percentage by Blaze Riorden and blame him, but even with a 15% lesser save percentage, he only saved one less shot than Archer’s Ghitelman. The Chaos needed to step it up on the defensive end, and led by Will Manny’s 5 goals and Matt Moore’s 3, changes need to be made for next week.
Atlas vs Cannons
When the Atlas play, the Atlas win. This team is clearly the best in the game of lacrosse, outsourcing the Cannons 16-8. This Atlas team scored exactly 4 goals in every quarter, while the Cannons did the same for only the first and third.
We finally got to see the full potential of Chris Gray, who tied to lead the game in scoring with 2 goals and 3 assists. His scoring counterpart, Jeff Teat, also had 5 on the game, with his stats flipped with 3 goals and 2 assists.
What this game really came down to was Trevor Baptiste. He won 20 of 24 faceoffs, winning 83%. Along with 12 ground balls and 2 points, his ability to get the ball down the field and get fastbreak points was impeccable.
The Atlas just had more opportunities to take open shots. Nick Marrocco did his best to salvage this, stopping 48% of 27 shots, and an incredible across the crease save. Morocco played great this week and could be in contention for the best goalie in the league right now. Regardless, his efforts seemed futile, and his squad goes down in dramatic effect.
Whipsnakes vs Waterdogs
The closest game of the weekend, this is the battle we expected. The only game going into overtime this week ended in a 12-11 Whipsnakes victory. Waterdogs Connor Kelly took the game to overtime with 48 seconds left, and Brad Smith hit the game-winner in extra quarters.
Usually, a game dominated by the FOGO is a game easily won. However, even with the Whipsnakes Joseph Nardella having the best game of the year, they still only won by a hair.
This game was close in almost every category. The goalies were neck and neck, only one save apart with similar shots on goal, and both teams had the exact same shot percentage on the game.
Jay Carlson took charge this game, scoring 5 goals on an absurd 83% shot percentage. His game was unmatched, and along with Nardella’s dominance on the line, the Whipsnakes narrowly make it through to cap off an amazing end to week 2 of the PLL season.