O’Neill Nets 7 As Outlaws Beat Archers in Overtime

Eduardo Curros – Field Correspondent, All Lacrosse All The Time

The Denver Outlaws and Utah Archers met in Charlotte Friday night for a Week 2 PLL matchup. Utah was coming off another thrilling last-second win over the Philadelphia Waterdogs in Week 1, while Denver lost to the Carolina Chaos after yielding eight unanswered goals late in the game. The Outlaws, who were without starting goaltender Sean Sconone, appeared to be outmatched late once again. However, #1 overall draft pick Brennan O’Neill led a furious comeback, scoring seven goals, including the game-tying and game-winning goals as Denver triumphed 18-17 in overtime. Both teams are now 1-1, a half-game behind Carolina for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Dolans Bar

Archers flex their scoring prowess in the first quarter

Archers were quick to get on the board, with an unassisted goal from Grant Ament at 1:56. Tre Leclaire followed-up at 2:27, with an assist from Ryan Aughavin. Jack Myers scored for the Outlaws at 2:42 to make it 2-1. However, Utah extended their lead with consecutive goals from Connor Fields at 4:40 and 8:41, followed by Piper Bond at 10:37 on a pass from Matt Moore. Leclaire then scored two more at 11:11 and 11:19 as Archers closed out the first quarter leading 7-1.

Outlaws began to rally in the second quarter with a powerplay goal from Josh Zawada at 1:21. Brennan O’Neill then started his big day with a goal at 4:08. Zawada fed Sam Handley for another goal at 5:12, before Myers scored his second at 6:41 to narrow Archers’ lead to 7-5 going into halftime.

O’Neill, Outlaws come alive in the fourth quarter and OT

Mac O’Keefe re-ignited the Archers offense in the third quarter, scoring a power play goal at 0:35, then scoring unassisted at 1:25. Fields scored again on a pass from goaltender Brett Dobson at 2:21 to make it 10-5. Zawada broke the run with an unassisted goal at 3:18. O’Keefe replied with a goal at 3:54 assisted by Fields, then a 2-point goal on a pass from Schreiber at 5:54. Dalton Young found the net for Denver on a pass from O’Neill at 10:28, but Leclaire scored his fourth goal of the game at 10:58 to put Archers up 14-7 at the end of three quarters of play.

Outlaws mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, starting with face-off man Luke Wierman scoring six seconds into the quarter. O’Neill then scored three straight: 2:17 assisted by Myers, a 2-point goal at 2:31, and his fourth of the game at 3:23 to close the gap to 14-12. Fields pushed Utah’s lead back to three at 5:01, but Zawada found Myers for a goal at 5:38, then O’Neill scored again at 5:54 to make it a one-goal game.

Leclaire’s fifth goal at 7:14 and Ament’s second goal at 8:21 put Archers up 17-14. However, Denver forced overtime with a three-goal run. Justin Anderson scored at 8:32, then assisted Graham Bundy Jr. on his first career goal at 9:18. O’Neill followed with the tying goal 15 seconds later, then won the game in overtime, taking a pass from Cross Ferrara and burying his seventh goal of the game at the 4:31 mark.

Curros’s Corner

Luke Wierman went 23 of 36 on faceoffs for Denver, and grabbed 11 Ground Balls. Owen McElroy made 15 saves in net for the Outlaws, playing in place of the injured Sconone. Archers goaltender Brett Dobson made 13 saves in the loss. Schreiber was held to just two assists by the Denver defense.

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.