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Jake Pulver
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Jake Pulver All-Star Story: Player Profile

When Jake Pulver was named to Team Farrell for this year’s PLL All-Star Game, the Cannons defenseman was still feeling the sting of the team’s Week 5 loss to Chaos—the club’s fourth straight defeat. Pulver had his sights set on Week 6 for Cannons to right the ship, so the All-Star selection caught him by surprise.

“I felt mixed feelings about being named an All-Star when we haven’t been playing that well as a team because ultimately, the most important thing to me is winning games. It’s definitely a cool thing to be able to go out there and play with all these guys but a lot of my main focus is on the second half of the season and pulling out some wins.”
– Jake Pulver, Cannons Defenseman

While Pulver himself might have been surprised, nobody else was. Pulver has quietly developed into one of the league’s most effective defensemen this season, and he leads the Cannons’ defensive unit with eight caused turnovers and ranks second with nine groundballs. On top of that, his aggressiveness and versatility have made him a pivotal member of the team’s defense corps.

It is this sort of quiet ascension that makes his All-Star selection so deserved, according to Cannons Head Coach Sean Quirk. 

“A lot of those guys go unrecognized as defensemen…[Pulver] is not an overly flashy player. You don’t notice him a lot out there, which isn’t a bad thing because it means he’s not making a lot of mistakes. He just punches in and punches out every game weekend.” 
– Sean Quirk, Cannons Head Coach

Although Pulver’s personal statistics lend support to his All-Star recognition, it really goes well beyond what appears on the scoresheet each weekend. Quirk lauded Pulver for his lacrosse IQ, his physical toughness, and his leadership qualities, and he credited Pulver for his ability to step in and perform every game no matter the matchup.

“He’s just playing with a lot of confidence…”
– Sean Quirk, Cannons Head Coach

Both player and coach look at one thing as the reason why Pulver has elevated his game this summer; familiarity with the team. A major priority in the offseason for Quirk and his coaches was to keep the core of the roster together to maintain team continuity, a trait that Quirk has emphasized throughout his professional coaching career as it creates a level of comfortability and trust on the field. That feeling resonates with players, too. 

“One huge thing is just knowing some of the guys on the team, especially on the defensive end of the field. Everyone down there was on the team last year, like [Jack] Kielty, [Zach] Goodrich, [Nick] Marrocco, Holden [Garlent], Tyson [Bell], all those guys. Halfway through last year, we were just getting to know each other because it was the expansion team and you didn’t really know what to expect. It’s been nice having this year to build relationships with them, not coming in unknown to who they are and their personalities. That’s helped me feel more comfortable.”
– Jake Pulver, Cannons Defenseman

Pulver, who himself signed a three-year extension that keeps him a Cannon through 2024, is now one of Quirk’s most dependable defensemen, and his growth since first joining the professional ranks has not gone unnoticed, either. Quirk saw a lot of him during the 2019 Major League Lacrosse season, when Pulver played for the Dallas Rattlers, and kept tabs on him when he departed the MLL to play for Chrome during the pandemic-shortened 2020 PLL tournament. Pulver was selected by the Cannons with the seventh pick of the Cannons’ expansion draft, and the rest is history. 

Truthfully, one can’t fault Pulver—or any professional athlete, for this matter— for focusing more on winning games than All-Star selections and personal accolades; that’s just the nature of competitive sports. But Pulver’s fire to get back on the field simply underscores the many attributes that have made him one of the best defensemen in the PLL this summer. 

So, surprised or not, Jake Pulver has earned his trip to All-Star weekend, and Quirk and the Cannons couldn’t be more pleased about this long-deserved recognition.