Top 10 Moments Of The Archers Season

From an overtime win in the PLL’s first game all the way back on June 1 to demolishing the Atlas for the first overall draft pick, the Archers’ season had no shortage of memorable moments.

We managed to narrow it down to 10.

10. All-Star Skills Challenge Champs

“Dan Eipp is the fastest player on our team,” Archers attackman Will Manny said after Week 1. A little less than two months later Eipp proved he’s the quickest player in the whole league. The Harvard grad out sprinted Brent Adams and Sergio Salcido at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles to take home first place in the fastest player challenge.

Marcus Holman lived up to the Archers name by winning the Vineyard Vines accuracy challenge.

9. Will Manny Week 1 OT Game-Winner vs. Chrome

The first game of the PLL season ended in, what else, overtime. Will Manny gave PLL fans a sign of what was to come this season when he scored his fourth goal and clinched the win against Chrome with a snipe from, where else, the left wing.

He celebrated with the now signature Archers shooting arrow claim. PLL fans saw a lot of that this summer.

Manny finished the regular season with 22 goals, which tied for second best in the league.

The only player who outpaced him through 10 weeks? His linemate and fellow University of Utah assistant lacrosse coach, Marcus Holman.

Manny scored an incredible 13 goals in three playoff games to finish with 35 and become the league’s overall goals AND points leader.

8. Marcus Holman Did What?

This is not a specific moment, but more an appreciation.

From the first game at Gillette Stadium, when he curved the ball around his defender and Chrome’s John Galloway to the last regular season weekend at Albany, when he tiptoed the crease and slipped the ball past Whipsnakes’ Kyle Bernlohr, Holman seemed to have at least one goal, assist, or victory dance that required an instant replay.

7. Dominique Alexander’s Chirps

The All-Pro SSDM received more face time during Mic’d Up videos this summer than some entire clubs. The reason? His insatiable chatter. Alexander’s trash talk rivals Sidney Deane, Wesley Snipes’s character in the 1992 movie “White Men Can’t Jump.”

 “Hey it ain’t as easy as it looks,” Alexander said in Columbus. “I know I make it look easy.”

 “You thought he was going to stop talking when it came to overtime?” Archers midfielder Tyler Pfister asked during Week 9 in Hamilton.

“It’s like having @diggstape in my ear,” LSM Scott Ratliff noted in Columbus.

When he wasn’t causing havoc between the lines, Alexander, who received the George Boiardi SSDM Hard Hat Award, provided a constant source of narration and kept the mood light throughout his club’s highs and lows.

6. Joey Sankey Trade

The Archers dealt faceoff specialist Jerry Ragonese and a fourth round pick in the 2020 draft to the Redwoods for Sankey on July 21. When he entered the lineup, he made an immediate impact. He scored two goals and added an assist in the Archers’  win over the Atlas during Week 8 in San Jose.

Running Sankey out of the midfield, the natural attackman added another dodging threat to the Archers offense and allowed him to exploit short stick defenders.

In six games with the Archers he tallied 13 points.

The performance is all the more remarkable considering Sankey’s Week 1 win with the Redwoods represented his first professional game in 666 days. Sankey battled through two knee surgeries and a diagnosis of testicular cancer to get back on the field.

 His comeback is chronicled in this video.

5. Not One, But Two Brick Walls

Usually when a team plays two goalies, it’s because neither has grabbed the reins. But when you’re talking about the Archers, two does seem to be better than one.

Adam Ghitelman and Drew Adams combined for 19 saves against the Chrome in Week 7 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver. The outing featured multiple jaw dropping stops from both keepers including an all out diving effort from Adams that denied a Matt Danowski bounce shot on the crease.

With Ghitelman and Adams providing two powerful last lines of defense, the Archers allowed the least number of goals in a game up to that point (7). The Archers defense was also the stingiest defense in the regular season with an average of 10.5 goals against per game.

4. Tom Schreiber’s Vision

Schreiber has mastered the art of the pass. He seems to get bored throwing conventional dimes, so he mixes it up. Side arm. Underhand. He doesn’t even look at his target most of the time. Soul & Science with John Brenkus even tried to explain Schreiber’s passing prowess during Training Camp. Whatever his secret is, it works. Schreiber finished the regular season second in assists (18) and points (27) amongst all players.

His vision was on full display in the first half of the Archers’ Round 1 playoff matchup against the Redwoods. Schreiber threaded a pass from the top of the two-point arc through the Redwoods defense to Will Manny. The pass covered such a great distance that the NBC Sports cameras couldn’t capture Schreiber and Manny in the same frame. Alas, we didn’t get to see more of those dimes during the Archers’ next two games.

Which brings us to…..

3. Tom Schreiber’s Halftime Speech

When most players get knocked out of a playoff game due to an injury, they might sulk or focus on themselves. Not Schreiber.

The Midfielder of the Year and Jim Brown MVP finalist was knocked out with a dislocated left shoulder after a collision at midfield with Garrett Epple right before halftime. Though not known for his vocal presence like LSM Scott Ratliff, Schreiber, with his shoulder wrapped in ice, delivered a rousing speech. Below is a snippet of it (sans the expletives).

“Match that energy. Match that fire in those. Play your heart out. You never know when this game will be taken from you. It’s a little injury, I’ll be fine. Play hungry.”

Though the Archers ultimately fell 16-12 to the Redwoods, their Captain’s words embodied his passion for the game and dedication to his teammates.

2. “We’re Dancing”

Before the final game of the regular season, the Archers knew the stakes; Win and you’re in. That task was even more daunting considering their opponent in Albany were the Whipsnakes, who were coming off a 17-4 demolition of the Redwoods.

Trailing 7-4 at the half, the Archers dominated the Whipsnakes 7-1 the rest of the way, thanks in large part to a Will Manny hat-trick, Tom Schreiber’s second two-point bomb of the season, and eight saves by Drew Adams who finished with an absurd 88.8 save percentage.

1. The Archers are on the Clock. Again. 

Before the Whipsnakes took on the Redwoods for the inaugural PLL Championship, the Archers put on a clinic at Talen Energy Stadium outscoring the Atlas 25-7. The Archers scored more goals than their previous two games combined. Some highlights included six goals by Marcus Holman and 11, yes 11, points by Will Manny (7,4).

This whole list could just include plays from that game.

The outing was the most goals scored by a club in a PLL game and the largest margin of victory. Most importantly, the win earned the Archers the first-overall pick in next spring’s collegiate draft.

This might feel like deja vu for Head Coach Chris Bates. Bates drafted attackman Pat Spencer from Loyola first overall in 2019. With the potential to add Spencer, who is playing basketball at Northwestern as a graduate transfer, next summer along with another No.1 pick, the Archers will be a trendy choice to make the later game next Championship Saturday.

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