The PLL set up shop in Fairfield this weekend, highlighted by the blistering heat and great Lacrosse. In a week where every bottom seed was paired with a top one, somehow only 2 games were won by the higher seed.

As I stood on the sideline surrounded by the most dedicated sports fans in the world, taking on the heat better than me, I witnessed some of the most talented players compete at the highest level. With that out of the day, the week of the underdogs is complete, and teams stepped up to take on their competitors in riveting play in an unbelievable fashion.

Redwoods Take Down Atlas 16-15

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I don’t know how to begin. I spent about half an hour brooding on this game, unsure how I could describe the excellence I had witnessed. However, I think I can only describe the game with one word: Extraordinary.

In the first quarter, the Redwoods were electric. They dominated, going on a 5-0 run until there was 1:30 left on the clock. Jules Heninburg started off the scoring spree in transition, and Garnsey had 3 points in the first with two goals and an assist.

Immediately, the tide shifted. At the end of the quarter, Daniel Bucaro scored a goal to set the score at 5-1, but right as the second quarter began, the tide shifted. 3 unanswered goals to start the second, and a goal by Myles Jones put the score at 6-4 with 5 minutes left in the half.

Then the Atlas did their thing. One of the better offenses in the league, the Atlas scored 8 times to the Atlas 1. Chris Gray had 2 assists and a goal through this span, and a 2pt goal from Cade Van Raaphorst.

The game began to look lost, with the Redwoods down 13-10 with 7:30 left in the game. Rob Pannell scored a goal, putting the game within 2. Then, on transition, rookie Nakeie Montgomery dished the ball over to defender and 2021 all-star Eddy Glazener for the two-point goal to tie the game.

https://twitter.com/PLLRedwoods/status/1550978125596614656

Now, with a win in sight during an even game, things began to change. Jeff Teat with his second goal of the game stretches the lead to one, but 40 seconds later Charlie Bertrand ties it again.

I cannot express this any more clearly, but I watched Myles Jones hit one of the most impressive shots in Lacrosse history. Myles is locked up and fully contested from Curry range, taking a blind 2-pointer and nailing it into the top of the net to take the lead.

Up by two with 3 minutes left, the Dox Aitken goal couldn’t save the game. The Redwoods beat the best team in lacrosse 16-15, and it was the best way to open the weekend. 10 players scored a point for the Woods, and the transition game was on point.

I asked Glazener about transitions, and how well they were executed. To put it lightly, he was ecstatic. For the last couple of weeks, the Woods have been hyper-focusing on cleaning up their game in transition, in practice, and in team meetings. They finally completed their goal on Saturday, squeaking out an intense win against one of the best teams in the PLL.

Whipsnakes Beat Out Chaos, 14-12

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Another game was closer than anticipated, but this time the outcome was what we expected. The Whipsnakes took over the 1st quarter, starting off 5-3 with a couple of goals from Matt Rambo and an incredible start from Joe Nardella.

From this point forward, each team matched their opponent’s score to a tee. The lead that the Whipsnakes began with, they ended with. The game was incredibly close and never wavered.

What really changed the game was the play of Joe Nardella. He won just over two-thirds of his faceoffs, with 12 GBs, a goal, and an assist.

https://twitter.com/PLLWhipsnakes/status/1551017939003924481

The Whipsnakes also won the turnover battle in an unforgettable fashion, as the Chaos had trouble holding onto the ball. Even with the efforts of Blaze Riorden and his 15 saves, the Whipsnakes took 50 shots.

Keegan Khan came in after only having played 2 games and took advantage. He scored 2 goals and dished out an assist, all in an effort to close out a hard-fought Whipsnakes’ victory.

Archers Outshoot Cannons, 17-12

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The Cannons, in typical fashion, fire off strong. In 4 of the 6 games they’ve played this season, they either tied or had the lead in the first quarter. This game was one of them. Lyle Thompson led the first quarter attack, with 2 goals and an assist to put the team up 3-1.

However, you cannot hold back the Archers’ offense for long. The best shooting team in the league began to get hot. At the end of the quarter, the score was 6-5 Cannons, with Thompson scoring 2 more points for the team. 5 points at halftime? Unreal.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CgdFbDurWha/

Halftime ended and the arrows began to fly. The Archers down 7-4 go on a 6-0 streak then turned their 3-point deficit into a 3-point lead. Connor Fields, Tre Leclaire, and Will Manny each had 2 points in the 3rd, taking the team into a winning position.

https://twitter.com/PLLArchers/status/1551954157480951808

Holden Garlent wasn’t a fan of this decision, and after Thompson scored, he smoked a 2-point bounce shot into the right side of the net. The third quarter ended 11-10 Archers.

https://twitter.com/PremierLacrosse/status/1551289003646779408

There’s not much to say about the 4th quarter. The Archers outscored the Cannons 6-2 in the fourth and just carried the momentum from the quarter prior. Despite Thompson’s best efforts with 7 points, the opposition had 8 players with more than 2 points. Manny played in MVP fashion, leading the team in points with 5 whole assists.

Waterdogs Beat Chrome in Overtime, 11-10

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Toe-to-toe with the Redwoods for the best game in Fairfield, the opener and closer made the weekend as amazing as it was. This game was a dogfight, and fittingly, the Dogs came out on top.

As each quarter passed, the teams traded off who would score more. In the first quarter, the Dogs lead by two, and in the next, the Chrome pulled ahead by two. After halftime, it continued, with the Waterdogs 2-1 third quarter and the Chrome 2-1 to end the fourth.

Connor Kelly was the game’s savior. In the 4th quarter, Dogs down by 1, Kelly shoots and misses. It dings off the pipe, he rebounds his own shot, drives through the lane, and scores with 0:35 on the clock.

The King of Connecticut does it again in overtime, winning the game for the Waterdogs. Not only did he save the team’s chances of staying in the game, but he won it for them as well. A buzzer-beater and a walk-off in the same game are pretty impressive,

I got to ask Kelly about the game-tying shot after the game, and he credited the goal to a lucky bounce gifted to him by his old stomping grounds. His trip back to CT was a success, and the win was well deserved.

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