Waterdogs Snap Losing Skid, Epic Chromeback Highlight PLL in Baltimore

PHOTO COURTESY OF PREMIER LACROSSE LEAGUE


The Chrome seemed destined to suffer their first defeat of the season when the Cannons went up five goals with less than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Saturday in Baltimore.

But then the Chromeback began. It took overtime, but the Chrome group their fourth straight victory to start the season, already setting a new franchise high for wins in a campaign.

The Chrome closed out regulation with five straight goals, getting the equalizer from Ryan Terefenko with 32 seconds on the clock, to set up Mike Messenger for an overtime game winner in a stunning 12-11 result.

Messenger forced a turnover on the defensive end, setting up a fastbreak possession that began with an errant shot. Brendan Nichtern was there for the backup, then fired off a quick pass off the restart from X to Messenger, who buried it right on the doorstep.

“Surprising, I think more than anything,” Chrome coach Tim Soudan said of pulling off the victory. “But it feels great. I think they really put in the work at the end of the game, and we limited our mistakes at the end of the game, and they made a few, so it kind of evened out as it went. We had some guys step up and make some big plays.”

Nichtern finished with five points on a goal and four assists, while Justin Anderson scored twice in addition to a goal.

For more on the game, head here.

RIVALRY RENEWED

Two undefeated teams still remain in the Premier Lacrosse League after the Whipsnakes werer able to stave off their archrival Redwoods in another one-goal game. Matt Rambo broke a tie with six minutes and 21 seconds remaining, and Kyle Bernlohr made a late save to seal the Whips’ 12-11 victory.

The Whipsnakes are now 12-2 all time in one-goal games and 7-2 against the Redwoods.

“I will take this win and we find our way out of these, but we very well could have found our way to lose this one," Whipsnakes coach Jim Stagnitta said.

A 3-1 run to end the first half put the Redwoods up 6-5 at the break, a lead the Woods would expand to 8-6 four minutes into the third quarter. The Whipsnakes responded with four straight, including a pair of goals from Rambo, to take an 11-8 advantage that quickly deteriorated.

Two straight from Charlie Bertrand got the Redwoods within a goal before Jules Heningburg equalized with eight minutes remaining. But alas, the Whipsnakes once again had an answer in Rambo’s fourth goal of the game.

“It’s always a tight one with the Redwoods,” Rambo said. “They’re an awesome team. It’s always a battle.”







BAPTISTE POWERS ATLAS

Trevor Baptiste, who leads the Premier Lacrosse League in faceoff percentage by a wide margin, continued his stellar start to the season Saturday night against the Archers. He won 19 of 22 draws, moving his season percentage to 74 percent, in the Atlas’ 10-9 triumph.

The Atlas scored two of the game’s final three goals in a 17-minute stretch — one each from Peter Dearth and Dox Aitken — to survive a back-and-forth affair. Jeff Teat and Eric Law each notched hat tricks, while Dearth and Aitken had a pair of points each.

Meanwhile, the defense was stout against an Archers unit that put up 20 points a week prior against the Cannons.

“When Trevor’s winning that many faceoffs, I certainly would like to score more than 10 goals,” Atlas coach Ben Rubeor said. “I don’t think our last two weeks have been our two best offensive gameplans, so I have to come in with a better gameplan.”

FULL STRENGTH CHAOS STUMBLE

It was far from the return to form the Chaos expected. Instead, it was the Waterdogs celebrating its first victory of the season Friday night.

The Chaos couldn’t hang in a battle of previously winless squads despite getting reinforcements this week, falling 18-9 in Baltimore’s only lopsided matchup. Andy Towers’ group saw a large contingent of its roster return after the completion of their National Lacrosse League seasons with the Buffalo Bandits, but that wasn’t enough to get the Chaos back on track.

The Chaos’ only lead came at 1-0, with the Waterdogs responding with a six-point run and never looking back. Connor Kelly had six points thanks to a pair of two-pointers, while Ryan Brown and Michael Sowers each had four points.

“It was a statement game for us,” Kelly said. “We’re trying to get the monkey off our back, getting our first W, and relying on others. … It was all 19 guys.”

NOTEWORTHY

The Waterdogs opted to start Matt DeLuca in cage despite the return of Dillon Ward, fresh off winning MVP honors in the NLL Finals. Coach Andy Copelan said Ward hadn’t gotten enough reps as a field goalie yet this summer to be ready to go. … The PLL honored players from Morgan State, the first HBCU to play lacrosse, and the U.S. women’s national team this weekend. … Waterdogs FOGO Zac Tucci won 15 of his 26 draws against the Chaos in his second career professional game. … Jake Carraway made his season debut for the Atlas but finished without a point. … Voting for the PLL All-Star Game is now open. … Last week’s Archers-Cannons game on ABC set a pro outdoor lacrosse record for viewership.

POWER RANKINGS

Last week’s rankings in parentheses:

1. Chrome (2)
2. Whipsnakes (1)
3. Atlas (4)
4. Archers (3)
5.l Waterdogs (7)
6. Redwoods (5)
7. Cannons (6)
8. Chaos (8)

UP NEXT
ALL TIMES EASTERN

(In Minneapolis)

Friday

Archers vs. Redwoods, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
Atlas vs. Chrome, 9:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

Saturday

Chaos vs. Cannons, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Whipsnakes vs. Waterdogs, 8:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

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