Chaos clinch Championship appearance with 9-0 second half run

By Katie McNulty | Sep 6, 2021

For the second year in a row, Chaos is heading to the PLL Championship game after defeating Atlas 15-9 in the semifinals at Subaru Park in Philadelphia. 

Chaos started out strong, but Atlas held an 8-5 lead at the half after climbing back from a four-point deficit to start the game. 

After Bryan Costabile scored with 1:57 to go in the first half to put them up three, that would be their last goal until the last five minutes of play.

“We knew they would throw punches,” said Chaos head coach Andy Towers. “They’re an unbelievably well-coached team between (Rubeor, Clausen and Brooks). They’re super talented… We went into halftime down 8-5, but we felt like we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with the decision-making... We were conscious in making sure every player was disciplined in the decisions we were making.”  

Chaos went on a  9-0 run in the second half and could not be stopped. Jeff Teat stopped the bleeding when he scored with 5:01 to go, but Chase Fraser scored to put the icing on the cake for Chaos. 

The battle at the stripe was almost even for both teams compared to the first meeting. Max Adler won 10 of 22 faceoffs, which helped Chaos create more opportunities against Atlas. They still had 20 turnovers, but they shot 37% while Atlas shot 16%.

Blaze Riorden was one of the reasons why. He had another impressive performance, finishing with 17 saves and two assists. 

“These guys are believers in each other and our soldiers to each other’s success,” Towers said.  “You throw in the success that Max Adler’s had in the second half of the season and marry that up with the best player in the world, in Blaze Riorden in the goal, we’re a defense that is tough to beat.” 

After Teat scored eight points in a 16-10 win in the first meeting between these clubs, Jack Rowlett held Teat to just three points in their first individual matchup.

“Jeff’s the No. overall 1 pick, outdoor and indoor, MVP candidate, Attackman of the Year candidate, Rookie of the Year candidate,” Rowlett said.  “He’s probably one of, if not the smartest lacrosse player out there. It was a product of how our d-middies were playing... very rarely did he get a switch and was able to take advantage of it.” 

Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne combined for 11 points yesterday. Smith had six points (3G, 3A), and Byrne had five (4G, 1A). 

Eric Law, Teat and Costabile all had three points for Atlas. 

“I’m proud of the way in which they played this year, “ said Atlas head coach Ben Rubeor. “If you look at the body of work we put in, I thought it was pretty darn good. I thought Chaos played fantastic this game, and I don’t necessarily think we had our best game plan. It’s disappointing at the end because you build for the end, but a lot of credit to those guys.” 

Chaos will try to break the Whipsnakes undefeated playoff streak when they meet in the championship game on September 19 in Washington D.C at 12 p.m.

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