Dhane and Ryan Smith lead Chaos past Redwoods, 14-12

By Sarah Griffin | Jul 31, 2022

Don’t look now but Andy Towers’ club is vying to make another infamous Chaos playoff push as they secured a vital 14-12 win over the Redwoods in Dallas led by big performances from Ryan Smith (5G) and Dhane Smith (1G, 6A). 

Ryan shot 83% with five goals under his belt. Two of those five goals came off the feed from Dhane, one of the best feeders in the game. Dhane tallied six assists total along with a goal of his own for a stunning seven-point night.

“He’s so athletic and has such a quick first step,” said Ryan of playing alongside Dhane. “Once you learn his game and get that chemistry with him, he’s just unbelievable to play with.” 

In only four games played Dhane already has twelve assists, tied for third-best in the league. 

We saw a vintage Chaos lacrosse performance from their offense, something Dhane, Ryan, and Coach Towers all noted was a point of emphasis for the team coming off back-to-back losses and looking for that second dub of the season.

“We were really just playing to our system,” said Ryan. “It was a point of emphasis for us to play Chaos lacrosse, that’s our strength.” There’s arguably no offense in the PLL with better chemistry on the field than the Chaos. Founded in their group of Canadians in Ryan, Dhane, Josh Byrne, Chris Cloutier, and Chase Fraser, as well as Mac O’Keefe who Ryan says is “probably more Canadian than us,” the Chaos shot 40% with 24 shots on goal.

Coach Towers noted after last weekend’s loss to Whipsnakes, one of the group’s main points of focus was to be more disciplined in decision making on the offensive end. With seven different goal scorers in their victory, the Chaos made it impossible for the Redwoods to ever take a lead despite their best efforts. 

“We have an incredibly unselfish group on the offensive end. You see that with how spread out the scoring was on the scoresheet. The way our guys can finish when they’re in a groove is scary.” 

Redwoods head coach Nat St. Laurent expressed the same sentiments for the Chaos offense, even despite his goaltender Jack Kelly’s best efforts.

“The Chaos are great shooters. There were a lot of goals tonight where I don’t think anyone would have had it no matter who was in goal,” said St. Laurent. “We did Jack [Kelly] no favors.” 

The Redwoods got off to a slow start in the first quarter, something both St. Laurent and attackman Ryder Garnsey felt put them in a tough position from the get-go.

“We came out slow in the first and that put our backs against the wall,” said Garnsey. “Next week against the Cannons we’re going to have to come out firing to start the game.”

St. Laurent agreed. “We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to,” noting even when his team was able to pull themselves within one goal or tie it up at multiple points in the game, they were never able to pull ahead and a better start in the first could’ve offset that. 

Despite the lack of intensity to start the game, it surely was not a matter of a shortage of offensive production from the Woods, especially Garnsey.

Garnsey recorded a five point performance with five goals on nine shots for a 56% shooting percentage. With his five goals, Garnsey moves to number one in professional lacrosse over Jordan Wolf in both shooting percentage and goals scored versus Blaze Riorden amongst players with at least twenty shots against the reigning MVP and Goaltender of the Year. 

The Redwoods also had a strong first half performance at the faceoff stripe from TD Ierlan who continues to look more like himself after an uncharacteristic slow start. Ierlan went 9-for-16 at the stripe for a 56% faceoff percentage to open the game. 

Chaos faceoff specialist Max Adler fought back in the second half to even it out at the stripe. His first game back this season, Adler went 50%, winning 14 of his 28 faceoffs. 

The Chaos take on the Chrome on Saturday next weekend in Denver for the first time this season as the Redwoods look to bounce back against a desperate Cannons team Friday night.