Chrome vs. Redwoods Preview
By Lauren Merola | Jun 6, 2021
Where to Watch
- Sunday, June 6
- 3:45 p.m. ET
- Live on Peacock
Opening weekend may not change how much time you’ve spent watching T.V. during the weekends from the past year, but it can change what you watch, because a full-blown 42-game lacrosse season is back.
The Redwoods and Chrome close out opening weekend. They’re the last – not the least – of the games. The last time these two met, Chrome beat the ‘Woods 12-11. Chrome went on a 7-0 run in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and the Redwoods wouldn’t recover from it, even after Sergio Perkovic hit a pair of 2-pointers in the 4th to make it a one point game.
Get ready to hog your T.V. remote or flood Gillette Stadium repping your team’s merch. There’s little to not be excited about. All the best and craftiest lacrosse players now live in one league. So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. In the Redwoods’ case, the rich got richer.
The Redwoods dropped the 2019 championship by one (!) goal and the 2020 Championship Series Semifinals by, again, one (!!) goal. With new offseason additions, this might just be the year the Woods will Roll.
New Faces (and Face Offs) to Watch
TD Ierlan took no time to make a statement Friday night in the ‘Woods 12-11 victory over the Cannons. The faceoff extraordinaire went 21-for-27 at center, winning 77% of faceoffs. Ierlan fell right into the Redwoods’ lap with the fourth pick in the 2021 College Draft and will make an immediate impact on a roster that won only 36.2% of face offs in 2020. To compare, Ierlan was victorious in a whopping 75.3% faceoffs during his entire collegiate career: the most successful in NCAA DI history.
After Ierlan – most likely – finds himself with the ball running down the Chrome’s half, there’s no shortage of players to pass to, like offseason trade acquisition Rob Pannell or Entry Draft pick Ryan Lee.
The Redwoods traded their third overall pick in the Entry Draft and a 2nd round pick in the 2022 College Draft for Rob Pannell. The former Tewaaraton Award winner and Team USA gold medalist is prolific in the points column. Pannell met net six times and assisted nine times in the condensed, five-game 2020 season.
Ryan Lee will step onto turf in a new, Redwoods uniform, but his craftiness will be the same. There’s virtually no angle Lee can’t rip it – and hit it – from. Give him an inch and he’ll take… well… a shot. It’ll probably go in, too.
The Redwoods have loaded up the offensive arsenal in the offseason, meaning more shots on Chrome goalie John Galloway, who faced 132 shots (including 2pt) in 2020. The Chrome unloaded nearly 60 shots more than that on opposing goalies, but at a measly 32%. They’ll have to prioritize shot selection and minimize shots against if they plan to keep the fight fair.
The Chrome picked up two-time MLL goalie of the year Sean Sconone in the entry draft’s second round. Every shot counts against Galloway and Sconone to determine the main man between the goal posts.
Connor Farrell comes up with 62% of faceoffs. Not to mention he’s 6’2”, 240 pounds going up against a 5’9”, 175-pounder in Ierlan. At center, it’s size against skill.
Whoever has the tall task of taming Jordan Wolf needs to be ready for his explosive speed and agility around the crease. Wolf led the Chrome in points (18) and assists (8) last season.
The Redwoods round out opening weekend with their second game against the Chrome. A win could give them a 2-0 boost and a reputation to be feared.
A decisive win for the Chrome would make a statement to other teams and sets the tone for the Chromeback.