DURHAM – The Road to D.C. starts Friday for the Premier Lacrosse League. The quarterfinals will be held August 20-21 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. Duke will have six former players represented in the games. The winners of each quarterfinal advance to the semifinals September 5 in Philadelphia.
CJ Costabile, Justin Guterding, Myles Jones, Patrick Resch, Brad Smith and Cade Van Raaphorst all will look to extend their seasons.
Kicking off the trio of playoff games for the Blue Devils will be Costabile and Resch for No. 6 seed Chaos LC. They take on No. 3 Archers LC Friday, Aug. 20 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
Costabile, a standout in Major League Lacrosse over the year, jumped to the PLL this year and donned a Chaos jersey for the first time July 3. He has played in five games, picked up 13 ground balls and registered five caused turnovers. A threat on transition, the 2012 national midfielder of the year also has a pair of two-point goals and an assist. Resch, a defensive midfielder, has five caused turnovers, 12 ground balls and three assists in his nine outings with the Chaos, which has given up the third fewest goals in the league.
Leading the defensive effort for No. 2 Atlas LC is Van Raaphorst. The 2019 graduate is tied for third in the league in caused turnovers with 16 and ranks second among defenseman in ground balls (26). Atlas takes on No. 7 seed Cannons LC Aug. 21 at 2:30 p.m., on NBC.
Wrapping up the weekend with the evening match on NBC Sports is No. 4 Redwoods versus No. 5 and two-time reigning champ Whipsnakes.
Jones is a headliner for the Redwoods offense, leading all midfielders in the PLL with 32 points from 14 goals, including one two-pointer, and 17 assists. He has four more assists than the next closest midfielder and ranks second overall in the league. His 32 points also are tied for second in the league with two attackmen. He is coming off a monster final weekend in the regular season with 12 points in the two games (5g, 1 2pt, 5a).
Guterding and Smith will look to help lead the Whipsnakes back to the championship. Smith leads the midfield group with 21 points from 11 goals and 10 assists. He is one of 11 midfielders in the league to have at least 20 points to his name. Guterding recently was traded to Whipsnakes and played his first two games last weekend, scoring three points from a goal and two assists.
Missing the playoffs this season is Chrome LC after battling through aa tough year. Former Blue Devils, Jordan Wolf and JT Giles-Harris both missed the season due to injury. Ned Crotty led the team with nine assists, while Michael Manley helped anchor the defense with 14 ground balls and seven caused turnovers. Will Haus, an All-Star at defensive midfield, had six caused turnovers and 10 ground balls in seven games.
The PLL Championship game will be September 19 at Audi Field in Washington DC. Faceoff is 12 p.m, on NBC.
— to goduke.com