By: Anthony Miller
The Premier Lacrosse League made its second appearance in Frisco, Texas this past weekend and brought an exciting brand to the area.
Eight teams played in the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas with two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. The weekend featured three of the four games being within a two-point contest and had the best two teams in the league square off against each other on national television on ABC. It also featured the highest-scoring game of the season with plenty of goals being scored on Sunday.
Premier Lacrosse League Frisco Weekend Review
Saturday’s Action from The Star
The action started Saturday with the Atlas taking on the Chrome with the Atlas getting off to a fast start leading 5-1 after the first quarter. Despite being down 9-4 going into the fourth quarter, Chrome fought back from behind scoring five goals in the quarter. Even their late comeback wasn’t enough as Atlas picked up their second win of the season taking down Chrome 11-9. Atlas’ Chris Gray led the way with four points (two goals and two assists) leaving them at a 2-4 record. Chrome fell to the bottom of the league with a 1-5 record heading into the back stretch of the season.
In the second game, the Cannons faced off against the Redwoods, which was a physical game, but one that was controlled by the Cannons starting the second quarter. The Cannons allowed just two total goals in the second and fourth quarters, which was enough for them to take a 16-10 win over the Redwoods. Cannons’ Marcus Holman had his best game of the season with seven total points (four goals and three assists). The Cannons moved to second place in the standings with a 4-2 record. Redwoods find themselves still in the middle of the pack with a 3-3 record.
Sunday’s Action and Reaction from Frisco
Sunday was the showcase the PLL was hoping for with the Waterdogs and Archers facing off against each other for the top spot in the league. The Waterdogs got off to a hot start offensively with 13 goals in the first half. It was the strong performance of Archers’ goalie Brett Dobson allowed just five goals in the second half despite multiple sticks of his breaking. It was the Archers who held on to win 19-18 which was tied for the most points by an individual team this season.
The Waterdogs’ Ethan Walker had his best outing with seven points (three goals and four assists) as the team moved to 4-2 on the season. The Archers had four players record four or more points in the contest as they are now the best team in the league with a 5-1 record. Archers head coach Chris Bates told NTZ Network everyone contributing the way they did was all part of the offensive strategy.
“We talked about it this week and I said it’s a challenge for me as a guy who helps run the offense to try to make sure we’re distributing the ball well. But we’re opportunistic. Guys like playing with each other and I think trust each other. There’s no real ego and guys are allowed to play free, and I think it helps them make plays.” – Archers Head Coach Chris Bates
The second game Sunday might have been the best game of the weekend as there were five lead changes between the Whipsnakes and Chaos. It was Whipsnakes’ Will Manny scoring the game-winning goal with nine seconds left to preserve the 17-16 win. Manny finished with five points (two goals and three assists) with Chaos’ Dhane Smith recording the exact same stat line to lead the team. The Whipsnakes improve to 2-4 on the season while the Chaos drops to 3-3 on the year. Manny told NTZ Network how they were able to execute the game-winning goal.
“Matt (Rambo) got high up towards the island. Everyone kind of stared at him. I just kind of swung around through X and followed him a little bit, screamed for it and he put it right on my stick guy overplayed me and was able to get one off and beat Blaze (Riorden). So overall it was elongated set play that we had, and we got them looking the wrong way and it was just good that we stuck with it and just feels good to get the win.” – Whipsnakes Attacker Will Manny
What It Was Like Playing in Frisco for The Players and Coaches
Playing in the South is unique for lacrosse as it is typically more well-known and popular in the Northeast. This is the furthest west the league has been so far this season traveling to Texas. NTZ Network asked the players and coaches how they felt playing at the Ford Center. The players and the coaches enjoyed playing in the same building the Dallas Cowboys practice during the season.
“It was awesome. And we were here last year, too. We had a one-goal win here last year and a one-goal loss today. But regardless, it’s awesome. It’s a spectacular venue.” – Waterdogs Head Coach Andrew Copelan
“It’s unbelievable. I’m not sure if you guys saw, but there’s a big sign that said ‘St. Bonaventure Fans’. To me that means a lot, anytime you see somebody wearing your jersey that’s not your family or friends and somebody that supports St. Bonaventure to me means a lot.” – Archers Goalie Brett Dobson
“I enjoyed it. This was great. Nice to be in temperature control. And it was also a great crowd. I always tried to interact with fans a little bit afterward and met a lot of cool people from around here. And it was great to be here. I’m glad we got the W and it’s an awesome place to play.” – Archers Midfielder Tom Schreiber
The PLL will be in Baltimore this weekend for week seven action with two games broadcast on ABC. Next season could be the next time the league comes back to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The league currently has a fan vote going for which home cities will have a PLL team based there. Dallas is one of the choices. If this past weekend had any indication, it appears the PLL is growing in popularity and could very well be in the running for their own team in 2024.
Featured Image via Twitter (@PremierLacrosse)