Ryder Garnsey of Redwoods LC Six Goals vs Atlas LC

Ranking Ryder Garnsey’s Six Goals in the Season Opener

By Jerome Taylor | Jun 4, 2023

One of the biggest storylines of training camp was how Redwoods LC’s offense would look with John Grant Jr. as the offensive coordinator.

And the biggest beneficiary in the Redwoods' 13-12 win over Atlas LC was the player at camp for the shortest period: Ryder Garnsey

Coming off a stint as an assistant coach for the national champions at Notre Dame, Garnsey came into camp after the rest of the 'Woods. But “The Kid,” as Redwoods Head Coach Nat St. Laurent affectionately calls him, was on fire, pumping six goals in the win. 

“He is him, I guess that’s what the young kids are saying right now,” St. Laurent said jokingly after the game. “The progression he’s shown over the years being a coach and everything he brought to Notre Dame and bringing it here, it’s special.”

6. Time and Room in Transition 

After giving the Redwoods a 1-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime, Garnsey found some space in the transition to provide the 'Woods a little more breathing room. On some of Garnsey’s more pedestrian goals, the ‘Woods showcased how much better they are off-the-ball on offense and in transition. On this one, Wes Berg (3 G, 1A) makes a simple pass, and Garnsey steps down and buries it.

“Guys were finding me today and the ball was going in the back of the net,” Garnsey said. “Some weeks are just just your week.”

In the second quarter, Atlas used a three-goal run to tie the game, so Garnsey’s back-to-back goals at both sides of the half gave the 'Woods the momentum, but nowhere near his most ridiculous of the day. 

5. On the Doorstep Off a Montgomery Feed 

Another goal where Garnsey’s teammates find him in a good position.

Nakeie Montgomery forces a slide in transition, makes the read, and an on-the-money pass that puts Garnsey one-on-one with Jack Concannon, good luck. 

Montgomery was another star in the win. He had three assists in this game, and this play exemplified just how pivotal he was on Saturday. 

4. The Fast Game 

All of the things that the Redwoods keyed on in training camp came to life on this play. Jack Kelly makes a great stop (he had 11 on the day),  then an outlet to Montgomery. And then, finally, some tic-tac-toe passing from Montgomery to Rob Pannell to Garnsey, who finished while tip-toeing across the crease.

3.  “It Doesn’t Hurt Very Much”

So far, all of the goals we’ve gone through have been off an assist, but this one was Garnsey being a magician. 

Tucker Durkin, a six-time all-star, is all over Garnsey throwing heavy stick checks, and by the end of the play, the two are face-to-face.

And somehow, “The Kid” still finds the space to get this one past Concannon.

“I love [defenders throwing heavy checks]; if they’re throwing heavy checks, they’re probably not moving their feet as much,” Garnsey said. “I wear some pads, and between that and the adrenaline, it doesn’t hurt very much.”

2. How’d He… And He Finished It Too?

Look no further if you have ever wondered how much hand-eye coordination and concentration PLL athletes have. This goal comes at the end of the first half off a feed from Rob Pannell (who moved into 4th all-time in assists) to give the ‘Woods a 7-6 lead heading into halftime. 

With his back to Pannell, Garnsey catches the ball through traffic and, in one motion, completes a sweeping backhand that bounces right over Concannon’s stick

1. Stop, Drop and Roll Goal 

Usually, in lacrosse, you don't want to be rolling around on the floor when you have the ball. But then again, most lacrosse players aren’t Ryder Garnsey. He’s comfortable there. 

We mentioned his absurdity as a goal scorer in the lead-up to the game, and this was reminiscent of his SportsCenter top-ten goal from last year

This time he lost control, got possession back, maneuvered through a barrage of sticks with his back on the ground, found his footing, and buried it. 

“Honestly, not a lot going through my head; get out of here with the ball,” Garnsey said about the goal.

“When I'm rolling around, I’m just sort of hoping that guys will leave me alone; got pretty lucky no one landed a hard enough check on my stick… Sometimes when you’re out there worming around in the field, you just catch some breaks.” 

Well, this break was good enough to set the bar for “Goal Of The Year” in week 1. 

Garnsey was unquestionably “Him” on Saturday, and the Redwoods moved to 1-0. Now they have a chance at a 2-0 start against the defending champs, Waterdogs LC, in Charlotte.