Schreiber vs Glazener

Tom Schreiber vs Eddy Glazener: A battle of tactical masterminds

By Zach Carey

Sep 10, 2023

Saturday’s semifinal contest between the Archers and the Redwoods has no shortage of storylines. Between the battle between Mike Sisselberger and TD Ierlan at the faceoff stripe, the Redwoods’ emerging midfield against the Archers’ defensive midfield that is missing Latrell Harris, Defender of the Year Garrett Epple vs Attackman of the Year finalist Connor Fields, and much more, it’s going to be an epic showdown. 

But potentially the most impactful battle will be between Tom Schreiber and Eddy Glazener in the most important square foot of real estate on the field. Schreiber and Glazener are the leaders of their respective units, and each brings both an elite individual skill-set, but also a unique presence as the maestro who allows their teammates to thrive. 

Eddy Glazener's impact on the Redwoods defense

Outside of Epple and Glazener, the Redwoods defense might not have the bevy of individual lockdown defenders that some clubs boast. But part of what’s made them good enough to make a run to the semifinals has been how Glazener coordinates the ‘Woods on the field. 

“He’s just an experienced, smart, savvy team defenseman,” says Archers Head Coach and General Manager Bates. “He’ll tell you he’s not the be-all end-all at any one thing. But to pull teams together and be a glue guy who helps your unit operate in sync — he’s different, he’s special. That team defense rallies around his communication and leadership.” 

“He does a really good job of coordinating their scheme,” adds Ryan Ambler. “He coordinates their packages and schemes so other guys can play to their strengths. You have to respect how organized and intelligent he is on the field. It makes it tough. When a defense is organized and their slide packages are on time, they make it hard for you to move the ball, to see through the defense. He anchors that.”

Glazener’s direction of the Redwoods defense has led them to being the second best settled defensive team in the league this season. Allowing goals on just 23.1% of settled possessions, the ‘Woods force opposing teams to beat them. They don’t beat themselves. The club also allows the lowest shooting success rate on settled possessions with opponents converting a mere 23.4% of shots in six-on-six play. 

Glazener’s no slouch as an individual defender, either. He has allowed only four goals as the closest defender through 11 games and opponents’ 12.2% shooting percentage with him as the closest defender is among the best in the league. 

Bottom line, he’ll do anything necessary to lead the Redwoods to victory.

How Tom Schreiber dictates the Archers' tempo

Schreiber is, of course, the league’s MVP and had an immeasurable impact on the Archers’  offensive success this season. 

“We use the term ‘execute together’ and Tom embodies that,” says  Bates. “Tom’s going to make plays. Tom is going to be hyper-focused on his job and making plays. But the beauty of him is that he gets others involved. He is obviously somebody who dictates our tempo.” 

Speaking of tempo, the Archers have thrived in 32-second offense this season, an element of the offense that Schreiber has played a key role in. His ability to create separation on dodges and in two-man games up top forces defense to rotate early in short clock possessions, and that allows for the Archers to attack defenses when they’re not set. That’s a major reason why they’ve been the second best settled offense (scoring on 29.3% of six-on-six possessions) in the PLL this summer.  

Sunday’s semifinal matchup will feature a battle between an unstoppable force in the Archers' offense and the immovable object that is the Redwoods defense. Whichever side comes out on top will undoubtedly be led by one of the league’s two most tactically-dialed stars. 

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