Denver Outlaws rookie Brennan O'Neill

Ranking Brennan O’Neill’s seven goals from breakout performance

By Topher Adams | Jun 11, 2024

Brennan O’Neill was a superstar in high school, college and on the international stage. Against the Utah Archers, he became a superstar as a professional.

The No. 1 overall pick took over in the fourth quarter and finished with seven goals in the Denver Outlaws’ wild 18-17 overtime victory over the reigning champion Archers last Friday night.

O’Neill’s performance will be talked about for years to come. To try and contextualize the dominant night, here’s a comprehensive ranking of every O'Neill goal against Utah:

7. Almost two-pointer

This was the start of the O’Neill takeover in the fourth quarter. There’s nothing too special about this play. Sam Handley eventually draws a slide with his dodge, and the offense rotates the ball to a wide-open O’Neill at the top of the arc. Picture-perfect mechanics from the outside lead to a goal.

As good as the goal is, it’s also a “welcome to the pros” moment for O’Neill, as his foot is just barely on the two-point line. He’d learn from this later.

6. Casual finish on the run

Once O’Neill and the Outlaws got on a roll, it felt like nothing could stop them. Luke Wierman started to dominate at the stripe, and Denver turned those faceoff wins into instant offense. O’Neill looks to attack right away, and a heads-up Wierman sets up a two-man game.

The pick gives O’Neill enough space to casually free his left hand and fire it past Brett Dobson. The goal looks so easy, but that is a vicious finish from O’Neill.

5. Early offense straight to the hole

When O’Neill starts at attack, he gets to dodge at unsettled defenses. It happened on faceoffs, and it happened in transition. Utah’s Cam Wyers is out of position and scrambling when O’Neill finally gets the ball, and at that point, it’s game over.

4. Right-hander down the alley

O’Neill scored one goal before the fourth quarter, and it was a beauty. Utah does everything right defensively. Connor Maher forces O’Neill down the alley with his right hand, and Warren Jeffrey slides to help. Doesn’t matter, O’Neill scores anyway.

3. Game-winner on the powerplay

The biggest goal of the night was one of the easiest for O’Neill. The Archers gifted Denver a powerplay in overtime, and the Outlaws seized that opportunity to cap off the comeback. After moving the ball around the offense, Cross Ferrara sees O’Neill wide open on the wing.

The pass sets up O’Neill to catch and finish with fury. The goal secured Denver’s first win in over a year and set up a season with newfound optimism.

2. Two-pointer falling down

The almost two-pointer started the run, but O’Neill’s two-pointer seconds later is when everyone knew something special was happening. Once O’Neill gets the ball off the faceoff win, he doesn’t look to move it or start the offense; he wants to score. 

This is the moment everything changed. The authority to just take over a game combined with a ludicrous shot -- falling-down two-pointer past Dobson -- is special. This is the O’Neill Denver drafted first overall.

1. Game-tying sweep

This is Brennan O’Neill. Big sweeping run from left to right, powerful shot on the run. He’s done this countless times at all levels of lacrosse. And when his team needed it the most, O’Neill delivered with a signature move.