No. 5 nets five in Archers 16-12 win over Waterdogs

By Lauren Merola | Aug 22, 2022

Connor Fields caught fire, scoring five goals to lead the Archers to a 16-12 victory over the Waterdogs in Seattle on Saturday.

The Waterdogs commanded the first quarter, but a strong performance from Adam Ghitelman kept the Waterdogs at bay, leading 3-1 after the first. The Archers – and Fields – then hit a groove, moving the ball quickly and finding the open shooter. Fields scored four of his five goals in the first half, and the Archers outscored the Waterdogs 5-2 and 7-4 in the second and third quarters, respectively. 

Ghitelman had 14 saves on 54% for the Archers. Dillon Ward posted 16 saves on 52% for the Waterdogs.

Both the Archers’ and the Waterdogs’ seasons continue into the postseason, starting in Boston on Sept. 3. The Archers play the Redwoods and the Waterdogs take on Atlas in the quarterfinals.

The Archers’ core scorers – Grant Ament, Marcus Holman and Will Manny – were kept quiet until the final minute of play, when Ament scored a two-pointer to ice the game.

Ament also posted four assists. Tom Schreiber added a hat trick while Justin Inacio, Matt Moore and Ryan Ambler all buried two goals apiece.

“It’s a team effort out there,” Fields said in a postgame interview. “We were all moving the ball well.”

As in, behind-the-back well.

Kieran McArdle led the offensive charge for the Waterdogs. He scored four goals, had four assists and grabbed seven ground balls. In the League, McArdle is first in assists with 23, second in points with 42 and sixth in one-point goals with 19. Entering Week 11, he was the only top-10 scorer not named a 2022 All-Star.

“If you look at a score sheet you can see [McArdle] has the ability to shoot and pass, but there’s so much more to his game than that,” Steven DeNapoli said. “He goes against the grain, he’s got that [short-stick defensive-midfield] mentality. He does all the intangible things and that’s what sets him apart. Whether it’s running through a tough check or battling for a ground ball, he does it all.”

Jack Hannah also scored four goals and Zach Currier had two.

At the stripe, two Ohio State products went head-to-head. Inacio went 10-for-27 (37%), grabbing six ground balls. Jake Withers had the edge over the rookie, winning 21-of-30 faceoffs (70%) and grabbing nine ground balls.

Only two teams (the Whipsnakes and Chaos) have won a championship since the League’s first season in 2019. Fields said walking into playoffs after a win could be the boost the Archers need to go all the way.

[This win] is huge. Last year, we went into the playoffs in a slump and [lost] early,” Fields said. “Every team is looking great, so you have to gain momentum when you can.”