Redwoods vs. Waterdogs: Matchup Preview
By Josh Schafer | Aug 3, 2020
The Redwoods and Waterdogs both enter the quarterfinals following wins to close out group play. The Waterdogs defeated Chaos 10-9 in overtime for the club’s first win, while the Redwoods defeated Atlas 11-10 on Saturday.
The Redwoods and Waterdogs will faceoff in the second game of Tuesday’s tripleheader at 8 p.m. ET exclusively on NBC Sports Gold. You can check out a full statistical breakdown of the matchup here.
Storylines to Watch
The Redwoods have nine two-point goals, while the next closest team has three. They’ve scored a two-pointer in every game thus far and midfielder Sergio Perkovic leads the PLL with six goals beyond the arc.
In all three of the Redwoods' one-goal games, two-pointers down the stretch tightened the game. If the Waterdogs have a lead late, they’ll need to watch out for Perkovic or Myles Jones lingering up top.
The Waterdogs may have a built-in solution to stop Perkovic. The Notre Dame product often plays both sides of the ball and has found two-point opportunities in transition, against a Waterdogs team that also plays several two-way middies, it may be harder to find open looks from deep.
No two teams in the league force turnovers like the Redwoods and Waterdogs. The Redwoods lead the category with 46 caused turnovers while the Waterdogs have 45. The third-place team in the PLL, Atlas, has 33.
Both teams have also turned the ball over a league-high 67 times, which is a three-way tie with Atlas for most cough ups. The bottom line is the ball will spend a fair amount of the turf on Tuesday night, and that’s advantage Waterdogs.
The Waterdogs scoop groundballs off the faceoffs and in their own end as well as any team in the league. They often turn those opportunities in sparks for an offense that’s at times puttered while 6-on-6. If the Redwoods can limit turnovers, the Waterdogs won’t be able to run fast and it could lead to another long scoring drought.
The Redwoods have initiated from X often and counted on Ryder Garnsey to score once, getting past the goal-line extended. In the one game where Garnsey didn’t score, the Redwoods lost by four goals against the Whipsnakes.
Watch for who guards Garnsey and how aggressive they are on the Redwoods attackman. If they can frustrate him and limit his opportunities, it’ll be a good start for the Waterdogs.
We’ve reached the point in the Championship Series where this section is a bit more obvious. The loser goes home. The winner of this game gets the undefeated Whipsnakes on Thursday.