Utah Archers attackman Connor Fields

Connor Fields scores ‘goal of the year’ in Archers’ win over Whipsnakes

By Zach Carey | Jul 6, 2024

Midway through the third quarter of a back-and-forth matchup between the Utah Archers and Maryland Whipsnakes, Connor Fields lit the lacrosse world aflame.

After struggling to win topside against two-time Defensive Player of the Year Matt Dunn, Fields rolled back to his right and carried down the alley with just one hand on his stick and a rapidly diminishing angle.

But, in typical Fields fashion, he took off into the air from five-and-five and used his right hand on the bottom of his stick to catapult the ball between his legs and to the top left corner of the net.

“Going against Dunn is always a challenge,” Fields explained after the game, which Utah went on to win 16-11 at Harvard Stadium. “So, by myself kind of going down the alley late in the clock with one hand on my stick – similar to last year – I felt like it was kind of a last resort. I went low last year. This time I tried to change planes and it ended up working.”

For the Archers, the absurd things Fields does around the cage have become commonplace as he’s established himself as one of the most difficult players to guard in the entire league. 

While lacrosse fans everywhere stared in utter disbelief at his one-handed heroics, Fields’ teammate Mac O’Keefe was unfazed. 

After the ball hit the back of the net, O’Keefe strolled over to his fellow lefty attackman to let him know that “as soon as you rolled back and the stick was in one hand, I knew something crazy was coming.” 

In the Archers’ 2023 season opener, Fields hit the same shot. Just without the same zip on the ball. 

“Obviously, he did that last year, but this one had a little bit more heat on it,” O’Keefe said postgame. “[A] talented player like that, he’s capable of anything.” 

“I was surprised he put it high,” added Utah goalie Brett Dobson. “He got speed on it this time. I feel like us goalies gave him some crap about the last one [in 2023] because it was a bit of a change up.” 

Fields scored a hat trick in Utah’s win over the Whipsnakes on Saturday evening. In fact, he already notched a highlight-reel-worthy goal a quarter earlier. Having drawn a holding penalty when Roman Puglise wrapped his stick around Fields’ neck, he shook off the pressure and flung a behind-the-back shot past Whipsnakes goalie Brendan Krebs from 10 yards away.

“He’s just able to win those one-on-one battles,” O’Keefe added. “You’ve seen in the past two games, he can draw penalties, too. Whether he’s getting to the goal and scoring a goal [or not], he’s creating some sort of offense for us.

Fields’ flair for the dramatic produces SportsCenter Top-10 moments. But it’s also a critical component of Utah’s offense. His three goals helped the Archers’ offense regain its rhythm against Maryland. After a pair of nine-point performances, Utah put up a resurgent 16 on the Whips. 

“He always gives us a chance to generate something offensively, and you saw that today,” O’Keefe said.