Offensive Concerns Arise for Chrome After Loss to Archers
The Chrome LC headed into week 2 on a high note. Having won their opening game against the Whipsnakes LC 12-11 the team and fans were flying high but how would the team fare against an Archers team rife with offensive talent?
The Archers came into the game with a solid game plan, take away anything that worked for Chrome in week one. Last week the Chrome were able to push transition leading to offensive opportunities, this week Archers LC Head Coach Chris Bates had an answer for that. Coach Bates knew that limiting transition by riding hard and cutting off the clean breaks would take away a potent part of the Chrome offense. Additionally, with the Archers playing aggressive defense and pressing outside the arc, Chrome Coach Tim Soudan admitted that the Chrome offense was uncomfortable and players rushed their shots early in the shot clock.
It’s early in the season and this isn’t meant to be a knee jerk reaction. Teams can always improve and given what we’ve seen through two weeks these are three ways that the Chrome LC can get better. The good news, there’s nothing wrong that can't be fixed and I have no doubt Coach Soudan has a plan.
One Dimensional Offense
Through two weeks the offense has relied heavily on one player to carry the offense. During week one we saw Justin Anderson score four goals and in week two Jackson Morrill scored five goals. Neither game saw a second scorer reach the three goal mark and that’s fine when everyone is chipping in, but thus far the offensive production has been lopsided.
During the post-game press conference, Coach Soudan noted that the Archers defense did not slide to them, meaning that guys were left on islands. The issue is that other than Morrill, the Chrome players weren’t able to win many of those 1v1 matchups. Even when Morrill had success he relied on a big-little switch to get a favorable matchup.
Poor Shot Selection
The strategy that Coach Bates implemented in this week's game, to press the Chrome offense and make them uncomfortable worked. We saw the Chrome players taking mediocre shots that Archers goalie Brett Dobson had little trouble with. As a team the Chrome shot 17.1%, which is rarely going to get it done. When you remove Jackson Morrill’s 83.3% shooting (5 scores on 6 shots), the rest of the team shot 5% (2 scores, 35 shots). The team needs to find a way to create higher percentage shots, whether it be through razor picks, big-little switches, its apparent that the Chrome dodgers need assistance getting their hands free in high percentage areas.
Lack of Ball Movement
In week one, where the offense seemed more potent and multi-dimensional, the Chrome had nearly 300 touches. In week two, where the offense seemed stagnant, the team had only 234 touches. This correlates to the idea that there were many times on offense where the ball seemed stuck in one person's stick. When individual matchups arent being won, another option is to beat a team will ball movement and off-ball movement, creating scoring opportunities with cuts. Simply put, we need to move the ball more often and with more pace.
On the Bright Side
Jackson Morrill is proving he belongs at attack. In 2021 he started at attack and scored 22 points compared to 2022 where he spent time at midfield scoring only 8 points. This season he already has 10 points in just two games.
Additionally, the defense is clearly a steady presence for the team. Yes there are open looks and the occasional soft goal that they would like back, but overall the defense wasn’t the reason the Chrome lost on Friday. Leading scorer Jackson Morrill said it best during the post game interview:
Tune in Friday 6/16 at 8:30pm as the Chrome take on the Cannons Columbus (ESPN+).