Archers advance with 13-8 win against Redwoods

By Sarah Griffin | Sep 5, 2022

The Archers live to see another week in their playoff run as they book their trip to the semifinals and a date with the Chaos thanks to a 13-8 victory.

It was an all-around team effort from every part of the field for Chris Bates’ club. Seven different goal scorers cemented by a standout performance from the defensive midfield unit, particularly the short stick d-middies, led to domination in the first half and consistency in the second. 

The Archers got on the board first due to an unfortunate start by the Redwoods. Connor Fields kept the momentum going from his five-goal game two weekends ago in Seattle into the playoffs as he grabbed the intended clear from Jack Kelly up top to tuck one in. Minutes later, he followed it up with the feed to Ryan Ambler who put the Archers up 2-0 to start the game.

As seen throughout the regular season, when the Archers’ offense gets off to a hot start, they’re near impossible to contain, especially when they’re getting production from names other than Marcus Holman, Will Manny, Tom Schreiber, and Grant Ament

Holman, who recorded three points of his own with the hat trick, discussed the importance of the Archers’ hot start and all-around contributions. 

“It’s always nice getting off to a hot start like that. I think we just battled in the middle of the field and got some extra possessions early on and that was able to get us into a flow quicker offensively.”

The Redwoods responded to the Archers’ early lead with a quick 3-0 run in the first quarter thanks to goals from Myles Jones, Charlie Bertrand, and the quarterback of their offense Rob Pannell, but after that, it was all Archers. 

The Archers went on a 6-0 run beginning with Grant Ament’s unassisted goal in the first. Fields, Ambler, Schreiber, Matt Moore, and Tre Leclaire followed suit. At the half, it was all Archers as they found themselves up 9-4.

For the Archers, it was all about carrying the momentum from the first into the second half and continuing to contain and neutralize the Redwoods. 

Justin Inacio and the Archers’ wings played one of their best games of the year. Inacio’s struggled at the stripe this season, but in the first half he matched up with TD Ierlan well. The two both went 7-for-14 in the first half, and while Ierlan found his footing in the second half and ended the game with a 62% faceoff percentage, even when the Woods won the faceoff, the Archers’ wings battled back for possession.

The Redwoods had such limited offensive opportunities up until the fourth quarter, and even when they could grab hold of the ball, they struggled on offense with the shot clock. 

As the Redwoods defense tightened up in the second half, the third quarter saw only one goal. Marcus Holman netted his second of the afternoon to make it 10-4 Archers going into the final quarter. 

The Woods won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Archers 4-3. Ryder Garnsey buried two in a row followed by Bertrand’s second goal and then Pannell’s second to end the game. Ultimately, it was too little too late for the Redwoods.

“Credit to the Archers, they came out hot and executed their game plan early,” said Pannell. “In this league it’s definitely tough to come back when you fall behind, and even when we were able to get close a couple times they stuck it out. They played unselfish offense, great team defense, and Adam Ghitelman was tremendous in goal. Again, hats off to them.” 

“This game kind of embodied our season,” remarked Redwoods head coach Nat St. Laurent.

As the Archers prepare for the semifinals in D.C., they’ll face their postseason kryptonite in the Chaos who knocked them out of the playoffs last year in the quarterfinals.

For the Redwoods, they’ll brace themselves for what’s expected to be a tough offseason with eleven players set to hit free agency, including Jones, Matt Kavanagh, Eddy Glazener, and Jack Near.

“We know that there’s some big changes coming in pro lacrosse in the next coming months with contracts and free agency and all of that, so we were in the locker room together a little longer today,” remarked St. Laurent. “The room will probably be different in so many different ways next year so I wanted them to make sure they reflected on that and be with the guys for that time.”