A quiver holds an archer’s arrows, but a quiver can also be a reaction from panic or fear. Thursday night in the PLL semi-finals Chaos LC made the Archers LC quiver from panic as the number seven seed controlled the entire game. The Archers didn’t have enough arrows in their own quivers to fight back, falling 13-9 to Chaos.
Blaze Riorden had another strong game for Chaos, stopping 18 shots. Dubbed the underdogs last game, he carried his team through this game as well. Finishing last, no doubt many people counted Chaos before the elimination matches even began, but Riorden put the team on his back and his runners responded.
Chaos led 3-1 after the first quarter and really took control of the game in the second. Miles Thompson pump-faked and then went five-hole on Drew Adams in the Archers’ net, a nice goal in and of itself until Josh Byrne took over by scoring the goal of the season, shooting between his legs. Eric Scott and Mark Glicini contributed goals before Byrne popped in another, dodging one defender before shooting around another. Chaos led 8-3 at halftime.
The Archers appeared to regain more of the control fans were used to seeing this season in the third, their tension on the sidelines kicking them into a higher gear. They outscored Chaos 5-4 in the third. Josh Currier and Curtis Dickson traded goals before the Archers went on a three-goal run. Marcus Holman shoveled a loose ball past Riorden, Tom Schreiber scored from just inside the arc and Joey Sankey got in close to close the gap to 9-7. Randy Staats and Dickson then scored back-to-back for Chaos and Holman put in another for the Archers. Dickson’s hat trick effort, a diving backhand, closed out the quarter with Chaos up 12-8.
Ian MacKay scored a low-to-high blast to get the Archers within three to start the fourth, but there was no momentum gained from it. From there, they concentrated on shooting for 2-pointers, which Chaos easily saw coming and stopped.
Riorden got a lot of help from his never-doubting-themselves offense. Byrne contributed five points from his two goals and three assists, and Dickson contributed a hat trick and one assist. Though primarily box players, both players once again demonstrated their ability to dominate the field game. Midfielder Eric Scott scored his first two goals of the tournament to chip in offensively. Dhane Smith contributed all over the field with two points, five ground balls and one caused turnover.For the Archers, Drew Adams was replaced at halftime by Adam Ghitelman after making five of 13 stops, finishing with 38% save percentage. The Archers needed to shake things up and Gitelman helped, stopped 50% of the 10 shots he faced.
Defensively, Eli Gobrecht and Scott Ratliff both had strong games for the Archers. Gobrecht recorded three caused turnovers and picked up five ground balls. Ratliff had three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Offensively, Holman and Tom Schreiber were the offensive leaders with three points each (a hat trick, and two goals and one assist, respectively). Grant Ament was guarded well and held to two assists after being one of the Archers’ most dangerous weapons in group play.
Many put this win in the upset category; however, they would be wrong. The strong 19-goal showing by Chaos in the first round clearly demonstrated that they are contenders. They’ve now beaten the second and third seeds. Look for them to have a strong outing with more organized play when they face the first-place Whipsnakes. You can never count out the underdogs.
— with files from Anna Taylor