After New York Semifinals, PLL 2023 Champions Have Been Crowned
In the midst of all the football going on Sunday there was championship game being played in Philadelphia, PA and no it was not the Eagles. The Premier Lacrosse League championship game had the Archers, and the Waterdogs go head-to-head to prove who would be named the best of the best.
After a hard-fought game that was ultimately decided in the final minuets the Archers Lacrosse Club are your 2023 PLL Champions upsetting the previous year’s winners.
Facing off in the first quarter the Waterdogs were the first to notch a point in the game with Ryan Conrad scoring unassisted. Most of the scoring in this quarter coming in the final three minutes Michael Sowers gave the ‘Dogs the lead 2-1 scoring with three minutes to go in the first. The Archers did not let that lead last long with a 2PT goal from Ryan Aughavin assisted by Mac O’Keefe. Before time was up Grant Ament and Tre Leclaire both getting one past Waterdogs goalie Dillion Ward. To close out the first the Archers Led 5-2.
Heading into the second the Archers came out with their bows drawn and firing three unanswered goals in the first three minuets of the quarter. Ament notching his second goal of the day while Matt Moore and Tom Schreiber each scoring their first. The Waterdogs doing something similar just at the end of quarter with Zach Currier, Connor Kelly and Sowers each hitting the back of the net. Kieran McArdle assisted Kelly and Sowers on their goals. Both teams with 5 goals apiece in the quarter the Archers lead 10-7 heading into the half.
Coming back after the half the Archers took a step back with only scoring two goals this quarter. Leclaire led the quarter off with an unassisted goal. About one minute later Mike Sisselberger also able to sneak one in for the Archers This is the only quarter of the game that the Archers lost. The Waterdogs were able to score four points from three goals including Kellys second of the game and Jake Carraway putting one in from behind the 2 point line. Waterdogs are only down one headed into the fourth. Archers lead 12-11.
Heading into the final 12 minutes of play left in the game the Waterdogs come out score their fourth consecutive goal to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter. Currier was unassisted to make the score 11-11. The Archers answer back to with two different goals one from O’Keefe assisted by Ament the other on the man down scored by Leclaire for his third of the game. While the ‘Dogs went on the powerplay late in the fourth they were able to fire two goals past goalkeeper Brett Dobson to tie the game at 14. Bringing the game down to the wire Schreiber was able to secure the game winning goal with a minute left in the game to secure the PLL Championship for the Archers with a final score of 15-14.
For the first time in PLL history the Archers are the champions. Brett Dobson went on to win MVP of the game with a 51% save percent and 18 total saves on the day.
The PLL regular season will return in June of 2024 but in January 2024 they will be hosting the second championship series where teams play Olympic style sixes.