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Saturday’s Premier Lacrosse League game between the Atlas and Whipsnakes was decided by one goal. It was a pair of shorts that was the difference.
The Atlas and Whipsnakes took the field for their first meeting of the 2023 season at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Both teams were evenly matched and the game was tied at 11 with less than 30 seconds left.
At that point, Atlas attackman Chris Gray came alive. He was having a horrible day up until that point and missed his first nine shots.
All he needed was one!
Gray got the ball at the X with 17.5 seconds left, went around a pick to his right top side and finished on the fadeaway jumper. The Whipsnakes could not answer and the Atlas won 12-11.
Although Gray’s game-winner was electric, it was not the highlight of the afternoon. Atlas goalie Jack Concannon made 13 saves throughout the game.
Had any of the 13 shots gone in, the Whipsnakes would have won and one of the 13 shots came much closer than the rest.
Concannon never saw the shot. It would have found the net for a goal— if not for his shorts.
The Whipsnakes fired from close-range and the ball was headed toward Concannon’s five-hole. Had he been wearing tighter shorts, the shot would have scored.
Instead, the ball went under Concannon’s left thigh, caught the low-hanging opening of his shorts and flipped up into his undercarriage. Nobody, not even Concannon, knew where the ball went.
Did the shot score? Did Concannon make the save?
The lacrosse ball wasn’t in his mesh… it wasn’t in the net… so where was it? The ball was IN his shorts.
That might be a first. Concannon’s shorts were the difference in the Atlas’ win.