O’Keefe leads Chaos to first win over Redwoods in breakout game

By Lauren Merola | Jun 27, 2021

Mac O’Keefe sniped the game-winner from the top of the arc to break a 9-9 tie and give Chaos a two-goal lead with 2:41 left in the fourth to lift the club to its first win of the season Saturday at Homewood Field.

Down 11-9 with 16 seconds left, the Redwoods got the ball back from the 10-man ride and Nat St. Laurent called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Jules Heningburg found himself locked up by Mark Glicini on the arc and dished it to Ryder Garnsey. Glicini leaped into Garnsey’s lane and blocked the shot off the back of his helmet in a modern-day body sacrifice.

“I was just laying my body on the line,” Glicini said. “That’s what needs to be done in a game like that.”

Chaos didn’t allow a goal in the final 17 minutes of play or in the entire second quarter. The offense was quick to move the ball and find the skip pass or open man. Chaos ended with nine assists and seven different goal scorers on the night.

“We made some positional changes with our roster and we also made some schematic changes that we felt were a better fit for our offense,” Chaos coach Andy Towers said. “It was great to see everybody get into the action today, certainly highlighted by Mac O’Keefe, who was the difference in the game.”

Jake Froccaro dished four assists, while Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith and O’Keefe contributed a hat trick apiece.

Blaze Riorden came up with 14 saves for Chaos, causing the Redwoods scoring droughts for most of the game.

“Blaze is all substance, zero fluff,” Towers said. “He makes zero excuses for anything. I think he’s the best player in the world. All he’s done, in my opinion, is go out and reinforce the credibility of that statement.”

Tim Troutner had 11 saves for the Redwoods. Rob Pannell added one goal and two assists. Myles Jones, Garnsey and Heningburg each scored two.

Still, Kyle Harrison leaves his last game at Homewood Field at a loss.

“Sitting here right now, I just saw my parents, the equipment guys that’ve been here for 20-plus years from when I was a freshman at [Johns Hopkins],” Harrison said. “This lacrosse community has supported me for 34 years.”

TD Ierlan won 77% of faceoffs and grabbed 12 ground balls, but the Redwoods had 15 turnovers and struggled to control the pace of the game. The turnovers were, “untimely,” St. Laurent said.

The momentum shifted by the quarter. The Woods went on a 4-0 run and scored five total in the third to bounce back from a frustrating second quarter.

Chaos came back from a 4-2 deficit to go into halftime tied.

In the first quarter, the Redwoods dominated the clock and capitalized on creativity. Garnsey slung in a one-hand wraparound goal with 9:36 left in the first to make it 2-0. Charlie Bertrand introduced himself to the league with a behind-the-back bomb off an assist from Pannell to put the Woods up 3-1.

Chaos then found its groove and hung tough to hold the Woods dry.

“It’s the fastest game on two feet but it’s a momentum game,” Riorden said. “The momentum shifted back and forth and at the end of the day we were the last ones on top.” 

Riorden credited the rookie O’Keefe, who had a quiet three opening games, with leading the Chaos and commanding the team’s momentum.

Chaos look to keep the momentum rolling against the Cannons and the Redwoods take on the Waterdogs July 3 on Long Island

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