PLL Week 1: Must-See Goals, One-Goal Games Mean Summer is Here


Ryder Garnsey somehow still scored with the entire Atlas defense draped all over him.

Week 1 of the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League season lived up to the billing. Three one-goal games, including an overtime thriller, and another contest that came down to the last few seconds had Albany, New York, rocking.

For the Waterdogs and the Chaos, the season began just like it ended, with a triumph for the Dogs. Connor Kelly scored the OT winner from right on the doorstep, lifting his squad to an 8-7 victory in a rematch of last year’s title bout.

The Waterdogs defense limited the Chaos to 19 shots on goal, with Matt DeLuca faring well in net in Dillon Ward’s stead.

Of course, the Chaos were shorthanded with reinforcements coming after a large contingent of the roster finished off a National Lacrosse League championship season with the Buffalo Bandits Saturday night.


What a week it’s been for Ryder Garnsey.

The Redwoods attackman is fresh off helping his alma mater Notre Dame to its first national championship as an assistant coach, and, as he put it, the luck of the Irish continued for him Saturday. Garnsey scored six goals, doing his fair share to add to the wild highlight reel that was the Redwoods’ 13-12 win over the Atlas.

The best of the bunch came in the first half, when he was knocked down multiple times but was still able to fight through the entire Atlas defense.

“I don’t know how it stayed in my stick,” Garnsey admitted to RJ Kaminski. “Lucky it did, and it went in the net.”

Not to be outdone, the Atlas had a pair of early contenders for goal of the year. How about Chris Gray beating Jack Kelly and the shot clock with a one-handed sub shot? Or the combination of Jeff Teat and Xander Dickson getting on the board despite both ending up on the ground?


Division III nation, this week’s Chrome victory was for you.

Like Garnsey, Cross Ferrara of the Chrome is days removed from a national championship. The college star helped Salisbury secure its record 13th title on May 28, capping a career that included a bonkers 473 points over six seasons.

A late pick in the PLL College Draft, Ferrara earned a spot in Tim Soudan’s lineup in Week 1 because of travel issues for Dylan Molloy. He made the most of it with a late go-ahead tally.

Ferrara ran in from the corner off a restart with 10 seconds remaining, beating short-stick defender Ty Warner to get his hands free. He let it fly as he curled toward the net, beating Kyle Bernlohr with four seconds left in a 12-11 win.

Making it even better were the comments just before the moment from color analyst Paul Carcaterra, who mentioned, “You don’t want Cross Ferrara making this last play.” He called himself out as soon as Ferrara proved him wrong.

“There was 10 seconds left, so there’s not much you can do,” Ferrara said. “You just go to the goal and hope it goes in.”

The Whipsnakes opened the fourth quarter on a 3-1 run, getting back-to-back goals from Keegan Khan and Tucker Dordevic to force the tie. But the Chrome, which led most of the day, had the answer to avoid overtime.

Justin Anderson scored four times, while Jackson Morrill had five points on a goal and four assists.


While much of the talk surrounding the Archers was focused on how much the addition of Mac O’Keefe would complement Grant Ament, it was another one of the team’s attackman in the spotlight in Week 1.

Connor Fields scored four goals, including one on a dazzling between-the-legs attempt, as the Archers spoiled Cannons coach Brian Holman’s debut 16-13.

Speaking of debuts, it was a tremendous first outing for Archers rookie faceoff specialist Mike Sisselberger. The former Lehigh star won 80 percent (24-for-30) of his draws.

“I think the biggest adjustment is the mental battle,” Sisselberger said. “Physically, I feel I’m right there with those guys. But having a next play mentality, Coach Bates talks about it a lot, whether you lose or win, you can’t really hold your hat on that.”


Marcus Holman played his first game for the Cannons and first with his dad, Cannons coach Brian Holman. “He’s been a mentor to me ever since I was born, and a coach,” Marcus said. “So, it’s pretty surreal, honestly.” … This weekend’s games were the first utilizing new rules, including a 32-second shot clock after faceoffs and resets. … The Waterdogs unveiled their black third jersey on Sunday, the first third jersey in the history of the PLL. It features gold trim fit for champions. … The PLL announced its finalists for future home cities for the eight clubs. … Nick Rowlett had a strong debut for the Chaos, winning 72.2 percent of his draws. Fellow rookie Brian Minicus (Waterdogs) scored to force overtime. … Sam Handley’s first career goal included trucking a defender. … Wesley Berg had four points in his return to the Redwoods.


All times eastern.


Chrome vs. Archers, 5 p.m. (ESPN+)
Waterdogs vs. Redwoods, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)


Whipsnakes vs. Atlas, 2 p.m. (ABC)
Chaos vs. Cannons, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

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