New York Atlas goalie Liam Entenmann

Atlas’ Liam Entenmann records best debut start for goalie in PLL history

By Lauren Merola | Jul 11, 2024

New York Atlas goalie Liam Entenmann made his first career start in a demolition of the Denver Outlaws in Week 5. 

He walked onto the field at Harvard Stadium as part of a starting goalie tandem alongside Tim Troutner that coach and general manager Mike Pressler called “1” and “1A.” He walked off with the highest save percentage ever by a rookie in his first career Premier Lacrosse League start.

Entenmann posted 14 saves for a 78% save percentage while holding the Outlaws to just four goals in a 17-4 New York rout. He leads the league with a 75% overall save percentage. Carolina Chaos goalie Blaze Riorden and Utah Archers goalie Brett Dobson follow with 58.8% and 58.3% overall save percentage, respectively. 

In Troutner’s first career and PLL start for the Redwoods on June 2, 2019 – against the Atlas – he made 17 saves for 65.4%. 

Dobson’s first start on Aug. 6, 2022 saw him snag 14 saves for 51.9%, and two weeks after that, Cannons goalie Colin Kirst stole nine shots for 50% in his first start. No other goalie has ever found first-time success in the PLL like Entenmann.

“I felt pretty comfortable out there, but that’s largely a product of having great guys in front of me,” Entenmann said postgame.

The Atlas defense indeed stood on its head, with Gavin Adler effectively shutting down the Outlaws’ biggest threat in Brennan O’Neill, who recorded only seven touches and two shots for no points. Still, Entenmann found many moments to be a thief.

“The way I look at it is, these are situations that I live for and that we play for,” Entenmann said. “Big moments, big stages against the best players in the world.”

Entenmann found out he’d get his first pro start midweek and said he was excited about it because it was something he'd “dreamt of for a long time.” He also said: “Timmy Troutner was my biggest fan last week when he got pulled and was my biggest fan [Friday night]. … It shows how great of a guy and great of a teammate he is.”

It was a similar story in a different week, with a different goalie.

Entenmann was subbed in for his first pro minutes in the fourth quarter while down to the Maryland Whipsnakes in Week 4 in Minneapolis. He stopped four of the six shots he faced in a 16-12 Atlas loss. Ahead of that matchup, Pressler said Entenmann – the No. 5 draft pick and 2024 Tewaaraton finalist – had been a “spectacular” starter-in-waiting as Troutner’s “biggest supporter.”

Troutner started the first five games of the season, making 61 saves on 51%. He’ll represent New York in cage at the All-Star Game on Saturday. 

“The best part about Liam Entenmann, besides being the greatest goalie in the game today, is he’s a better man,” Pressler said. “He’s been an incredible teammate of Tim as the starter through four weeks. Liam is so upbeat. He is so team-first, so selfless.

“When he is called to duty, we are all very confident he is going to shine.”

Two weeks later, his performance didn’t only dazzle, it made history.