Horns Up: Atlas and Teat Bully Cannons, 18-17
By Quinn Magner | Jun 28, 2021
Head coach Ben Rubeor and his Atlas team walked back on to Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field on Sunday with a chip on their shoulders after a Friday night 12-11 OT loss to Whipsnakes – and boy did they use it against Sean Quirk’s now 1-3 Cannons.
Jeff Teat on Repeat
The rookie from Cornell brought an onslaught of 7 goals and 2 assists with his dominant left hand on Sunday through all four quarters. He could not be spoken for between Cannons defensive trio of Brodie Merrill, Jake Pulver or Jack Kielty. Teat spoke humbly about his performance along with his 2-2 team’s performance against Paul Rabil and Cannons after the game.
“I don’t know, I just felt a little bit better physically today. I was a little tired and slow on Friday, but today felt good, I think we felt good as a group, and it was great to come out with a win.”
Rabil, the league’s Co-Founder and Cannons captain, opened the game with a quick split dodge to his left and a powerful shot and goal past Atlas keeper Jack Concannon. From there, Cannons attackman, and arguably the best attackman in the world right now, Lyle Thompson, got one of his only 2 assists on the day feeding Andrew Kew on the crease after drawing a quick double making the score 2-0 Cannons. Teat’s prolific performance began for Atlas after the slick Canadian waltzed right through the middle of the field and Cannons defense sticking thee first Atlas goal stickside-low past Cannons keeper Nick Marrocco.
Throughout the game, Cannons attackman Ryan Drenner put a couple of rebound goals past Concannon after Concannon had initially made the big saves. Drenner’s 4 goals simply weren’t enough to take out Atlas as Teat found himself in the best positions to score with his savvy left hand too many times with not enough pressure to honor him.
“I thought he played really well,” Rubeor said after the game. “You know, he got that first goal of the game, and when things start falling, he can really get some momentum. So anyway, I’m proud of him, but he wasn’t happy after Friday. I thought he played just fine, but he wasn’t happy. Anyway, the guy’s a competitor and I think he did a great job.”
The big surprise for fans was the physical and no-nonsense defensive pressure that was put on sensational Cannons attackman Lyle Thompson by the close defensive unit of Michael Rexrode, Cade van Raaphorst and captain Tucker Durkin. Durkin, a former Hopkins Blue Jay playing back at Homewood, helped van Raaphorst with quick slides on Thompson all day long. The Onondaga Nation native was smothered by the aggressive Rexrode every time the ball touched his stick and he started thinking about his next move.
It seemed like every time Thompson, who still holds the most points scored in NCAA history for Division I lacrosse, had possession, he was either getting doubled or Rexrode was just bodying him up without allowing him to get comfortable. Thompson finished the day scoreless which was unusual to see as the Cannons captain and former two-time Tewaaraton winner always finds a way. On Sunday, though, Rabil, not Thompson, was the captain playing like a younger version of himself finishing the day with two 1-point goals and a 2-point goal.
“Yeah, you know it was another battle out there against Atlas,” said Cannons head coach Sean Quirk. I thought we got off to a slow start, and we were making things easy for them. We weren’t making things difficult for them. In the second half, our guys again battled back, had some good saves on offense and defense, and Marrocco made some big saves. Disappointing to lose by one today.”
Next Weekend in Long Island
Rubeor’s new-look offense for Atlas really mixed things up scoring their 18 goals from all over the field on Sunday. Although they just barely escaped Cannons, Teat stepping on to the scene for Atlas was easily the story of the day in Baltimore during that Week 3 match-up. Teat will have to continue the off-ball movement alongside fellow Canadian attackman Mark Cockerton on Long Island for Week 4 of the 2021 PLL season next Sunday, July 4 when Atlas square up against Chrome. The depth of the Atlas attack and midfield units will have their work cut out for them as Chrome will be walking into Shuart Stadium hot off the biggest upset of the 2021 season, routing the previously undefeated Whipsnakes 16-6 on Sunday as well.
Both Concannon and Marrocco came in clutch for their teams between the pipes throughout the 18-17 shootout, but the number of goals average certainly stood out, and both keepers will need to remain consistent next weekend during Week 4’s match-ups. Concannon finished with a 27 percent save percentage, tallying just 6 saves on the 17 allowed. Marrocco, on the other hand, finished with a flurry of 18 saves to keep Cannons within 1 nearly the entire game. Next weekend when Cannons connect with Chaos, who are also 1-3, Marrocco will have to keep his save percentage streak alive and not drop below 50 percent during next Saturday’s match-up at Hofstra.
Concannon will have to really focus in on the ball releasing from his opponents’ sticks and stand on his head when holding down the Atlas cage on the field of his alma mater next Saturday. That said, Ben Rubeor’s mixture of veteran and younger defensive stalwarts may truly be the answer to carrying this particular team to a title by the end of the summer.