Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/7/19
From Press Release
No more playoff scenarios to contemplate, no more score differential left to calculate. Entering the first playoff game in Premier Lacrosse League history the No. 3 seed Archers (5-5) and No. 4 Redwoods (5-5) shared a singular goal Friday in Columbus.
Win and advance.
Thanks to strong work at the faceoff X by the venerable Greg Gurenlian (Springfield-Delco, Penn State), Redwoods downed Archers, 16-12, to advance to the semifinals next week at Red Bull Arena in New York where they’ll face the loser of the Chaos vs. Whipsnakes game. The Archers will face the loser of the Atlas vs. Chrome game in the first-overall draft pick bracket.
The championhip games for the league and the first-overall pick will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Talen Energy in Chester.
Gurenlian won 16 of 26 faceoffs and had a goal and an assist as well as 12 groundballs for Redwoods.
The Archers dominated position in the first quarter under the lights at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. They looked comfortable in the ‘Woods. Joey Sankey (Penn Charter, Founder of Team 11 Lacrosse) kicked off a three goal run. Less than two months ago, Sankey was on the Redwoods. The 5’5” Philly native has had a resurgent second half of the season after being traded to the Archers on July 22. He made his old team pay within the first minute. He dodged underneath Sergio Perkovic and scored on a diving shot.
Tom Schreiber (Princeton) extended his club’s lead with two pinpoint feeds. The captain of the Archers, who finished the regular season with the second most points (37) and assists (18), demonstrated his world class vision and why he’s a finalist for the Jim Brown MVP award. On the first, he slung the ball through the entire Redwoods defense and found Will Manny (2,1) on the right wing. The pass covered such a great distance the NBC cameras couldn’t capture it in a single frame. For Schreiber’s second assist, he distributed a no-look pass from behind the goal to Marcus Holman (2,1).
At the end of the first quarter, Schreiber collided with Garrett Epple at the midline and ran off the field clutching his left shoulder. After being attended to by the medical staff, he went back to the locker room. He did not return to play.
Jules Heningburg made a hard cut to the crease and finished a feed from Ryder Garnsey 40 seconds into the second quarter to cap off a Redwoods’s three goal run of their own. Heningburg (2,2) watched most of the action from the sideline during Week 10 when the Redwoods clinched a playoff spot in Albany after suffering a concussion. He scored later in the quarter with a shovel shot on the crease after a feed from Joe Walters. Heningburg’s third point of the game put the Redwoods ahead 5-4. The lead did not last long.
Christian Cuccinello (Villanova) dodged right at Landis, rolled underneath and scored on the doorstep to tie the game at five. Ryan Ambler put the Archers ahead 6-5 at halftime.
While the Archers and Redwoods forfeited the least number of goals in the second half during the regular season — 47 and 44 respectively — the playoffs are a different matter. The third quarter was scoring barrage that featured 14 goals and multiple lead changes.
Faceoff specialist Greg Gurenlian, who scored his first goal of the season in Week 10, continued his streak.
“Once the old man gets going inertia takes care of the rest,” Gurenlian, 35, told NBC Sports sideline reporter, Paul Burmeister, after the goal that tied the game at seven.
Sergio Perkovic rifled a 102mph shot past Drew Adams to put the Redwoods up 9-8. It was the third two-pointer of the entire season for the Redwoods and not the last of this evening.
Brent Adams added another two-bomb three minutes later.
Archers LSM Scott Ratliff answered with his first two-point goal of the season and tied the game at 11.
Their club answered the call. Wes Berg had a hat trick in the final two minutes of the third quarter. Ryder Garnsey (2,3) assisted Berg in the waning seconds of the period despite missing a cleat. It didn’t seem to slow down the rookie from Notre Dame. Garnsey has looked like anything but a first-year player this summer, especially in the second half of the season. He leads the league in points since the All-Star break. After playing his best game of the season in Albany, Garnsey put on another show in Columbus. He registered two goals and three assists. He was all over the field. He beat his man top side on each of his goals. He rode furiously.
Timmy Troutner, the other Redwoods player nominated for Rookie of the Year along with Garnsey, kept making critical stops in the fourth quarter. John Sexton capitalized in transition after Troutner (12 sv) stopped a Will Manny shot on the crease. Sexton toe dragged through the Archers’s defense and scored on a bounce shot that extended the Redwoods’s lead to 15-11 with 7:11 to play.
A Garrett Epple goal sealed the 16-12 win for the Redwoods.