NEW YORK (BVM) — The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) started back up on July 25, rolling out a new format for their 2020 season. The league founded by lacrosse legend, Paul Rabil and his brother Mike Rabil, has garnered even more buzz heading into the early stages of its second year.
In the PLL’s first season, the league added more than 100 pro lacrosse players from Major League Lacrosse (MLL), with their promises of player equity, higher pay and a tour-based model. With guest appearances from the likes of Bill Belichick and others during the NBC game broadcasts, the PLL has taken center stage during its second year of operation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of the season like many other professional sports, the PLL has had to make some changes to this year’s format. With a shortened season making the most sense, the PLL announced their Championship Series: a 20-game fanless tournament that will be played from July 25 through Aug. 9.
After a successful first week in the books, viewers may have noticed a strong contingent of New York talent around the up-and-coming league. With big name New York natives like Duke alum Myles Jones and Albany alum Connor Fields headlining the league, some other familiar faces have made an early impact.
With the PLL Elimination Round starting today, here’s a look at some of New York’s homegrown talent around the league.
Led by the league’s top offense and defense, the Whipsnakes 4-0 start can be attributed to some of the league’s top talent. Zed Williams, the Whipsnakes leading scorer has come out hot with 17 points and four goals, while a pair of St. Anthony’s High School alums, Mike Chanenchuk and Joe LoCascio, have combined for 14 points. The team has also gotten great production out of the league’s top faceoff winner, Joseph Nardella, and second-ranked long stick midfielder, Michael Ehrhardt.
Powered by the second-ranked offense and the top penalty kill, the Chrome are off to a 3-1 start to their season. With their balanced approach on offense, Garden City native Justin Guterding slots in at second for the Chrome in points, while Connor Farrell has secured 56 percent of his faceoffs. On the defensive side, the Chrome’s trio of New York defensmen in Reece Eddy, Michael Manley and Jake Pulver have combined to cause 12 turnovers. John Galloway heads the Chrome goaltending unit with the third for most saves in the PLL.
With the third-ranked offense, the Archers’ 3-1 start puts them as the third seed heading into the Elimination Round. Powered by two of the top midfielders from New York in Christian Mazzone and Tom Schreiber, the pair combined for 16 points in their hot start. Adding to their top offense is Massapequa native, Will Manny, who has combined for six goals and four assists.
Led by star midfielder, Myles Jones, the Redwoods boast one of the top power play units and come in as the second ranked defense. The midfielder duo of Jones and Rochester native, Joe Walters, has combined for 14 points. Notre Dame alum, Matt Kavanagh, has added five points from the attack position in the Redwoods 2-2 start.
Off to a slow start, the 1-3 Waterdogs feature the second ranked faceoff unit and the third ranked defensive unit. Connetquot High School alum, Kieran Mcardle, has powered the Waterdogs’ offense with eight goals and six assists and a pair of New York natives have headed the Waterdogs’ goaltending in, Charlie Cipriano and Matt DeLuca.
With the second ranked goaltending unit, the Atlas have looked towards St. Anthony’s alum, Jack Concannon, to keep them competitive. On the offensive side Rob Pannell and John Crawley, have combined for 15 points in the Atlas 1-3 start.
Off to a slow start, Albany alum, Blaze Riorden, tops the top ranked goaltending unit with a league leading 75 saves. On the offensive end, fellow Albany alums, Connor Fields have added 10 points for their season totals. Midfielder, Jake Frocaaro, has tacked on three points this season.