The first weekend of the new era of professional lacrosse has come and went. The Premier Lacrosse League has been all the talk lately in lacrosse news, and the product we saw was something truly special. All six teams showed the viewers what the PLL is all about competition. The first two games in league history went into overtime in thrilling fashion.
The Archers secured the first ever victory after Will Manny found a himself curling up on the wing and putting home the game-winning goal. After celebrating the goal in superior fashion, shooting his imaginary arrow into the sky as his team swarmed around him. The game was physical and fast in the new shorten field. The Chrome started flat but with a faceoff change, Connor Farrell brought his team momentum and the comeback was on. Archers attackman Marcus Holman put up a early candidate for goal of year in the first game when he snuck a cheeky snipe, sneaking the shot behind a defenders back stingy the top corner.
The other Saturday game had a lot of hype to live up to, and of course it did. The Whipsnakes battled against the Chaos in what was a tale of two halves, with a thrilling end. The Whips took control early in the game and their offense was clicking on all cylinders. The Chaos fought back to force OT late. The Whipsnakes attack looks to be one of the stronger attacks in the league with Jules Henningburg, Matt Rambo, and last years’ Tewaaraton Award winner Ben Reeves. A young trio with immense talent look to slither their team to victory. The Chaos on the other hand look to find the team chemistry they need to make a push late in the season. Myles Jones was an absolute force offensively showing he can shoot from range with a bullet of a 2 pointer. Their team has a lot of flair, with the Albany and Duke chemistry once they click the can do some chaos.
The highlighted game was Atlas against the Redwoods on Sunday. Paul Rabil, founder of the PLL finally got to suit up in his new threads. The game was filled with everything a fan wants, strong offense, a great faceoff match up, and two stellar defenses. Starting with the Greg Gurenlian and Trevor Baptiste are respectively two of the best faceoff specialists the game has ever seen and they brought it. Baptiste is much younger but old man Greg showed that strength and experience can go a long way in this game. These two were pretty much evenly matched against each other, both did not lose any other match up. The Redwoods rookie goalie Tim Troutner out of High Point stood on his head making 17 saves in his professional debut for the team, easily the MVP of the weekend. It makes it a whole lot easier when you have a defense in the likes of Matt Landis, Garrett Epple and Eddy Glazener. The Redwood do have some trees on the defensive end. The game was chippy with some late hits and banter after whistles, it’s safe to say these two powerhouse teams do not like each other. Offensively both teams looked strong but the goalie play for both teams outshined it all. The Redwoods went on to win 11-9
The week two matchups are some great games, there will be two television broadcast this weekend. The Archers vs the Redwoods on Saturday at 4PM, you can catch the game on NBCSN. This game looks to be a high scoring affair as the Archers came out swinging week one and the Redwoods will try to remain a top of the league. The Sunday game will be broadcasted on NBC making it the first nationally televised professional lacrosse game which a huge moment for the sport. The Atlas will look to bounce back after a disappointing opening weekend. Rabil will take his leadership and try to right the course. I think Ryan Brown will help
The PLL is not only about the lacrosse, but the lacrosse community. Rabil and the league wanted to make this the best way to experience the sport for the average fan. Each stadium will have the Premier Zone which consists of merch tents, and activities tents for fans to experience the sport off the field.
“This has been the most professional lacrosse experience I have ever been in, in my life.” Atlas defender Callum Robinson said about his time with the PLL prior to opening weekend.
It safe to say that Rabil’s vision is finally coming to a reality and nothing but praise to the PLL and their team on putting on such a great event, as well as taking the sport of lacrosse to the next level.