Top takeaways as Archers notch hard-fought win over Chaos

By Zach Carey and Hayden Lewis | Jun 15, 2024

The Utah Archers defeated the Carolina Chaos 9-7 on Saturday in the lowest-scoring matchup of the PLL season to date.

Here were our beat writers' top takeaways from the rock fight in Philadelphia:

Zach Carey: Brett Dobson wins the Archers another game

Standing across the field from four-time Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year Blaze Riorden, Archers keeper Brett Dobson outdueled the best goalie in the world. 

“Dobber was every bit his match,” Archers head coach Chris Bates said postgame. “He really settled us down. He’s very composed. He settled us down on our clear, which was critical. He’s having another good year. He’s become a really good leader for us.”

With 15 saves on 22 shots on goal (68.2%), Dobson anchored a Utah defense that was without defensive coordinator Tony Resch. He made save after save after save in the fourth quarter as the Archers held Carolina to only two goals in the final 31:23 of the game. It was yet another heroic performance from the third-year goalie when the club desperately needed it.

Offensively, while the Archers scored just nine goals, they did enough against arguably the best defense in the league. Utah found the matchups it could win against the Carolina short sticks and had a well-rounded attack with Tom Schreiber (2G, 2A) leading the way and sealing the deal by scoring an insurance goal with 15 seconds left in the fourth. 

Otherwise, Ryan Ambler (2G, 1A) and Mac O’Keefe (2G, 1A) exploited their short-stick matchups well and capitalized on their opportunities. 

Against a club that has had their number since the league’s inception, pulling out this win is a major step in the right direction for the Archers as they try to run it back this summer. 

Up next for Utah: vs. Boston Cannons (Friday, June 28, 9:30 p.m. ET)

Hayden Lewis: Carolina’s near 14-minute scoring drought leads to second straight loss

After three quick goals in the first quarter, the Chaos offense was firing on all cylinders. Carolina finally found some mojo and looked primed for an explosive game. Then the long scoring droughts and turnovers returned, and the offense stalled out.  

After leading the contest for essentially three quarters, the Chaos finally allowed the Archers to tie the game, and the offensive woes reached new heights. Carolina failed to score in the final 13:48 of regulation and couldn’t find a way to beat Dobson.

“Credit to Dobson. He is a phenomenal goalie, and he played a great game and he deserves the credit,” Chaos head coach and general manager Andy Towers said. “I felt like we generated a lot of high-quality opportunities, and we just didn’t bury enough of them.”

The Chaos shot 17.9%, a steep drop from the team’s 40.4% average coming into the game. 

The defense played solid throughout the contest and held an inconsistent Archers offense at bay. Jack Rowlett (three caused turnovers, two ground balls) pumped out another solid performance on defense, and Riorden made 11 saves in his return from injury. 

“I think they’re going to have nightmares about Blaze,” Towers said. 

Up next for Carolina: vs. Philadelphia Waterdogs (Saturday, June 29, 8:30 p.m. ET)