That was lacrosse on NOS. Atlas LC and Whipsnakes LC combined for 45 points and 96 shots… in 32 minutes.
Atlas LC secured the win, 29-16, in the opening match of the 2023 Championship Series. Both teams will tinker and adjust throughout round robin play, with the ultimate goal of hoisting the trophy in Sunday’s Championship.
Of all the rule changes (i.e. no longpoles, 30-second shot clocks, shorter fields, no faceoffs), the 13-yard 2-point arc was the difference. Bryan Costabile (3G, 3T, 1A), Romar Dennis (2G, 2T, 2A), and Jake Carraway (2T, 1A) all buried multiple 2-point goals. As a team, Atlas LC shot 7-for-12 (58.3%) from beyond the 13-yard arc.
“I love [the 13-yard arc]. I think it really suits my game. It feels really close,” said Dennis. “Not having poles get in your hands – it feels very open.”
Jack Concannon stuffed 12 shots (46.2% save percentage), including several from point blank range. The best goalie in the league from 5-yards-and-in, Concannon’s cat-like reflexes and patience against fakes denied doorstep chances from Whipsnakes’ shooters.
The Atlas defensive gameplan? Shut off Brad Smith (4G). Their defenders protected the middle, forced weak-handed shots, and allowed a 29.8% shooting percentage (26.3% when you remove Smith from the equation).
“You’re never as bad as it looks on somedays. And you’re never as good as it looks,” said Whipsnakes LC head coach and general manager Jim Stagnitta.
Smith and 2020 George Boiardi Hard Hat SSDM of the Year Tyler Warner (2G, 1T) led the scoring for the Whipsnakes. They’ll look to bounce back against Archers LC at 6:30PM ET on Thursday, February 23rd on ESPN+.
Atlas LC will look to build on its opening victory against Chrome LC at 8:30PM ET on ESPN+.