Stealing the Show: Joe Walters and Ben McIntosh
June 8, 2019 - Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) News Release
For Redwoods and Archers, their midfield is highlighted by some of the best in professional lacrosse. Tom Schreiber, widely regarded as the best player in the world, and Sergio Perkovic, a young star who is quickly becoming one of the faces of the PLL, are undoubtedly considered the biggest threats out of the midfield. However, in Week 1, their linemates were the ones who stole the show.
Joe Walters, a 2006 graduate of Maryland, has seen it all. After competing in eight full seasons in the National Lacrosse League and finishing up this past season with the San Diego Seals, Walters is now suiting up for his 13th professional outdoor lacrosse season. The Redwoods rely on his veteran leadership, naming him Alternate Captain for their inaugural season, but Walters doesn't just bring a calming presence and a voice in the huddle. Coming off a season where he amassed 27 goals and 25 assists, Walters started right where he left off, displaying his well-rounded skillset by netting two last Sunday versus Atlas and assisting on one more.
Early in the game, Matt Kavanagh found Walters back-cutting his defender in transition. Later, Walters utilized space in the offense to get to his strong hand, fight past his defender, and score his second of the day. Lastly, Walters displayed his box lacrosse skills as he operated a pick-and-roll with Kavanagh on the left side of the offense. As Kavanagh slipped the pick and Walters drew two defenders, Walters dished it back to Kavanagh, who got underneath his defender for a goal.
On the other side of the field is another veteran of the indoor game, Ben McIntosh. Bringing his toolbox to the outdoor game this summer, McIntosh had a hat trick for Archers in a Week 1 win over Chrome. Much like Walters, McIntosh brings an indoor style of play to the field game and showed how his versatile skillset allows him to be the perfect linemate to Schreiber. Early on, McIntosh showed the trust and chemistry that he has built with Schreiber when he received a no-look pass as he cut the lane in transition. Later in the game, McIntosh displayed his ability to create his own shot, sweeping to his right hand, using his shoulder to create space, and burying the shot. Lastly, McIntosh brought it in the clutch, as he stepped in from 14 yards and rifled a shot stick side on Chrome goalie Joey Galloway to tie the game at 12 with just over 90 seconds to play.
As Schreiber and Perkovic draw the attention of the opposing defense, Walters and McIntosh are able to utilize spacing in the offense and also play significant roles as primary initiators. On Saturday, as the Redwoods and Archers face off, the winner may be decided by which of these two midfielders can steal the show once again.
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