Waterdogs Fall Asleep At The Wheel

Patrick Bernard – Lacrosse Correspondent, Deveraux Sports/Edge of Philly Sports

Waterdogs LC battled Redwoods LC in Charlotte, North Carolina, in Week 2 PLL action. Both teams came off of tough wins in Albany, New York in the opening week of the 2023 season. Redwoods beat Atlas, while Waterdogs topped Chaos. A big early run put Waterdogs in front, but they appeared to fall asleep at the wheel in the middle quarters. This allowed Redwoods to claw their way back from a six-goal deficit to win 10-9 and stay atop the PLL standings.

Big start, then Waterdogs fall asleep at the wheel

It looked like a day at the beach for the Waterdogs to start. Goals from Michael Sowers (0:16; 3:36), Ryland Rees (0:33), Kieran McArdle (4:10; 8:02) and Zach Currier (8:28) quickly had Waterdogs up 6-0. They tic-tac-toed the Redwoods defense, letting them know who the defending champs are. With the exception of a late John Sexton goal (10:29; assisted by Rob Pannell), Waterdogs goalie Matt DeLuca played extremely well in the first quarter.  

However, Waterdogs would fall asleep at the wheel through the second quarter and into the second half. Pannell went back-to-back (1:21; 2:57), followed by Wes Berg (4:38) and Ryder Garnsey (6:38). Concurrently, it was Jack Kelly’s turn to shine in net for Redwoods, making huge stops as head coach Nat St. Laurent made adjustments to halt the Waterdogs offense. Suddenly, what looked to be a Waterdogs blowout was a 6-5 game going into halftime.

Redwoods chip away at lead, Waterdogs wake up too late

The third quarter was quiet until the last four minutes. Cole Kirst (8:20) tied the game for Redwoods. Waterdogs finally broke a 25-minute scoreless drought when Ethan Walker assisted Connor Kelly (9:44) to restore a one-goal lead. But it did not stop the Redwoods’ momentum. Berg scored five seconds after Kelly, and another goal from Kirst at 11:47 gave Redwoods an 8-7 lead going into the final frame.

Kelly and Walker reversed roles on Walker’s goal 36 seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the game. Jake Carraway (1:47) then put Waterdogs back in the lead, 9-8. However, another goal from Garnsey (3:27) and the hat trick goal from Pannell (6:17) ended up being the game winner for Redwoods. They remain atop the PLL standings, tied with Archers at 2-0, and play the 0-2 Whipsnakes next week in Columbus, Ohio. Waterdogs (1-1) suffer their first loss of 2023; they play Atlas (1-1) in Week 3.  

Game notes

Redwoods won the Ground Balls battle, 39-31

TD Ierlan (Redwoods): 12 of 22 on faceoffs, 6 Ground Balls (led all players)

Michael Sowers (Waterdogs): 2g, 2a

Rob Pannell (Redwoods): 3g, 1a

Jack Kelly (Redwoods): 19 saves

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Pat Bernard
Pat Bernard

Pat Bernard has four years of podcasting. His first year with the Pattison Ave Phantics and four years running Devereaux Sports. Now currently, both Devereaux Sports and Edge of Sports. Pat is a  for 6 Philly sports fan.  Flyers, Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Wings, and Union. The Gobbler is a former pro wrestler and ACPW Hall of Famer! He is originally out of Ambler from Northeast Philly (by the Tacony Bridge).  Pat is a credentialed Philadelphia Wings Beat Reported under Edge of Philly Sports.