(Photo Courtesy of Premier Lacrosse League)
Waterdogs LC, the league’s seventh and newest club, took the field for the first time on Sunday. But they would fall in their first ever game, succumbing to Atlas LC’s second half comeback, which was capped off by a diving goal from Chris Cloutier at the 2:24 mark in the fourth to secure the victory.
And while the Atlas offense certainly came up big late in the game to help seal the deal, the story of the game was the play of the Atlas defense and goalie Jack Concannon.
Concannon may have not looked like the more experienced or polished goalie on the field in the first two and a half quarter, but after letting in his final goal at the 6:34 mark in the third he stole the show.
The Hofstra grad absolutely stood on his head during the final quarter and a half of play, shutting out Waterdogs in the final 18 (!) minutes of play. Concannon was, without a doubt, the best player on the field down the stretch. He saves everything that came his way, including multiple shots that came in tight that likely would have gotten past him earlier in the contest.
Jack Concannon is on a different level right now 🙅♂️ pic.twitter.com/XMEMPImqCa
— Premier Lacrosse League (@PremierLacrosse) July 26, 2020
Rob Pannell-Eric Law Connection
When Atlas took Rob Pannell in the expansion draft, many questioned what that would mean for Eric Law. And while some through he might become the odd man out on attack, they forgot how much of an all-around player he is. And that aspect of his game certainly showed today.
Law scored four goals, all of which all came in the second quarter. Two of his goals came off of assists from Rob Pannell. The two attackmen looked really polished playing alongside each other. With Pannell’s ability to drive GLE and throw crisp passes on a dime, and Law’s playmaking skillset, the two should be exciting to watch during this Championship Series and the chemistry between them should only progress.
— Atlas Lacrosse Club (@PLLAtlas) July 26, 2020
Trevor Baptiste vs Jake Withers
The two best faceoff men in the NLL met in the field game for the first time since 2017, which was the only time Trevor Baptiste and Jake Withers met in college. In this matchup, Withers went 8-for-12 (67%) overall and Baptiste went 11-for-24 (46%) overall.
Withers was really giving Baptiste a hard time for most of the first half, going 75% in the first two quarters alone. Even when he wasn’t winning the initial clamp, Withers was able to counter and come up with the ball. The Waterdogs wings, Zach Currier in particular, worked very well with Withers all game and that really paid dividends.
Baptiste was able to find his rhythm late in the second quarter and kept that trend going the rest of the game. Baptiste’s success in the second half was able to help aide the Atlas offense when they needed it. However, Baptiste did look like the lesser of the two for the majority of the day, despite finding his rhythm after a bumpy start.
Waterdogs also rolled out Drew Simoneau a bunch. He went 6-for-13 (46%), proving that Waterdogs might have the best one-two punch at the faceoff dot in the league.