Archers get back on track with 11-8 win over Chaos

By Austin Owens | Aug 14, 2022

The Archers were able to gain some momentum in the home stretch of the season, beating Chaos 11-8 on Saturday afternoon in Salt Lake City.

“It felt good to get back on the right side of the ledger. I think the game had a playoff atmosphere from the jump,” Archers head coach Chris Bates said following the game. “It wasn’t lost on us that, at the end of the season last year, our dreams were shot by this team in this facility. So we were just excited to get a little bit of momentum and head into that last game next week feeling good. But we’ve still got a long way to go.”

The Archers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead to open the game. Tom Schreiber found himself with time and space and stuck a stepdown 2-pointer from deep before Connor Fields scored a ridiculous behind-the-back goal while falling. 

Andy Towers called an early timeout to settle his team down, which paid dividends. Chaos got on the board with a Challen Rogers goal, and they cut the deficit to one when Josh Byrne beat his defender and powered a shot past Adam Ghitelman.

Rogers got his second goal of the game to tie things up at three to open the second. He was followed up by an incredible individual effort from Chase Fraser. The Archers had an answer, however. Schreiber got his second goal to tie things up once again. They took the lead before the end of the half. Ryan Ambler was able to draw a man-up opportunity, and the midfielder followed up by potting a diving effort off a loose ball in the dying seconds. 

Coming out of the locker room, Schreiber added to the lead. Chaos struck back with two straight out of the sticks of Fraser and Chris Cloutier, but Schreiber answered with his fourth score of the game. 

“I think (our offensive success) starts with no one having an ego. Everyone is going to play the role they need to. Whether they’re primarily a shooter or dodger, they’re wanting to set picks or go to the net,” Schreiber said of his team’s play. “We mix and match with who plays attack and midfield and no one really bats an eye. So I think that speaks to our team’s culture and willingness to do whatever it takes.

“On the other side of it, the guys executed, which is great for us. In the past, (Chaos) has really figured us out and given us fits. So not that we solved them today, but we took a nice step forward in addressing teams that are going to play us that way. It was a selfless effort from our group.”

Ambler added another, and from there, the Archers began to pull away. 

Carrying an 8-7 advantage into the final frame, the Archers pulled off a three-goal run, with goals from Marcus Holman, Ambler, and Fields. On the other end, Adam Ghitelman and the defense stifled the opposition, holding Chaos off the board in the fourth until the 2:23 mark. 

Dhane Smith’s marker would be the only one the defending champions could muster, as the Archers went on to take their fifth win of the year by an 11-8 scoreline. 

Schreiber led the way for the Archers with four goals (including a 2-pointer) and an assist for six points. Ambler (3G) and Fields (2G, 1A) also had big showings for their squad. 

Byrne (2G, 2A) and Rogers (2G, 2A) were the offensive catalysts for Chaos. Blaze Riorden finished the game with 19 saves on the afternoon – one short of tying his season-high.

“I think it’s just having a next-game mentality. That’s the great thing about this league…It doesn’t really matter how you finish if you get into the playoffs. After that, anything can happen,” Byrne said post-game. “I think the last three years, you’ve seen that from us. We’re confident in our group. It’s just really just trying to get everything going at the same time.”

The Archers moved tentatively into the second seed in the standings with the victory. They’ll have the chance to lock in a top-three seed next weekend in Seattle when they take on the Waterdogs.

Chaos heads into a crucial matchup against the Atlas in what could decide the final playoff position.