— NLF (@natlaxfed) March 18, 2023
There wasn’t much of a question as to who would be taking the last shot for Landon.
With the Bears tied up and on the man-up in the final minute of Saturday’s IAC / Inter-Ac Challenge battle with host Episcopal Academy, everyone knew Anthony Panetti was getting the rock.
Panetti has been a central figure of the Landon offense since his freshman year, when he was the Bears’ most productive freshman middie in almost 20 years. Since then, the NLF’s No. 103 junior bounced back and forth between midfield and attack. No matter where he’s been, the MadLax sniper and Bucknell commit has been the one to make Landon’s offense go.
Even if the Churchmen knew that the four-star recruit was getting the rock, they were powerless to stop it. Landon swung the ball around and found Panetti on the wing, where he unloaded a stick-side bouncer that hopped into the net to complete the hat trick and cement a 7-6 Bears win.
“Everyone on our team has an equal shot (to get the ball in that situation), but I love when I score and all of my teammates are running over to me,” Panetti said. “Our team’s awesome. The boys are always getting loud, no matter who scores, so it’s a fun team to be around.”
Panetti Leads Landon
It’s no surprise that a player of Panetti’s caliber has shouldered the load for Landon for so long in his young career. It’s clear that he takes a sense of pride in being a leader to a relatively young team. Panetti was constantly communicating with his teammates to let them know what he was seeing, particularly from his vantage point at attack that allowed him to be on the field all game. He’s had to take on even more when the Bears lost NLF No. 35 ’24 Kevin Miller (MadLax) to an injury during soccer season, but he’s got the ability to constantly deliver.
“I was playing midfield last week and we had lack of communication,” Panetti said. “The coaches said, ‘we’re going to move you back down to attack,’ and I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to stay on the field the whole game and talk to my teammates. We have a very young offense, so talking them through the offense and what to do, I love it and I love to see the younger guys score and to see the smiles on their faces.”
3-3 at the half between Landon and Episcopal Academy.
Bears junior goalie Zach Abramson has been outstanding with eight saves, including these two 🛑 to kill an EA EMO opportunity. pic.twitter.com/NkVRkuPT5t
— NLF (@natlaxfed) March 18, 2023
Abramson Shines in the Landon Cage
Panetti wouldn’t have had the chance for heroics if not for his teammate Zach Abramson‘s play at the other end of the field. The uncommitted lefty junior goalie was brilliant for the Bears, stuffing 10 shots sent his way. He was particularly good in the second quarter when he rebuffed six Churchmen offerings, including three on one man-up. He kicked aside a Nick Wolff stepdown before absolutely robbing Lucas Slate‘s backhand attempt on the crease by matching his stick on the high shot.
Abramson emerged from a preseason battle for the starting goalie spot, and if he keeps playing like he did against the Churchmen, he won’t have to worry about relinquishing the spot.
“I think (the battle) was really beneficial for us,” Abramson said. “Having a goalie competition really pushes you and I think I’ve gotten a lot better in the first month of the season. I think it was great and it was beneficial for the team. (This win) is huge. Our offense came up big in the clutch and gained some confidence and I really think it’ll help us moving forward.”
Landon-Episcopal Academy Standouts
Will Cohen ’23, defense, Landon – Dartmouth
A small but quick and fast lefty defenseman, Cohen was a big part of a staunch defensive effort from the Bears. The younger brother of Yale defenseman Jake Cohen, the Dartmouth commit was everywhere for the Bears. He knocked down a pass early and later went over the head to make the dodger uncomfortable in traffic. His most important play, though, came late in the game when he picked off a pass on an EA possession. Landon drew a flag on the clear that set up Panetti’s heroics.
“We were playing a lot of zone and they started to figure out the zone,” Cohen said. “We decided to go back to man and it kind of threw them off because I think they were expecting to run that set piece off of our zone.”
After picking off the pass, Cohen had eyes on potentially being the offensive hero by going down and scoring, but smartly opted against it. The result off of Panetti’s goal was the same, though.
“As much as I would have loved to run all the way down the field, I made the smarter choice to pull back,” Cohen said.
Evan MacFarland ’25, LSM, Episcopal Academy
MacFarland got on the field early in his Churchmen career as a close defenseman last year. This year, he’s patrolling the middle of the field as an LSM, and there’s no doubt that he’s found his home there. A 6-foot, 180-pounder, MacFarland made his presence felt early and often. He vacuumed up a couple of ground balls on the faceoff wings, showed good feet in coverage and gets the ball moving in transition. MacFarland has a nose for the ball and he’s really tenacious and opportunistic when he thinks he can get it loose.
“I think LSM is better for me because I can use my legs a bit more and make more plays around the field whereas on close D, I can’t really make a lot of plays on the offensive side of the ball,” MacFarland said. “Ground balls and you have more space to cause turnovers. I’m definitely putting up more points, too.”
Anthony Panetti ’24, attack, Landon / MadLax – Bucknell – NLF No. 103 ’24
Landon definitely feeds of how Panetti’s doing offensively. He’s unafraid to take any shot and wants the ball in his stick in big moments. The game-winner was just the latest in a long line of big goals that he’s scored as a Bear. Panetti got the scoring started for Landon with a nasty goal as he was falling to the ground on a dodge, then tallied shortly thereafter on a nice shot coming up the hash. Panetti is low to the ground but solidly built, and that build helps him absorb contact and make plays in traffic.
Chase Robertson ’24, midfield, Landon / MadLax – Utah
Robertson physically looks the part of a big-time midfielder. At about 6-1, 180 pounds, he’s got the frame, and he showed that he could run by defenders and score. The future Ute also showed some shooting range on his second of three goals. Robertson dodged from all the way up top, got downhill and hammered home a high-to-high bomb from what must have been 18 yards. In the fourth quarter, he tied the game at 6 to help set up Panetti’s heroics by dusting a defender, getting to the middle and snapping home a lefty rip. Robertson also helped kickstart the comeback by setting up Anthony Savoy‘s rip on a wheel play on the man-up.
Lucas Slate ’23, attack, Episcopal Academy – Richmond
The future Spider was his usual pass-first self on Saturday for the Churchmen. Fellow lefties Dylan Jaszcz (Penn State) and TJ Lamb (Cornell) are the flashier scorers, but Slate is the one who orchestrates the EA offense. Slate collected three assists, setting up both Nick Wolff (Tampa) tallies, as well as an Eddie Jones (Villanova) goal. Slate isn’t a burner, but he’s able to create separation with his craftiness and IQ. You need to camp out on his hands, because once he gets the ball in his stick, it’s usually headed right out with a very accurate pass. It’s clear that Slate knows where his teammates want the rock. Both Wolff goals came on open shots on the wing, while he threaded the needle on a Jones back door cut for the other.
Landon 7, Episcopal Academy 6
Landon 2 1 1 3 – 7
Episcopal Academy 1 2 2 1 – 6
Anthony Panetti ’24 (MadLax / Bucknell – NLF No. 103 ’24) 3 goals
Chase Robertson ’24 (MadLax / Utah) 3 goals, 1 assist
Anthony Savoy ’23 (Denison) 1 goal
Troy Ulisney ’24 (MadLax) 1 assist
Zach Abramson ’24 10 saves
Episcopal Academy (2-1)
Nick Wolff ’23 (Tampa) 2 goal, 1 assist
John Malone ’24 1 goal, 1 assist
Eddie Jones ’23 (Villanova) 1 goal
TJ Lamb ’23 (Cornell – NLF No. 67 ’23) 1 goal
Jake Manion ’24 1 goal
Lucas Slate ’23 (Richmond) 3 assists
Dylan Jaszcz ’24 (Penn State – NLF No. 47 ’24) 1 assist
Will Hohn ’23 (Monmouth) 9-for-13 faceoffs
Blake Riley ’25 3-for-4 faceoffs
Luke Tabasso ’23 (Muhlenberg) 4 saves
Jack Guido ’24 6 saves