Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/2/20
Reigning league and championship MVP Matt Rambo (La Salle) set a PLL single-game record with 10 points, using pinpoint passing today to dominate the Archers with two goals and eight assists as the Whipsnakes wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the PLL Championship Series playoffs with a 17-11 win at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
The Whipsnakes (4-0) made a statement in their bid to epeat as PLL champions, finishing group play with a plus-24 scoring differential and whipping the only other undefeated team. They’ll have a first-round bye and three days off before the semifinals Thursday.
The elimination round begins with three games Tuesday: (2) Chrome vs. (7) Chaos (5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold), (4) Redwoods vs. (5) Waterdogs (8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold) and (3) Archers vs. (6) Atlas (10:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports). The Whips get the winner of the Redwoods-Waterdogs matchup.
“We just played three games in four days. It’s super hot out (high of 102 degrees) here,” Rambo said after the game on NBC Sports. “Having a couple of days rest and going back to the drawing board, we’re just focused on us, trying to play Whipsnakes ball.”
The Whipsnakes certainly could not have drawn it up any better than they did in the final 17 minutes Sunday, scoring eight of the last 10 goals to blow open a back-and-forth game in which no team led by more than two until the Whipsnakes pulled away in the fourth quarter.
John Haus (four goals, two assists) and Zed Williams (four goals, one assist) also starred on offense, while Joe Nardella won 21 of 30 faceoffs to finish group play at 75 percent, by far the best in the league. Williams’ 14 goals also top the PLL leaderboard.
The Whipsnakes defense – led by Brett Schmidt (Upper Dublin) and Bryce Young (St. Augustine Prep) – helped to stymie the vaunted Archers attack. Ryan Ambler (Abington, Princeton) had two goals and an assist and Grant Ament (Haverford School) had a goal and two assists for Archers. Joey Sankey (Penn Charter) scored once and goalie Drew Adams (Springfield-Delco) made 8 saves in the first half while yielding 9 goals.