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Redwoods survive Chrome, 14-11, to finish doubleheader undefeated

By Lauren Merola | Jun 6, 2021

Sergio Perkovic and Jules Heningburg ripped three goals apiece to push the Redwoods past the Chrome 14-11 Sunday in the final matchup of opening weekend.

Perkovic dodged to his left, rolled back to his right and sank a two-pointer early in the second quarter to give the ‘Woods the 5-3 boost and their first and final lead of the game. Shortly after, Perkovic would find twine again for a back-to-back score off an assist from Myles Jones to put in the Redwoods’ sixth-straight goal and the 6-3 lead, unleashing an aggressive and physical Redwoods offense.

“Once we had a little bit of breathing room, I think it took a lot of stress off,” Redwoods coach Nat St. Laurent said. “That was a big moment of the game. For us to fight back and get that lead, get that little bit of cushion, it relaxed us quite a bit.”

Heningburg saw a lot of short-stick matchups, but didn’t think twice about it.

“It’s just how the offense works,” Heningburg said. “Who runs on the field at what capacity. When I have short sticks, I think I’m a hard cover there."

St. Laurent also didn’t give it much thought. He said the team doesn’t recognize pole matchups. “Jules has been covered by a pole his whole life, so if teams continue to put the pole on him we’re OK with that,” he said.

The Chrome would come close in the end, but would never fully recover. With 3:39 left to play Justin Guterding flipped it to Justin Anderson, who met net from the arc for a two-ball to narrow the bridge 14-12. A successful challenge on the play from St. Laurent would overturn the two-pointer into a one-point goal after the refs deemed the ball hit a player’s leg before crossing the goal line. The challenge made it a two-possession game at 14-11, where the Chrome would fall.

The Redwoods win puts them in first place as the only team with a 2-0 record. The Cannons lost to the Redwoods 12-11 on Friday. The Cannons walk into Week 2 in fourth place with a 1-1 record. 

For the Chrome, new and old faces stepped up to fill the role of Jordan Wolf, who left the game with a lower body injury in the second quarter. Jordan MacIntosh had four goals. Justin Anderson and John Ranagan each added one goal and one assist.  

“To see Jordan Wolf, a player like that, go down and have Jordan [MacIntosh] fill in at the attack the way he did, offensively, the amount of young guys, new guys that we have playing today all contributed,” Chrome goalie John Galloway said. “I thought Justin Anderson made some big plays. As a new group, you have to create an identity. In Game 1, maybe we didn’t do that but in the second half, we certainly rallied around the personnel in this group and we can build off that performance going into next week.”

At half, Wolf was carted off the field and did not return. Chrome coach Tim Soudan did not have an update on Wolf’s status after the game.

On the Redwoods, Rob Pannell found twine twice and had three assists. Matt Kavanagh and Ryan Lee each scored two goals.

The TD Ierlan-Connor Farrell matchup at the stripe did not disappoint. Ierlan, who was outsized, went 15-for-28 and came up with nine ground balls. Farrell secured 12-of-27 faceoffs and five ground balls. St. Laurent said Ierlan showed him exactly what he wanted to see going up against Farrell.

“TD [Ierlan] has proven that he cares and wants to win and he cares about this team,” St. Laurent said. “I think that's what makes it pretty special, what we got going on here at the 'Woods.”

Going into Week 2 in Atlanta, St. Laurent said the team will work on smoother transitions from midfield to attack and getting Ryder Garnsey more touches on ball. 

“We're still working on getting Ryder a little more involved, he's too special of a player and it's a really good problem to have,” St. Laurent said. “All of those guys, they're really selfless. They really are, especially Ryder.”

The Redwoods look to continue their undefeated streak Saturday at 3pm against Atlas. The Chrome battles the Waterdogs Sunday at 1pm.

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