Seven weeks into the season, Atlas LC sits in fifth place in the standings with a 3-4 record and is currently out of the playoff picture. They do hold the tiebreaker over Redwoods LC after beating them 18-15 over the weekend.
Early in the season Atlas’ offense struggled to produce consistently. There was a lot of one dodge and go type stuff from the midfield, cutting the attack out of the picture for multiple possessions in a row, at times. This was very problematic as they just could not get it done, but they did show signs that all the pieces were coming together as they seemed to improve each week.
After Atlas’ win over the weekend, it seems they have finally put it all together. Each player looked very comfortable in their role and there was not much one-man game lacrosse being played at all. The most impressive aspect of Atlas’ performance last week was their ball movement and very crisp passing.
In addition to their impressive passing game, it also appears that each guy knows his role in that offense and how to best move the ball to create the best situation possible. Connor Buczek’s seven-point (5G/4A) performance is a prime example of this.
Buczek really took on the role as the Atlas’ primary shooting option from the midfield, instead of him and Paul Rabil both trying to shoot the lights out like we saw early in the season. Rabil was able to get on the board as well with one goal, but he was much more of a passing threat as he dished out three assists
As far as the attack goes, they saw increased production as a unit last week, combining for seven goals. The unit as a whole is getting the ball a lot more and allowing things to happen.
Kieran McArdle and Eric Law really found their feet over the weekend, contributing heavily as scorers and feeders. These two allowed the midfield to cut and get open, but were also able to do the same when the ball was up top at the midfield.
Also, Ryan Brown wasn’t a scoring machine last week, but everyone knows he is capable of carrying a team to the promised land each time he steps on the field. Him being more of a facility player last week just speaks volumes to the amount of options Atlas has on that offense. Every one of them knows how to take over a game and lead the charge, too.
In addition, Atlas has some very good contributors outside of their top five offensive weapons. Chris Cloutier, John Crawley, Joel Tinney, and others can make a difference and provide a spark.
Atlas’s offense is also able to get a lot of touches with Trevor Baptiste at the faceoff dot. The all-star leads the league in faceoff percentage with 66.7%.
This is an Atlas team that has all the energy on their side and is firmly in the playoff picture, despite a slow start. With their offense finally coming together and clicking on all cylinders, who’s to say this team can’t rise even more with three weeks left in the regular season.