10 Man Ride: Will Manny’s 236th goal & more from Week 2

By Joe Keegan

PLL Analyst

Jun 15, 2021

CLEAR! The ride is on. We’re two weeks and 10 games in. There’s a lot to talk about between now and Baltimore – here are 10 takeaways from Atlanta.


Grant Ament caught the Chaos defense hung up a couple times on Sunday. At Penn State his teammates would always set picks on GLE when he had a hang up. His Archers teammates have adopted that play.

Ryan Ambler set a pick against a hangup to create a switch for Ament – who then attacked the mismatch. Ament is shooting 4-for-7 off the dodge (57.1%) so far this season. If that number holds, it might make defenses reconsider face-guarding Will Manny and Marcus Holman.

When Ament got another hangup, he wanted to go right back to this action. “MAZZ, COME HERE!” he screamed. “MAZZ, COME HERE!”

Christian Mazzone didn’t hear him; Ament capitalized on the advantage anyways. Holman ran back to X to run an option out of the backfield with Ament.

Ament creates more hangups than any attackman in the league. Off-ball, he's always in his defender's blindspots, sneaking around and using the net as a screen.

2. Manny makes history

Will Manny’s five-goal game gives him 236 for his career. In 48 minutes, he passed Matt Striebel, Drew Westervelt, Mark Millon, and Stephen Berger.

“I got to play with Bergs and play against Westy,” said Manny. “I looked up to a lot of those guys. I’m just grateful to be able to play this sport and continue to play at this level.”

Manny mentioned his only goal is to win a championship. On his way there, he could pass a couple more legends: Matt Danowski (240), Matt Poskay (254), Casey Powell (262), and Tim Goettelmann (264).

One he’ll be chasing for a while: Marcus Holman, who scored his 250th on Sunday.

3. Crease Collapse of the Week: Jake Bernhardt

Jake Bernhardt is one of the smartest off-ball short-sticks in the league. He understands the game from an offensive perspective as the offensive coordinator at Vermont.

Bernhardt hedges off Stephen Rehfuss to this seesaw action down the alley. Michael Ehrhardt rolls over from the weakside to take Rehfuss; so Bernhardt peels inside, hunting for someone to cover. Ryan Drenner does a good job moving toward the ball and making himself tough to cover; Bernhardt just does a better job arriving before the pass.

4. Three Slide of the Week: Garrett Epple

A rare Three Slide of the Week! Garrett Epple (3CT) clogs passing lanes while on-the-go better than any defender in the league. He slides with his stick in the air, anticipating “one more” passes. Dan Bucaro tries to make that extra pass to a Mark Cockerton stepdown here – but Epple has other ideas.

Epple is the best defensive playmaker in the league. He gets a piece of passes that he has no business touching. It’s all within the scheme of the defense, too; there’s no cheating for nuggets. Epple doesn’t take risks. He recognizes and reacts.

5. Jay Carlson, crashing the boards

His teammates have called him the best groundball player on the Whipsnakes. Jay Carlson (2G, 6GB vs. Cannons) might lead the team in both groundballs and assisted groundballs.

Carlson crashes the boards for putback dunks, second chances, and :52 shot clock resets. If he can’t scoop cleanly, he swats the rebound out to the perimeter Ben Wallace-style for a teammate. Look at him sell out in a sea of white jerseys!

6. The Great Wall of Concannon

Jack Concannon turned aside 65% of shots against the Redwoods – including an absurd-but-standard-for-him 54.5% from the doorstep/hole areas and a lights-out 71.4% of assisted shots.

League-wide save percentage against assisted shots in 2020 was 47.9% – significantly lower than save percentage against unassisted shots (56.5%). Concannon’s ability to track passes, find the shooter, cut down angles, and explode through the shot is impressive.

The Atlas team that traveled to Atlanta looked more like the Atlas team from training camp. Offensively, they played unselfish lacrosse: 8 assists against one of the best slide-and-recover defenses in the league. The Bulls will be tested in Baltimore against the Whipsnakes (on June 25th) and the Cannons (on June 27th).

7. Jake Froccaro: Capital R, Capital L

Here’s the complete list of players since 2015 to have hit a left- and right-handed 2-pointer: 

  • Paul Rabil
  • Kyle Harrison
  • Joe LoCascio
  • Peter Baum
  • Ryan Brown
  • John Ranagan
  • Steven Brooks
  • John Glesener
  • Jake Froccaro

…and Froccaro hit one with each hand in Friday night’s game.

Off-hand 2-point range is a different level of range. How many players would even attempt that?

8. Lyle, attacking early

When the Whipsnakes defense settles, it’s nearly impossible to crack – even for Lyle Thompson.

Lyle shot 0-for-7 with :21 or less on the shot clock. Physical defense from Bryce Young and strong v-holds from Matt Dunn with support from teammates kept Lyle out of the paint.

Early in the clock, Lyle capitalized in space. He shot 4-for-7 with :24 or more on the shot clock. There’s no adjacent defender to crash down, no area to funnel him to – just Lyle, on an island. A daunting task for any defender.

Oh, you’re going to follow Tyson Bell and Reece Eddy to the box? Good luck guarding Lyle while you’re 4-on-4.

9. 2-2-2 trend

The Whipsnakes’s 2-2-2 set won them the 2019 Championship; it has hit another level with Zed in the mix. Sean Kirwan has the Cannons running a 2-2-2 with UVA-esque spacing. The Archers are even mixing some 2-2-2 in, a stark contrast from their traditional open set.

I like all those looks. I don’t like Chaos’s 2-2-2.

The Chaos offense started humming late in 2020 when it put all six players above the cage. These big-littles behind the cage aren’t working. They accounted for a couple goals against the Waterdogs on Friday night; then the Archers switched them and they stalled out.

The Archers are okay switching Dominique Alexander onto anyone. They play sides perfectly on the Wes Berg screen inside – and Matt McMahon blocks Dhane Smith’s shot attempt.

Mac O’Keefe was picking in these sets behind the cage. Mac O’Keefe belongs above GLE ready to rip stepdowns. So does Byrne – one of the best shooters in the league from 10-15 yards over the past two years.

Byrne-O’Keefe two-man games on the wing are dangerous; Byrne-O’Keefe two-man games at X aren’t.

10. Mikie Schlosser gets the green light down the alley

I’m allergic to alley dodges. Over 65% of all dodges from up top lead to unassisted shots – and unassisted shots down the alley only find twine at a 17.0% clip. Dodging from the top of the field doesn’t apply much pressure on a defense; it typically results in the exact shot defenses aim to allow.

HOWEVAH, Mikie Schlosser gets a green light coming out of the box. His speed and decision-making both present problems for defenses. Schlosser usually pushes through X or pulls to an open teammate at the top of the arc. But when he can save some angle, he lets a perfectly placed shot fly.

Schlosser’s speed and Connor Kelly’s staircase dodging complement each other wonderfully. When Ryan Brown is mirroring or popping for them (more on him later this week!), the defense is in a pickle.

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