The Premier Lacrosse League has excelled with its social media presence. Without watching the games you can catch highlight goals, final scores, and every scrappy play before or after the whistle. This has been a major factor in the sports progression. The biggest benefit of the PLL’s strong social media presence is it has allowed players to rise to stardom in the sport of lacrosse. We have seen players such as Connor Farrell, Josh Byrne, Ryder Garnsey, and countless others become fan favorites while sharply ascending their following on social media. Today’s article is for the players who I feel we don’t quite hear about enough. I will be highlighting a full starting lineup featuring the 2022 PLL All-Underrated Team broken down by each position.
Attack: Kieran McCardle, Ryan Drenner, and Dylan Molloy
Lacrosse twitter blew up last week calling for more respect on McCardle’s name after the PLL dropped the famous talent/recognition chart. His response? A casual 3 goals and 4 assists. In three full seasons, McCardle has never put up less than 25 points, his game is smooth and doesn’t include many turnovers.
Drenner was left unprotected for the first two expansion drafts and he was wisely taken in both. Why he was left unprotected is beyond me. Drenner has been one of the most consistent goal scorers in the PLL since its existence. In the PLLs first two full seasons, Drenner totaled 18 goals in both campaigns and he is already at 15 this season.
Dylan Molloy was another hot topic on lax twitter, as many people thought he was being blackballed. The Chrome ended this theory last season picking him up and he has been a mainstay on their attack lineup since. The Bruiser is a load for any PLL defenseman to cover and he seems to be a perfect fit alongside the Chrome rookies.
Midfield: Justin Anderson, Dhane Smith, Connor Kelly
Congrats to Charlie Bertrand as he was just lifted from the PLL All-Underrated Team as teams are starting to figure out he is the Redwoods most dangerous dodger and consistent producer. In his second year, Justin Anderson is really starting to come on the scene as he is an excellent downhill dodger who has recently shown some 2-point range as well. He comes from a traditional lacrosse hotbed in Las Vegas so this isn’t surprising.
It is hard to label Dhane to the PLL All-Underrated Team after earning 2nd Team All-Pro accolades as a midfielder last season. However I am calling for more respect on Dhane’s name. He averaged 6 points a game in the Chaos championship run and just put up an astonishing 6 assists this past week. He is one of the three best midfielders in the league and should be in contention for Midfielder of the Year.
Connor Kelly is interesting as well, every time I watch the Waterdogs he sticks out to me. He is one of the most elite shooters in the PLL who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. It was nice seeing him have his moment netting the OT winner in his home state Connecticut a few weeks ago.
Defense: Jack Kielty, Ben Randall, Mike Manley
Kielty hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves as he has been manning an underwhelming Cannons defense. However his tape is impressive, he has elite footwork, and is a force in the clearing game with his ability to get the ball off the turf.
Randall has been outstanding in one on one defense for the Waterdogs. He is an outstanding complimentary piece for their defensive unit, a true silent assassin. However he still very much falls under the radar for the PLL All-Underrated Team.
Manley has gotten a good amount of recognition this season due to his outstanding play and the Chrome’s defensive success. He is second in the league in CT’s behind Garrett Epple. The 2014 MLL Defensive player of the year has a chance at winning this award in the PLL this season after a eight year hiatus.
SSDM: Will Haus and Latrell Harris
If not already evident, I’m an offensive guy. Anytime I was caught on defense throughout my career I would have my co-writer Michael Tenant making “eagle” calls for early slides from his goalie position. So bare with me here when adding SSDM to the PLL All-Underrated Team.
Will Haus plays really good defense, so does Latrell Harris. Only jokes, on a real note despite Will Haus being nominated for SSDM of the year, I still feel like I don’t hear enough about him. He is a true lockdown SSDM, not usually flashy in transition but rarely does his matchup get by him. The Chrome’s whole defensive unit is benefiting greatly from himself, Ryan Terefenko, and Mike Messenger’s strong play.
Latrell “Treezy” Harris started making plays the day he entered the league. Who can forgot his iconic “This team is so f***ing sick” sound bite after scoring his first PLL goal. He excels in transition and beating opposing defenses through the subbing and transition game. If I had to guess, his strong box background and team Canada experience helped him with this greatly.
LSM: Troy Reh and Eli Salama
Troy Reh has been a mainstay in the Chaos’s starting lineup since day one of the PLL. He has consistently forced turnovers, created Chaos on the wings in faceoff play, and is a threat in transition. He has two point range and has shown it. Cracking his first All-Star lineup as an alternate this season was a good start, but I truly believe Reh is a potential LSM of the Year candidate.
Salama was a part of Chrome’s 2020 bubble signing group and he has proved throughout his time in the league he more than belongs. His length and athleticism has given opposing midfielders issues, additionally he may be the most offensive minded LSM in the PLL outside of CJ Costabile. Salama has even picked up a short stick and taken SSDM runs when his team needed him too.
Faceoff: Max Adler
When he first entered the league he struggled a bit, but after finding his footing Adler has been a top faceoff specialist in the league. He can compete with the likes of Baptiste and Nardella which is all you can ask for when facing those two juggernauts. He also has the ability to score goals from the draw or drop it off to Josh Byrne to then watch him make the SportsCenter Top 10. Adler was Chaos’ missing piece for a championship in 2021 and I know fans are ecstatic to have him back in the lineup.
Goalie: Nick Marrocco
The numbers may not stand out, but due to faceoff struggles and questionable defense at times, Marrocco has been left out to dry a bit. Sean Quirk wisely scooped up his former MLL goalie in the entry draft to back end his defense. Marrocco makes a ton of saves he shouldn’t and has shown he can come through in clutch time for the Cannons when need be. As Cannons as a team start to find more success, we will see Marrocco in contention for Goalie of the Year.