Dick’s Sporting Goods Park sits at 5,200 feet above sea level in Commerce City, Colorado, on aptly named 6000 Victory Way. Chaos didn’t seem to mind the altitude and avenged their Week 1 overtime loss to the Whipsnakes. In a rematch of the two top clubs, Chaos pulled out the 13-12 victory.
How It Happened:
“On offense we’re just gonna hit singles,” Whipsnakes LC attackmen Matt Rambo told the NBC Sports broadcast crew before the game.
Bryce Young, the Whipsnakes’ All-Star defenseman from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., did just that. He buried his shot in the bottom right corner from one step inside the two point arc only sixteen seconds into the contest. Chaos’s bomb squad responded. Jarrod Neumann scored his fourth goal of the season, which, no surprise, was a two-pointer. All of his four goals this season have come from beyond the arc. “That’s pretty much automatic,” Jake Froccaro, another member of the bomb squad, said of Neumann’s proficiency from range. Rambo tied the score at 3-3, when he shot around Chaos goalie Blaze Riorden…and Mark Glicini.
The second quarter was a similar seesaw affair, highlighted by acrobatic goals from Connor Fields and Eric Scott. “If you’re sitting at home wondering how, I’m not sure either,” NBC Sports Analyst, Ryan Boyle, said of Fields’s effort. Rambo appeared to tie the score at five with his own flashy goal, until it was overturned after a challenge by Coach Towers and ruled a crease violation. Without key attackmen Miles Thompson and Josh Byrne, who have accounted for a combined 21 goals, the Chaos inserted veterans Mike Bocklet and Kevin Buchanan into the starting lineup. Buchanan’s two goals in the first half nearly doubled his total for the season and Chaos entered halftime 7-5.
Ryan Drenner (4,0) proved he’s a threat beyond just the fourth quarter. He executed a diving catch and tip-toed around the crease to cut the Chaos’s lead to one less than a minute into the third. He scored two more goals in the quarter on time and room shots from the right wing. Chaos seemed undeterred. LSM Matt Rees scored his second goal of the night and extended their lead to 12-9 at the end of the third.
The Whipsnakes clawed their way back. Mike Chanenchuk’s on the run goal pulled the Whipsnakes even at 12-12 with 3:12 to play in the fourth. Less than a minute later, though, Chaos midfielder Deemer Class capped off a hat trick with a rocket from the left wing. Riorden preserved the win with his 17th save when he sprawled out and diverted a diving shot from Connor Kelly. Although he demonstrated his ability at attack during the All-Star game last weekend, Riorden knows he can help Chaos the most when he’s between the pipes.
“I think that was just an All-Star thing,” Riorden said earlier this week of his foray into the offensive end. “I’m a field lacrosse goalie and I’m a box lacrosse offensive player. Right now I am in goalie mode and I want to do what is best for my team and I am willing to do anything that it takes.”
Chaos (5-2) are now tied for first place in the standings and seem poised for a second half push to the playoffs. They’ll look to increase their winning streak against Redwoods LC on Saturday, August 10 at 4pm PST in San Jose. The Whipsnakes aim to get back on track against Chrome LC at 1pm PST.