What a finish to the first PLL season! It was only fitting that such a crazy season of lacrosse ended in overtime, and of course league MVP Matt Rambo would be the one to seal the deal for the Whipsnakes. While the PLL wrapped up its season, the MLL just finished its regular season with some exciting games and new players getting a chance to show that they can ball before the MLL playoffs begin on October 4th. Let’s take a look at who had a winning weekend and who had a weekend to forget in this week’s edition of Pro Lacrosse Winners and Losers.
Pro Lacrosse Winners And Losers
The Premier Lacrosse League
One year ago on September 25, 2018, the creation of the Premier Lacrosse League was announced. A year later the PLL has exceeded all expectations and capped off an incredible summer with a Championship game for the ages. 12,556 fans piled into Talon Energy Stadium to watch the Whipsnakes beat the Redwoods and 313,000 people tuned in on NBC. The tireless work of the Rabil brothers and the PLL team were instrumental in helping make the first ever season one that will surely be the start of the next era of pro lacrosse.
The Denver Outlaws already clinched their playoff spot and several players were out playing in the World Indoor Championships, so it was a great opportunity to reward some players like Kohta Kurishima who have been grinding on the practice squad all season. Kurishima made the most of his debut by scoring his first goal, which is also the first MLL goal ever scored by a Japanese player. Kurishima’s goal was an on the run laser, and it was awesome to see how excited he was as well as his teammates. Hopefully we see Kurishima earn a full-time MLL roster spot next season.
— Major League Lacrosse (@MLL_Lacrosse) September 23, 2019
What a weekend for Matt Rambo. First he wins the PLL MVP award, then he scores back to back goals to win first ever PLL Championship for the Whipsnakes, and finally he is named the Championship game MVP. Not to mention he did it all in his home town of Philadelphia. Rambo was dominant all season, but he saved his best performance for last as he added to his already impressive lacrosse resume. Rambo’s name will go down in PLL history.
MATT RAMBO CALLED GAME! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/BatpXEdOHZ
— Premier Lacrosse League (@PremierLacrosse) September 21, 2019
Will Manny and the Archers may not have been playing in the PLL Championship game, but Manny was playing like he was. Manny broke the PLL record for points in a game with a whopping 11 points and also breaking the goals record by scoring 7 goals. Whoever the 1st pick in next year’s draft is better thank Manny for playing out of his mind.
The New York Lizards had a tough summer as they piled up frustrating losses and will miss the playoffs. Despite their lowly MLL record, Rob Pannell has still been one of the best players in the league and in their last game of the season against the Atlanta Blaze he poured in 5 goals and added 3 assists to end the Lizards’ season on a high note.
— Major League Lacrosse (@MLL_Lacrosse) September 25, 2019
Goalies Getting Scored On From Deep
Atlanta Blaze goalie Chris Madalon and Whipsnakes goalie Kyle Bernlohr were both on the wrong end of some long range shots at the end of a quarter. Bernlohr got socred on by a Brent Adams shot turned into a Wes Berg tip in that he couldn’t do much about. New York Lizard goalie Austin Kaut committed some goalie on goalie crime when he heaved a shot down the field that was tipped as well and got past Madalon.
— Major League Lacrosse (@MLL_Lacrosse) September 22, 2019
The Redwoods are in the losers section because they lost in the PLL Championship game, but they should still be proud of how much they went through this season to get there. In Week 9 of the season they lost to the Whipsnakes 17-4 in a tough game. They were basically out of playoff contention, but the lacrosse gods had other plans and the Woods started to play together and find their identity again. Their magical trip to the championship was inspiring to watch and their comeback to force overtime was one of the most exciting lacrosse games I have watched in a long time. Congratulations to the Redwoods on a great season and I have no doubt this team will be hungry to get back to the championship in 2020.
“The guys to be afraid of next year are the Redwoods who stuck around on the field to witness the trophy ceremony. That will fuel the Redwoods for the future.”
— Redwoods Lacrosse Club (@PLLRedwoods) September 25, 2019
Who were your pro lacrosse winners and losers from last weekend’s games?