By Quinn Magner | Aug 14, 2021
Head coach Jim Stagnitta and his 5-3 Whipsnakes LC go into the University of Albany’s Tom & Mary Casey Stadium in Albany, NY to lay it all on the line against Chris Bates’ 4-4 Archers in a matchup that will showcase top-tier athletic talent from some of the best lacrosse players in the world. Both of these clubs were, at one time, #1 in the PLL this summer. While both groups have the opportunity for a Championship having qualified for playoffs in 2021, these two teams are sure to put on a performance in Albany for the masses.
Ament Aims High
The PLL’s leader in points this season, former Penn State standout Grant Ament, walks into Sunday leading the league with 21 assists. That goes to show just how versatile the Archers offense is, whether the ball is in the stick of captain Marcus Holman, Will Manny, Tom Schreiber or Ament at any given time. Archers’ ball movement and chemistry have equated their success to their unselfishness. Ament is considered to be the quarterback for Archers’ offense, often drawing doubles and quickly dishing out to his fellow attackmen Manny and Holman who both support Bates’ offense with an average of 13.7 goals per game in 2021.
Absolutely keep your eyes on #16 on Sunday as Archers will be out for blood, and their rivalry and experience going head-to-head with Whipsnakes athletic, fleet-footed defense who are averaging 10.1 goals against per game heading into the bout will be a key storyline.
Bernlohr vs. Ghitelman
Whipsnakes’ keeper Kyle Bernlohr and Archers’ keeper Adam Ghitelman are arguably two of the most clutch goalies holding down their arcs today. Bernlohr comes into Sunday with a 50 percent save percentage with 85 saves. Ghitelman, like Bernlohr, has clearly proven to have worked his tail off during the off-season, coming into Sunday’ rematch with the best save percentage in the PLL with 62 percent. These two are both vocal, have fantastic technique between the pipes and are extremely comfortable outside of the goal pushing transition. Archers defensemen Matt McMahon, Graeme Hossack and Warren Jeffrey typically do a stellar job of making shooters pay by pushing them to tough angles to allow Ghitelman to smother shots. That said, #8 in goal will absolutely have to be tracking the sticks of Whipsnakes’ attackmen Matt Rambo, Zed Williams and Jay Carlson on Sunday if he wants to come up with the doorstep stops that have made his presence known in the PLL scene this season.
Bernlohr, whose defense has caused 64 caused turnovers so far in 2021, has the benefit of hitting LSM Michael Ehrhardt in transition on quick outlets as well. Known for his eye-opening, one-on-one saves in tight, Bernlohr will have his hands full squaring off against the best offensive unit in the league.
Tune in Sunday at 4:45 PM EST on Peacock to watch one of the more exciting lacrosse rematches to date when Whipsnakes and Archers go toe-to-toe in Albany.