Holman’s hot shooting leads Archers past ‘Woods, 10-9

By Sarah Griffin | Jul 2, 2022

It was a game of back-and-forth all night long for the Archers and Redwoods, but ultimately it came down to Marcus Holman’s five-score (3G, 1T) night, specifically his buzzer beater two-pointer at the end of the first half to push the Archers over the Woods 10-9. 

“I wanted to provide some momentum going back into the locker room at the half,” Holman said of his two-point goal. 

The Archers’ offense played a rather flat first half for such a loaded attack and midfield, especially given the numbers they’ve been putting up these last few weeks. 

“The first half was frustrating offensively to say the least,” Archers head coach Chris Bates remarked. “In the second half, we picked up our momentum, we scrapped and clawed, and we cleaned it up. Last week we talked about executing in those one-goal games, and I’m happy we were able to do that this week.” 

Much to the credit of the Redwoods’ defense, Eddy Glazener (2GB, 2CT) and Garrett Epple (4GB, 2CT) especially played their matchups aggressively to limit the explosive Archers’ offense as best they could in the first half. 

Glazener, the league leader in caused turnovers, collected two in the first, and Epple one as well. 

Jack Kelly made his first start in the cage for the Redwoods this season and aside from the two-point goal, provided them with some much needed strength in net. He made six stops in the first half for a 60% save percentage. 

On the other end of the field, the Redwoods’ offense was buzzing in the first thanks to TD Ierlan (13-for-21, 62%) and Rob Pannell (1G, 4A). 

Highly considered one of the best faceoff guys in the business, Ierlan’s had a bit of a slow start this season. However we saw a much more on-brand performance from him tonight. He went 7-for-10 at the stripe in the opening half, giving the Woods the offensive opportunities they’ve been searching for these last four weeks. 

Nobody capitalized more on those possessions than Pannell, who kept the Woods in the battle until the very last second of the game.

Pannell recorded a five-point night with a goal and four assists as the catalyst of the Redwoods’ offense. All four assists came on goals from four different goal-scorers, both attackmen and midfielders. 

Despite Pannell and the Redwoods’ best efforts, ultimately it was Holman and the Archers’ defense who were the difference-makers in the team’s third victory of the year.

“It was just a gritty performance by our defense making a lot of crucial stops down the stretch,” said goaltender Adam Ghitelman

Graeme Hossack, Matt McMahon, Jon Robbins, Dominique Alexander, Latrell Harris, and Scott Ratliff all played key roles in holding out Pannell and the Woods. 

“Anytime you hold a team in this league to nine goals, you know you’re doing something right,” Bates said. “I was very pleased with that [the defense] side of the field tonight.”

In their second one-goal loss in a row, while Holman’s two-point goal might haunt the Redwoods for a bit, they’re not going to let it bring them down going into the All-Star break.

“It’s important not to panic. These last two games, despite the outcome, have been steps in the right direction compared to the first few weeks,” said Pannell. 

With a much needed break on the horizon for the Woods, Glazener echoes Pannell’s sentiments but with a strong message for himself and his team. 

“We’re right there. We have some much needed time to reflect, but we need to not feel sorry for ourselves but rather be honest with ourselves and each other. Every game from here on out is a playoff game.”

After the All-Star game, the Redwoods will face the red-hot Atlas in Fairfield on July 23rd at 5 PM ET, as the Archers meet up with the Cannons once again on the 24th at 2 PM.