PLL Championship Recap: Waterdogs Have That Dawg in Them
A heavyweight fight between the Waterdogs LC and the Chaos LC brought pure entertainment for the fans in Philadelphia this past weekend.
The two clubs traded blows back and forth resulting in another great championship game in professional lacrosse.
The Waterdogs came away with a hard fought 11-9 victory to claim their first ever PLL Cash App Championship Trophy.
The first quarter opened with an early 3-0 Chaos lead. The goals came from Challen Rogers, Josh Byrne and Matt Rees.
Although the Chaos took an early lead, the Waterdogs didn’t back down. Connor Kelly cut the lead to two with a goal mid-way through the first quarter.
The quarter ended with a score of 4-2 in the favor of the Chaos. Penn State graduate Mac O’Keefe scored for the Chaos, while superstar Michael Sowers scored late for the Waterdogs.
The Waterdogs used their speed to their advantage and tied the game up just 3:30 into the second quarter. Kieran McArdle and Ryan Conrad scored the equalizers for the ‘Dogs.
McArdle scored his second with a shot that had eyes for the back of the cage. Byrne answered the McArdle goal with a spectacular shot of his own giving him his second of the game bringing it back to a stalemate.
The teams traded punches back and forth resulting in a 5-5 halftime deadlock.
Riorden was hot in net in the first half with a 70% save percentage, but the man on the other side, Dillon Ward, answered every Riorden save with one of his own.
The goalie battle was only one of the big storylines from the game. Close defenders Chris Sabia and Jack Rowlett were shutting down the best players on the opposing teams.
Sabia, a Penn State graduate, shut down the big physical attackmen Chris Cloutier of the Chaos. His counterpart, Rowlett, got physical with the speedy Sowers holding him to just one goal in the half.
The stellar defense and goaltending for the Chaos dissipated after the Waterdogs snipers tuned the scopes of their sticks.
Four straight goals from the Purple and Black in the third quarter provided a 9-5 lead for the club. Conrad scored his second and third of the game while Sowers got his second. Jack Hannah scored his first of the game to yield the 9-5 lead.
The Red and White looked like they were out of the game and needed something to rejuvenate their spirits.
Matt Rees was that something after ripping a blazing shot past Ward resulting in the games first two point goal.
The Chaos clawed back within one against the Waterdogs after a Kyle Jackson goal at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was as electric as the previous three.
Ethan Walker scored for the Waterdogs but Cloutier answered shortly after, keeping it a one goal game. Kelly scored late resulting in the 11-9 victory for the Waterdogs.
The Chaos lost their chance at a comeback after tempers flared resulting in a 2-minute non-releasable penalty for Chase Fraser. Sabia, the naughty dog, locked himself in the kennel for 1-minute by headbutting Fraser.
Philadelphia native Michael Sowers secured his first ever championship and grabbed the MVP trophy in front of family and friends.
He was my prediction in the preview, but his teammate, Kieran McArdle, could’ve just as easily won the MVP.
CJ Costabile and Troy Reh could not handle Zach Currier and the Team Canada faceoff crew. They paved the way with 57% of faceoffs for the ‘Dogs.
Riorden was solid again, with a save percentage of 61%. Ward edged him out with 62% of shots stopped.
The Waterdogs players to watch won the key matchups I noted in the preview.
Big Cat and PFT Commenter on their podcast, “Pardon My Take” said, “We are very proud of our Waterdogs”. Finally giving the team some respect.
Hayden Lewis is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.