5 Takeaways from PLL Week 5
Premier Lacrosse has left the Peach State. Of all the stops, I was worried about Atlanta week being a huge dud. I knew the lacrosse would be good, but I’ve lived in the Deep South. Most southerners don’t know lacrosse exists. Besides, the Atlanta Braves are tops in the NL East, and Johnny Reb sure loves his baseball. In the south, summer is baseball, not lacrosse, season.
That said, Atlanta was a pleasant surprise. The crowd size surpassed expectations, there were two huge upsets, and we have a new top team. Without further ado, lets dive into my five takeaways from week five.
Atlas Upset Archers
Last week, I said Archers had a layup victory against Atlas. I was wrong. Atlas rejected that layup straight into Chris Bates’ face. In a stunner, Atlas defeated Archers 13-12. The Archers made a furious comeback, with some help from Atlas penalties, but Paul Rabil brought the hammer down on his employees.
Would you have guessed two weeks ago these teams would have the same record? I wouldn’t! Both are 2-3. Both are trending in opposite directions. While Atlas is improving, Archers seem to be regressing.
Atlas needed this win. They meet Whipsnakes in Washington D.C. If they lost, they’d be staring at a likely 1-5. Archers don’t get it any easier as they face Redwoods, who beat Whipsnakes.
Both teams need to win next weekend and hope the other loses. For now, Atlas and Archers are fighting for that final playoff spot.
Snakes No Match for Woods
The PLL’s longest win streak has ended. Thanks Redwoods. With a plethora of talent, it was bound to happen. I highly doubt any team will go undefeated in PLL history. Shockingly, Whipsnakes lost 14-11. I didn’t think they’d lose by three. Yes, I know it seems crazy that a three-goal differential is big; yet, most losses have been by one.
Jules Heningburg got revenge on his former team. He played a major role as he dished an awesome assist and nabbed two gorgeous goals. Against Redwoods, who have a stout defense, Whipsnakes missed their former attackman. With Heningburg gone, the defense placed more attention on Rambo (who still dominated).
Kyle Harrison, a figure in PLL management, scored his first league goal. In fitting fashion, the veteran’s first goal was the clincher. Once he made it 12-11, the flood gates opened.
Oddly, with their first loss, the Whipsnakes are no longer first in the league. That honor has gone to the league’s hottest offense. A team that has stung (get the pun?) corners and scurried past defenses.
Chaos Top Dogs, Survive Chrome Scare
Poor Chrome. The last thing they needed was to face the league’s hottest offense; yet, that’s what happened.
Chaos shot out to a 7-1 first quarter. John Galloway, starting goaltender and Jacksonville head coach, was absolutely bombarded. He didn’t perform well, but he wasn’t “seven goals in one quarter” bad. Ironically, if Chrome had started Brett Queener, they would have won. Queener gave up 8 goals in three quarters and overtime. He deserves to start next week.
Even with Queener’s heroics, Chrome fell to Chaos 15-14. In their defense, they probably should have won. It was hard to tell who, but with 4 regulation seconds remaining, a Chrome attackman caught the ball mid-crease. He was held and pulled to the ground. There was no call. If he wasn’t tackled, he most likely scores a buzzer beater. With the call, Chrome gets a power play to start overtime.
Missed call aside, it was the same story for Chrome. Close but no cigar. Chaos demonstrated their ability to handle adversity; however, they have blown leads before. This trend is worrying. It hasn’t got them yet, but it will. With the win and Whipsnakes loss, Chaos grabbed the top spot in the standings. They’ll have to beat Chrome in Washington D.C. to stay there, but barring another blown lead, they should be optimistic of their chances.
Atlanta Attendance Surprises
As of yet, no official attendance numbers have been released. Going into this week, I expected a lot of empty seats. I’ve seen the crowd at Georgia Swarm and Atlanta Blaze games. They aren’t enviable. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw loads of fans at Friday night’s game.
Doubleheader Saturday brought in respectable crowds. If the league is beginning to draw these crowds from non-traditional lacrosse markets, I’m excited to see what attendance will be for playoff games in traditional lacrosse markets.
Friday Night Lacrosse a Future Thing?
Should Friday night lacrosse become a thing? I think so. It’s a gimmick the league could play up. It could be the league’s version of Monday Night Football.
The past night games have been hits. Why not dedicate a day for night games? More people are at home watching tv at night than day. People want fun things to do at night. It’s a win-win. More people from afar will be available to watch games and more locals will be free. This could lead to better attendance and viewership for one game a week.
Friday Night Lacrosse should be considered for future seasons.
Do you agree with my takeaways? Do you disagree? Whatever your thoughts, let me know by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can subscribe to my website and comment directly onto this article as well. Any support is appreciated! Regardless, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed. Onto our nation’s capital!