One more week remains in the Premier Lacrosse League season as the Redwoods and Whipsnakes faceoff for the crown in Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Woods are rolling in hot as they’ve won three games in a row and are a completely different team from earlier this season. The Whipsnakes, on the other hand, have not played in two weeks as they had a bye week after their win against the Chaos in Columbus, Ohio.
The last time these teams faced each other the Whipsnakes gave the Redwoods a full-on ass-kicking, winning 17-4 in Week 10. But the Redwoods are a totally different team since then, and I expect a much closer game.
The Redwood have gotten to the ‘ship solely off of superb team play on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Last week against the Chaos, Redwood defender Matt Landis held one of the best players in the world, Connor Fields, to zero points. The Woods’ defense has gotten a lot of help out of their goalie, a surprise rookie superstar in Timmy Troutner.
On the offensive side of the ball, the most valuable player has, without a doubt, been Ryder Garnsey. The undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame has exploded onto the PLL scene and is currently leading the league in points since the All-Star break. A fearless attackman with an ability to change the game.
The addition of attackman Jules Henninburg, who was traded away from the Whipsnakes, has also paid the team huge dividends.
The Whipsnakes, on the other hand, have consistently dominated the PLL all year. A team composed of 14 former Maryland players now has a strong Terp identity, to say the least. Attackman Matt Rambo has been the quarterback of the offense and has put a huge year with 42 goals and 19 assists.
He’ll play an intricate part in whether or not the Whips can get it done in Philly.
The Whips are led by and all Maryland defense and have goalie Kyle Bernhlor in the cage who has been one of the best goalies in the league.
These are two great teams facing off against each other and it will definitely be a close game. I think it’s going to come down to which defense plays better. The Redwoods’ defensive unit is mainly from Notre Dame while the Whipsnakes unit is all Maryland. Whichever team can shut down the opposing star player will have a strong chance for the crown.