Archers defeat Chrome in 23-22 overtime comeback
By Josh Schafer | Feb 22, 2023
Chrome goalie Owen McElroy nearly saved the game. He denied Matt Moore’s initial shot but the ball bounced high in the air. Marcus Holman snatched the loose ball and promptly scored the game’s final goal in a 23-22 overtime victory for Archers over Chrome on Wednesday night.
“I don’t know if I hit the game-winner as much as it bounced into my stick,” Holman joked on the ESPN broadcast after the game. “What a fun game, this is a really awesome style of lacrosse.”
In the waning moments of the PLL’s first night of sixes lacrosse in the Championship Series, the game reverted back to its field lacrosse form with some sixes flare. Archers utilized a multi-shot possession in overtime, a rarity across two games on Wednesday night, to defeat Chrome which never touched the ball during the extended period.
But Archers last goal also felt frantic. Will Manny’s first shot of the possession ricocheted off the crossbar before Archers retained possession and scored the final goal of a night that included 90 goals through two games.
“It’s as advertised,” Archers head coach Chris Bates said postgame. “It’s an up-and-down game.”
The first half was defined by the PLL’s top offense, and one of the most prolific units over the first four seasons of the league, not scoring. At times, the offense looked rushed, with shots sailing wide and the Archers clearly trying to pick out corners against a hot Sean Sconone who finished his only half in net with a game-high nine saves.
Chrome took a different approach on offense, shooting less but hitting the net more often. Chrome’s physicality proved a difference maker on offense as big-bodied forwards like Colin Heacock (3G) and Logan Wisnauskas (4G, 2A) barreled through multiple Archers defenders for goals.
“It was pretty physical which is always fun but at the same time speed is always the thing to have,” Heacock said. “So we’re still trying to figure it out and see what works best for us.”
Archers trailed by six at halftime and veterans praised third-year player Jared Conners leadership during halftime as a key turning point. Conners told Archers players they hadn’t focused enough on defense.
At the start of the second half, Conners was proven right. Several Archers defensive stops led to offensive opportunities. Like a major swing in basketball, the game shifted in a few possessions as Archers Ryan Ambler forced a turnover and scored on a dunk at the other end.
Ambler finished the game with three points and a team-high three groundballs while Grant Ament (2G, 4A) and Manny (2G, 1T, 2A) led the stat sheet for the Archers.
“When we went stop, score, stop score, and maybe stop score and they called timeout like in college basketball and the benches get hype and stuff like that I thought we got some momentum from that,” Holman said.
Following the game, Holman and Manny, a duo that’s been known for setting up flashy goals in the first four seasons on the PLL field, highlighted defensive plays. Manny celebrated an important groundball scoop. Holman highlighted taking a shot to the neck.
“There’s going to be some bruises tomorrow for sure,” he said.
Both Archers and Chrome play again on Thursday. Archers lead the first game at 6:30 p.m. ET against Whipsnakes while Chrome takes on Atlas at 8:30 p.m. ET. Both games will air on ESPN+.