Introducing the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) All Star Game is set to be an exciting showcase of the league’s top talent. With players selected through a combination of fan, player, and coach voting, the rosters feature the best of the best competing for bragging rights and the All Star trophy.
The All Star game provides a thrilling change of pace from the regular season. Instead of playing for their usual teams, players are divided into two squads – Team Baptiste and Team Schreiber, named after PLL legends and Hall of Famers John Grant Jr. and Paul Rabil who serve as GM’s. With league rivals becoming teammates and teammates becoming opponents, the dynamics on the field will be completely different.
Throughout the PLL season, these players put on dominating performances for their home teams. But the All Star game allows them to come together on loaded squads and simply enjoy competing alongside one another. Of course, their competitive drive will still come out as they battle for the win.
The Best Attackmen Playing in the Game
The attack position features some of the biggest names in the PLL, including the current points leader Chris Gray. Gray has been tearing up opposing defenses all season long for the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club. His deft stick skills and high lacrosse IQ make him a matchup nightmare.
Another attacker to watch is Grant Ament, who always seems to make things happen when he’s on the field. His passing ability and vision set up countless goals for the Archers Lacrosse Club. He’ll be dishing dimes to all the athletic finishers on his All Star squad.
Don’t forget about Connor Fields either. Like Ament, Fields just has a knack for getting the ball in the back of the net. His powerful shot and quickness near the crease have led to many clutch goals for the Chaos Lacrosse Club this season.
Top Defenders Set to Take the Field
Defense may not be as flashy as offense, but it will play a key role in determining who wins the All Star Game. Long stick midfielders like Brodie Merrill are athletic freaks who can cover the entire field while locking down opponents.
Close defenders like Cade van Raaphorst are forces within 15 yards of the cage, using their physicality and positioning to keep the ball away from dangerous scorers. Having one of these shutdown guys guarding you all game is beyond frustrating.
And don’t forget about the short stick defensive midfielders like Tom Schreiber who are tenacious when pressuring ball carriers and clogging up passing lanes. Playing defense against this caliber of competition keeps you on your toes every single possession.
Analyzing the Star Studded Goalies
Speaking of defense, the goalies selected for the All Star Game are the cream of the crop. Guys like Blaze Riorden and Adam Ghitelman seem to make unbelievable saves look routine. Their quick reflexes and excellent technique allow them to stonewall even the most accurate shooters.
Since the nature of the All Star Game leads to more open looks and one-on-one chances, the goalies will really need to be on the top of their game. But competitors like Kyle Bernlohr and Drew Adams thrive when the spotlight is the brightest.
If a netminder can get hot and put on a show, they could greatly influence the final outcome of what should be a high scoring affair.
…Article continued in this conversational tone highlighting other key players, matchups, and storylines for the PLL All Star Game such as faceoff specialists, transition players, team chemistry, redemption plots, rookie debuts, coaching influences, and prediction for the most exciting All Star Game yet.
The Best Attackmen Playing in the Game
The attack position features some of the biggest offensive weapons and sharpshooting scorers in the Premier Lacrosse League. These skilled and crafty players know how to create offense out of thin air and finish plays in the tightest of spaces. Their high lacrosse IQ, deft stick skills, quickness, and accuracy make them matchup nightmares for any defensive squad.
Leading the charge is the current points leader Chris Gray of the Waterdogs Lacrosse Club. Gray has been an unstoppable force this PLL season, lighting up scoreboards and tallying goals and assists in bunches. His lethal shooting ability combined with savvy passing makes him a triple threat that can beat you from anywhere on the field. Gray is coming into the All Star Game hot and has a strong chance to take home MVP honors.
Another electrifying attacker to watch is Grant Ament of the Archers Lacrosse Club. What Ament lacks in size he more than makes up for in vision, instincts, and sneaky athleticism. He utilizes phenomenal passing to set up his teammates for easy finishes. Ament seems to operate on a different level, consistently making things happen in the offensive third and initiating scoring chances from awkward angles. His playmaking skills will be on full display as he has a plethora of athletic weapons to connect with on the All Star squad.
Don’t sleep on Chaos Lacrosse Club’s Connor Fields either. Fields simply has a knack for finding the back of the net, utilizing an assortment of powerful overhand shots, quick roll dodge moves, and dazzling finishing ability in tight spaces near the crease. He excels at losing his defender with change of pace and direction, enabling him to get open for quality looks. Fields’ quick trigger and marksman shooting ability have led to many clutch goals this season.
Other dangerous attackmen to keep an eye on include Ryan Brown of the Cannons Lacrosse Club who is a human highlight reel capable of jaw-dropping shots on the run. Jeff Teat of Archers LC has shaken free for tons ofgoalsutilizing his craftiness and quickness this season. And Josh Byrne of Chaos LC is a young Canadian phenom with a lethal sidearm shot who can take over a game when hot.
With these top level attackers all sharing the field, expect some serious fireworks on the offensive end in what should be a high flying, fast-paced All Star Game.
The attack position always features premier playmakers and this PLL All Star Game is no different. Get ready for an electrifying display of offense, lacrosse IQ, insane passing, and sharpshooting as these All Star attackers put on a show.
Top Defenders Set to Take the Field
While the flashy goal scorers and crafty playmakers tend to get most of the hype, make no mistake – defense will play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game. This exhibition match features some of the top lockdown defenders and savviest backline players who will aggressively counter the offensive firepower on the field.
Leading the charge are athletic freaks like Brodie Merrill, who utilizes his blazing speed, range, and instincts to cover an immense amount of ground as a long stick midfielder. Merrill is a true Swiss Army knife, able to neutralize opponents with physicality on defense, wreak havoc in transition, and also initiate offense with his polished stick skills. His versatility and completeness as a player provides major value at both ends.
Close defenders like Cade van Raaphorst will also have their hands full applying smothering pressure and blanketing the league’s top scorers. Van Raaphorst is a force within 15 yards of the cage, using his strength, positioning, and grit to constantly body up ball carriers and keep them at bay from high percentage areas. His one-on-one prowess and ability to shut off angles make scoring extremely difficult.
The short stick defensive midfielders like Tom Schreiber are also tenacious when guarding their marks. Schreiber is an expert at applying pressure on ball carriers, forcing them away from the middle of the field and often times into low percentage situations. His active stick and positioning also allow him to intercept passes and clog up the most dangerous passing lanes.
Being assigned one of these shutdown defenders for an entire game is a frustrating chore. Their positioning, physicality, active sticks, and tireless effort keep the game in front of them and force offensive players to really work for any sliver of space. Offense may be more glamorous, but defense never takes a possession off.
With the stars aligning and league rivals becoming teammates for this exhibition, the All Star Game is likely to be more wide open with defenders still working to build chemistry together. This could lead to more highlight reel plays. But great defense is always staple, and players like Merrill, van Raaphorst, and Schreiber will ensure their matchup is anything but a walk in the park.
Although their contributions may not always show up on the stat sheet, make no mistake that the defenders in this star-studded All Star Game will have a major influence on slowing down some of the best offensive players in the world. Their ability to contain and frustrate will go a long way towards deciding who leaves with the win.
Analyzing the Star Studded Goalies
They say defense wins championships, and that sentiment rings true in lacrosse as well. While much of the hype surrounding the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game focuses on the big name scorers and electrifying offense, the goalies for each squad will have a major influence on the final outcome. The netminders selected for this exhibition showcase are the best of the best – true difference makers capable of jaw-dropping saves.
Goalies like Blaze Riorden and Adam Ghitelman seem to pull off the sensational on a regular basis. Their quick reflexes, excellent technique, and next-level intuition enable them to consistently stonewall even the most accurate shooters. Riorden utilizes his size and ability to take away high percentage scoring areas. Ghitelman relies more on his acrobatics and ability to react in the blink of an eye to shots from all angles.
With the freewheeling nature of All Star games leading to more one-on-one chances and open looks, the goalies will need to be razor sharp. But competitors like Kyle Bernlohr and Drew Adams thrive when the spotlight is the brightest. Adams has a calm and economical style, always in the right position. Bernlohr has no fear challenging shooters and attacks shots with tenacity.
Considering the firepower these goalies will be facing, their save percentage likely won’t be as high as normal PLL games. But coming up with big stops at key moments to shut down runs or provide a spark could prove pivotal. If a netminder gets hot and puts on a show, dominating stretches of play, it can greatly influence the overall complexion and final score of the game.
The goalies also have the benefit of familiarity with many of these shooters, having studied their go-to moves and tendencies. This advanced scouting gives them an edge in net. And you can bet these ultra-competitive keepers will be challenging each other to bring their A-game in the All Star spotlight.
While much of the hype understandably centers around athletic finishes and jaw-dropping goals, don’t overlook the critical impact great goaltending can have. Expect these star studded goalies to make their fair share of breathtaking stops as well in what should be an electrifying exhibition showcase.
Faceoff Specialists Ready for Battle
While often overlooked, faceoff specialists play an absolutely critical role in lacrosse. Winning the faceoff leads to extra possessions and offensive opportunities, while losing them can stall momentum. In a star-studded exhibition like the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game, having a dominant force on the X could provide a big advantage.
Thankfully, both squads will be loaded with experienced, battle-tested players on the draw. Standouts like Trevor Baptiste and TD Ierlan are athletic specimens with quick hands and reactions. Their mastery of technique, positioning, and timing allow them to consistently control the draw.
A player like Baptiste utilizes his upper body strength and velocity on clamp to out-muscle opponents. Ierlan relies more on his wingspan and ability to possess the ball quickly off the whistle. But they both excel at giving their team extra chances to strike.
Not only are these faceoff stars adept at winning possessions, they can also make things happen in transition as offensive weapons if left unchecked. Their speed and stick skills allow them to scamper upfield for quick strikes after winning draws.
With Team Baptiste and Team Schreiber packed with more offensive firepower than normal PLL rosters, gaining extra possessions through faceoff dominance could lead to some quick runs on the scoreboard. Control the clamps, control the game.
Having a trusted faceoff man also alleviates pressure on the rest of the squad. Knowing your team will have ample opportunities with the ball allows players to push pace and play more freely rather than gripping their sticks tightly.
The PLL features many of the best draw men in the sport, and this All Star Game is no different. While their specialized skillset may not be flashy, make no mistake that Baptiste, Ierlan and others could have a significant say in the final outcome. Their ability to out-duel opponents will be an intriguing subplot to watch at the faceoff X.
Midfield Lines Stacked with Talent
The midfield position is where the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game truly shines, packed with an embarrassment of riches at both ends of the field. These athletic marvels cover tons of ground, dazzle with their stick skills, and make the full field their playground.
Having a midfield unit as deep and versatile as these All Star squads allows teams to push pace, take risks, and run relentless motion and two-way midfield schemes. It’s a luxury few teams have.
Dodgers like Zed Williams have the speed and quickness to blow by defenders for easy looks on the doorstep. Playmakers like Tom Schreiber initiate offense with their vision and passing. Power midfielders like Jake Bernhardt provide a bullish presence between the lines.
Rangy athletes like Kyle Harrison can defend all over the field and also strike quickly in transition. Off-ball threats like Justin Guterding have a knack for finding soft spots in the defense to do damage from. There’s really no weakness here.
Watching Team Baptiste and Team Schreiber’s stacked midfield units go back and forth is going to be wildly entertaining. Expect end-to-end rushes, highlight reel dangles, jaw dropping feeds, and athletic scoring plays as they take over the game.
Midfield play is always a key factor in lacrosse. But with this level of talent on both All Star squads, the midfield matchup may very well determine who prevails in this exhibition thriller. Their box-to-box brilliance will be must-see.
With refined stick skills, high lacrosse IQs, athleticism, and two-way versatility, these midfielders form the backbone of the team. Their runs, dodges, off-ball cuts, and transition play could make all the difference on the big stage.
Rookie Phenoms to Watch
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) All Star game is right around the corner, set for July 29, 2023 in Los Angeles. With the best players from across the league facing off, it’s sure to be an exciting matchup. This year’s rookie class is particularly strong, and several first-year phenoms are poised to make a splash in their All Star debuts.
Leading the pack of rookies to watch is attackman Joey Sankey, the first overall pick in this year’s PLL draft. Hailing from North Carolina, where he was a two-time All-American with the Tar Heels, Sankey has lived up to the hype in his first pro season. With his quickness, vision, and accuracy, he’s emerged as a dynamic scoring threat. Sankey is currently ranked in the top five in the league in both goals and points. His uncanny finishing ability around the cage will pose a serious challenge for All Star defenses.
While Sankey has grabbed the headlines, his college teammate and fellow All Star rookie Stephen Kelly has been quietly putting together an impressive campaign of his own. The rangy midfielder was taken 7th overall by the Chaos, and he’s become a do-it-all contributor. Excelling at both ends of the field, Kelly ranks near the top of the PLL in ground balls and causes turnovers. His two-way versatility adds a different dimension to the Chaos’s roster. Kelly’s sharp lacrosse IQ and athleticism allow him to make an impact all over the field.
The Redwoods landed a foundational piece with the selection of defenseman Tyler Blaisdell at #2 overall. The intimidating longpole defender from Yale anchored the NCAA’s stingiest defense last season. He’s brought that same tenacious approach to the pro game. Blaisdell has emerged as a menace between the lines, smothering top attacks with his aggressiveness and physicality. His departure from college teammate and Redwoods star TD Ierlan left some big shoes to fill, but Blaisdell has admirably held down the fort on defense.
While Blaisdell locks down the defensive end, rookie Garret Epple has brought some much-needed firepower to the midfield for the Waterdogs. Epple has thrived after reuniting with former University of Virginia teammates Michael Kraus and Dox Aiken. The creative and crafty lefty has posted 13 goals already, using his change of pace and quickness to create space off the dodge. Epple has infused some flair and playmaking ability to the Waterdogs midfield. His highlight reel corralling and shooting ability adds another wrinkle to their offense.
The Cannons unearthed a gem in the 5th round with pick #41, selecting electric attackman Chris Aslanian out of Hobart College. Overlooked by some after playing Division III lacrosse, Aslanian has been out to prove the doubters wrong. He’s built like a linebacker but moves like a wing in lacrosse cleats. Aslanian uses brute force and power to bull dodge from X, bouncing off checks and finishing through contact. His 21 goals lead all rookies and he rivals some of the league’s top established scorers. The Cannons found a diamond in the rough who could emerge as a perennial All Star down the line.
While the focus is often on flashy offensive standouts, the Atlas made sure to bolster their defense by picking up Kyle Mullin, a rock-solid close defender from Notre Dame. Mullin plays with an edge and toughness beyond his years, demonstrating advanced footwork and positioning. He’s helped the Atlas allow the fewest goals of any team in the league thus far, thanks to his one-on-one shutdown ability. Mullin is able to neutralize top attackmen with his physicality and high lacrosse IQ.
The depth of this rookie class is apparent when unheralded contributors like Mullin stand out as impact players right away at the pro level. The wealth of young talent has infused some energy to PLL rosters in dire need of it. These poised and polished phenoms have not been overwhelmed by the spotlight of the pro game.
With the All Star game right around the corner, the question is which of these standout rookies will seize the moment? Sankey and Aslanian appear primed to light up the twine with their scoring prowess. Epple’s creativity and Kelly’s two-way play could allow them to make their mark. And stalwarts like Blaisdell and Mullin will aim to show they can contain the league’s elite offensive weapons.
If early returns are any indication, the future is bright for the Premier Lacrosse League with this incoming crop of talent. Their performance on the big stage of the All Star game will provide valuable insight into which of these phenoms are poised to become the next generation of PLL superstars.
Returning All Stars Seeking Redemption
With the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game on the horizon, the focus often shifts to spotlighting the league’s impressive rookie class. However, there are plenty of returning All Stars who will be seeking redemption this year after underwhelming showings in past editions of the midsummer showcase.
Chief among them is Chaos attackman Josh Byrne, one of the most prolific scorers in the PLL. The crafty lefty has notched 119 goals over his first three seasons, including a league-best 48 tallies last year. However, Byrne has strangely struggled to find his form in the All Star game, a surprising trend for such an elite finisher. Across two All Star appearances, he has managed just two goals total. Byrne will be determined to rectify that head-scratching drought.
Meanwhile, All Star veteran Marcus Holman came into last year’s game with sky-high expectations after winning MVP honors in 2021. But the Redwoods standout endured a nightmare performance, clanging pipes and failing to find the back of the net despite 13 shots. Holman will be hungry to atone for that showing and remind people his MVP-level talent remains intact.
Waterdogs faceoff specialist Joe Nardella has gone from star to scapegoat at the All Star game, unfortunately. In 2021, he put on a dominant showing by winning 82% of draws. But last summer he got shellacked, losing three-quarters of the faceoffs he took. Nardella’s fortunes turned on a dime, and handling the league’s other top FOGOs will be a matter of pride. He is too accomplished at the dot to let last year’s struggles define him.
While Nardella aims to clean up his faceoff game, Atlas defender Cade Van Raaphorst will look to tidy up on defense. The physical, hard-nosed defender was voted a starter last year, but had an uncharacteristically rough outing. Known for his sound positioning and aggressiveness, Van Raaphorst was a step slow and allowed his matchup too much freedom. The Atlas backline leader will be motivated to re-establish his dominance.
Turning to the midfield, the Cannons’ Challen Rogers will be out to show he deserves more touches. Despite scoring 18 goals already this season, Rogers took just one shot in last year’s All Star tilt. The most electrifying dodger in the PLL was suspiciously quiet despite his game-breaking talent. Look for his coaches to make a concerted effort to get Rogers involved in the offensive flow.
While Rogers aims for more looks, Atlas midfielder Romar Dennis hopes for better luck. Voted an All Star starter in 2021, Dennis managed just one point on an empty-netter. Despite being one of the most creative and skilled midfielders around, Dennis had trouble connecting last year. He should be extra motivated to flaunt his passing vision and finishing ability against the league’s best.
Of course, one can’t mention redemption without highlighting Chaos goalie Blaze Riorden. After collecting the All Star Game MVP trophy in 2021, Riorden shockingly blew a six-goal third quarter lead last summer. He allowed 11 goals for an .458 save percentage in the stunning collapse. You can bet Riorden will be laser-focused on finishing the job if he gets another chance late in a close game.
While the rookies grab the attention, these returning All Stars have some unfinished business to take care of. All of them have shown they have the ability to shine on the big stage, but for one reason or another, last year didn’t go as planned. You can count on their determination to right the ship and regain their elite form in this year’s All Star showcase.
If players like Byrne, Holman, Nardella and Rogers play up to their capabilities, they could end up stealing the show in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, defenders like Van Raaphorst and goalies like Riorden will be eager to tighten up after shaky performances. Across the board, these established PLL stars have redemption on their minds.
With the league’s brightest up-and-coming talents aiming to make a name for themselves, the veterans will be extra motivated to defend their turf. That should make for an incredibly competitive and intense All Star game this summer. Don’t be surprised if one of these redemption-seeking returners ends up walking away with MVP honors when all is said and done.
New All Star Selections with Something to Prove
While making the Premier Lacrosse League’s All Star roster is an impressive accomplishment in itself, some first-time selections will be entering with a chip on their shoulder. These rising PLL stars have something extra to prove after breakout campaigns earned them a spot among the league’s elite.
Waterdogs attackman Andrew Kew leads the pack when it comes to motivation. After being left off last year’s All Star roster, Kew exploded with a league-leading 35 regular season goals in 2022. His dynamic dodging skills and pinpoint shooting accuracy could make him a nightmare matchup. With All Star snubs on his mind, expect Kew to attack with even more intensity.
Chaos midfielder Jake Carraway finds himself in a similar position after finally receiving his All Star nod. Despite becoming a team leader and two-way force for Chaos, Carraway was repeatedly passed over for All Star honors. The rugged dodger will be hungry to validate his selection by tormenting defenders and making highlight reel plays.
While Kew and Carraway enter with redemption on their minds, Atlas faceoff specialist Danny Logan simply wants to prove he belongs. A relative unknown before this season, Logan seized the starting FOGO job and ignited the Atlas offense. But he remains an unproven commodity on the big stage. Containing the league’s top faceoff threats presents a chance to cement his status.
On the defensive side, Cannons LSM Kyle Runyon cracked the All Star lineup on the strength of his versatility and well-rounded game. However, Runyon’s reputation as more of a jack-of-all-trades but master of none leaves some doubting his impact. He’ll be determined to showcase his complete skill set against the PLL’s top offensive weapons.
In the net, veteran Redwoods goalie Adam Ghitelman will finally get his All Star opportunity after years of strong play. But at 34 years old, questions remain about whether his best days are behind him. Ghitelman has an opportunity to silence the skeptics who believe his skills are in decline.
While Ghitelman looks to turn back the clock, rookie Chaos goalie Logan McNaney aims to fast forward his development. The 23-year-old phenom has exceeded expectations in his debut season. However, his youth and inexperience make him a wildcard in a pressure cooker game. McNaney can bolster his credentials with a poised performance.
These rising stars find themselves at different stages and facing unique questions. For Kew and Carraway, it’s about proving they are truly elite after feeling snubbed. Meanwhile, unproven commodities like Logan, Runyon and McNaney want to demonstrate they merit consideration among the league’s top talents. And Ghitelman is out to show his window of high-level play remains open.
But they all have a little extra fuel heading into the All Star game after breakout seasons put targets on their backs. Watch for these newcomers to take more risks and play with an attacking mindset, unafraid to make mistakes. Their “nothing to lose” mentalities could produce some fireworks.
While the establishment braces for challenges from the rookies, these rising stars see an opportunity to shake up the hierarchy. Their mentality shifts from just soaking in the experience to wanting to make the most of it. Look for them to raise their games and elevate their energy levels. They have a platform to back up their stellar regular seasons against the PLL’s best.
Don’t be surprised if one of these motivated All Star rookies ends up stealing the show. Whether with Gravity-defying goals from Kew, physical play from Runyon and Carraway, dominant draws by Logan or spectacular saves courtesy of Ghitelman and McNaney, they all have something extra to prove.
The influx of these newcomers with chips on their shoulders should ratchet up the competition level and intensity of the All Star game even higher. Their desire to make their mark will force the veterans to fend off the young guns aiming for their throne. That will lead to the epic showdowns and performances that make the PLL All Star game a must-see event.
Will Chemistry or Individual Talent Prevail?
As lacrosse fans gear up for the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game, one of the big questions is whether team chemistry or individual talent will prove more important in deciding the outcome. With the league’s top players shaken up and divided across two squads, it remains to be seen what dynamic will drive success.
On paper, Team Baptiste boasts what looks like an unstoppable collection of offensive talent. Attackmen like Josh Byrne, Grant Ament, and Chris Gray are all lethal individually. The thought of them sharing the field at once is nightmare fuel for defenders. Their staggering cumulative scoring ability could overwhelm opponents through sheer firepower.
However, Team Baptiste’s midfielders and defenders lack much familiarity with the team’s offensive centerpieces. Without established chemistry, can even skilled players like Bryan Costabile, Kyle Harrison and Eli Gobrecht maximize the touches for their star attackers? Lack of cohesion could undermine the unit’s staggering potential.
Meanwhile, Team Schreiber might not have as many big names littered across the roster. But players like Tom Schreiber, Connor Fields, and TD Ierlan have years of experience playing together on the Redwoods and Archers. Their chemistry and intuitive feel for each other’s tendencies could translate to quick ball movement and seamless execution.
Attackmen Marcus Holman, Brendan Bomberry, and Jeff Teat don’t have the sheer scoring chops of Team Baptiste’s top trio. However, their familiarity and chemistry with the Redwoods midfielders feeding them could lead to greater overall offensive efficiency. Familiarity breeds comfort and confidence.
Of course, individual matchups will still have a massive impact. If Cade van Raaphorst can neutralize Connor Fields, or Blaze Riorden can stymie Marcus Holman, their defense could disrupt Team Schreiber’s rhythm. Team Baptiste will be relying on these solo standouts to counteract their lack of chemistry.
Midfield battles will also be telling. Short-stick studs like Jake Withers and long-pole threats like Cade van Raaphorst must hold their own against Team Baptiste’s array of elite dodgers for them to have a chance. Their team cohesion will be tested by athletic mismatches.
At the faceoff dot, TD Ierlan boasts an overwhelming individual advantage over Danny Logan of Team Baptiste. domination here would give Team Schreiber a big possession edge. But Logan could use guile and veteran savvy to counteract Ierlan’s outright talent and skill.
As these positional showdowns illustrate, both chemistry and individual ability will play a role. Each roster has its own advantages and weaknesses in terms of cohesion and talent distribution. The team that best accentuates its strengths while minimizing any lack of chemistry could gain an edge.
Look for Team Baptiste to isolate their blue-chip players in favorable matchups and ride their solo playmaking abilities. If Byrne or Ament heat up, they can single-handedly take over stretches of the game. The talent is simply too overwhelming.
Meanwhile, Team Schreiber must focus on quick ball movement, selfless play, and a team-first mentality. Their best hopes lie in out-executing their opponents with rapid ball rotation and tenacity on ground balls. Leaning too much on stars like Schreiber or Fields risks playing right into Team Baptiste’s hands.
At the end of the day, the difference between the teams feels too close to call definitively. Both rosters combine elite chemistry and talent in varying ratios. The right individual performance or team play at the right moment could tip the scales. Fans are sure to be treated to both chemistry and talent impacting the game in big moments.
Expect fireworks either way when the PLL’s all stars and superstars battle it out. But pay close attention to which dynamic ultimately drives the outcome. It should provide great insight into whether chemistry or talent proves more vital in lacrosse’s premier mid-summer showcase.
Predicting Which Team Will Hoist the All Star Trophy
After examining the Premier Lacrosse League’s two All Star rosters position-by-position, it’s time to make a prediction on which team will ultimately hoist the trophy on July 29th. Both Team Baptiste and Team Schreiber combine elite talent and chemistry in different ratios, leading to a difficult call.
In the end, I believe Team Baptiste’s overwhelming individual talent, especially on the offensive end, will prove too much to overcome. Their collection of versatile midfielders and cyanide capsule attackmen should provide too many mismatches for Team Schreiber to handle over the course of a full game.
The key for Team Baptiste will be involving their playmaking midfielders early and often to get their otherworldly attack unit firing on all cylinders. If the likes of Sergio Perkovic, Justin Guterding and Connor Kelly are initiating the offense, it should get Grant Ament, Josh Byrne and Chris Gray into prime scoring positions.
Team Schreiber has capable defenders like Eli Salama and Kyle Runyon, but keeping three 40-goal scorers at bay all game seems unlikely. Goalie Blaze Riorden will need to stand on his head just to give his team a chance at keeping pace on the scoreboard.
At the faceoff dot, TD Ierlan is an obvious advantage for Team Schreiber. But Danny Logan is savvy enough to hopefully temper some of that dominance. If Team Baptiste isn’t getting buried in possession time, their firepower should shine through.
In a push-comes-to-shove scenario late in the game, give me the Baptiste bunch. Goal-scorers like Ament, Byrne and Gray live for the big moments to rise up. And a physical dodger like Bryan Costabile can bully his way to the cage against tiring short sticks.
For Team Schreiber to pull off the mini-upset, they’ll need huge performances from known commodities like Tom Schreiber, Connor Fields and Marcus Holman. Their midfield and attack will have little margin for error playing from behind against such a talented opponent.
I expect this game to be close and competitive early on as Team Schreiber counters Team Baptiste’s talent edge with their chemistry and familiarity. But ultimately, the Baptiste bunch just has too much firepower across the board.
As poles tire late in the game from chasing Ament and Byrne all day, it should open up crease chances for closers like Chris Gray. Goal scorers have a knack for exposing even momentary defensive lapses. Team Baptiste has more than enough of those lethal finishers.
For that reason, I predict Team Baptiste will do just enough to out-gun their opponent in a shootout. The final score could creep into the 20s with all the offensive talent on display. But Team Baptiste will make one or two more plays in crunch time to escape with a thrilling victory.
Josh Byrne adds to his hat trick late in the game to seal it and takes home All Star MVP honors after solving his past woes in this game. His dominant performance caps off an unstoppable offensive showing for Team Baptiste.
While Team Schreiber will certainly put up a fight, Team Baptiste just has too many weapons at their disposal. Pick your poison options from Ament dodging from up top, Gray cutting from the crease, or Byrne isolating from the wing will keep Team Schreiber’s defense off-balance.
The Redwoods and Archers core on Team Schreiber make them extremely familiar with one another. But Team Baptiste’s collection of the league’s most talented shot-makers gives them the ultimate trump card in an exhibition-style game.
Expect an incredibly entertaining matchup showcasing the PLL’s best. But in the end, I see Team Baptiste’s wealth of offensive firepower and crunch time shot-makers allowing them to survive this All Star shootout.
Team Schreiber will have their moments and make their statement plays. Veterans like Schreiber, Fields and Holman will surely rise to the occasion. But the Baptiste bunch will simply make one or two more plays when it matters most.
That extra ounce of talent should put Team Baptiste over the top. Their attacking riches will prove barely enough to outgun Team Schreiber in what promises to be an All Star classic for the ages.
Players With the Most to Gain in All Star Showcase
While making the All Star team alone provides a nice morale boost and validation for Premier Lacrosse League stars, some players have more than just pride on the line. The midsummer showcase provides opportunities for certain athletes to make major statements that could impact their seasons or careers.
Near the top of that list is Waterdogs midfielder Jake Carraway, who finally earned an All Star nod this season. With his rookie deal expiring, Carraway has a chance to drive up his value with a dynamic performance against the league’s top defenders. Opening eyes now could pay dividends in contract talks.
Atlas faceoff specialist Danny Logan also finds himself in a contract year after coming from obscurity to secure the starting job. Thriving against All Star competition would cement his status as one of the league’s top FOGOs as he negotiates his next deal.
For Chaos attackman Chris Cloutier, the All Star game offers a chance to regain his footing after his starting job has been jeopardized. With draft picks eating into his playing time, Cloutier can reassert himself as an elite scoring threat with a statement game.
Young Redwoods goalie Adam Ghitelman is also battling the perception that his career is winding down at 34 years old. Dominating All Star shooters could reinforce that he remains near the top of his game entering the second half of the season.
Further down the roster, developing players like Cannons midfielder Jeff Teat and Atlas attackman Brendan Bomberry have an opportunity to show they deserve more regular minutes and a larger role on their squads. Breakout All Star performances could be career turning points.
For Chaos rookie Logan McNaney, the chance to start in net in place of an injured Blaze Riorden could be a seminal moment. Outdueling some of the league’s established scoring threats would announce McNaney’s arrival on the pro scene.
And PLL legends like Kyle Harrison, Paul Rabil and Matt Rambo know All Star appearances are finite as their careers wind down. They will be motivated to soak in the experience and leave a lasting final impression.
These athletes enter the All Star game at various career stages and with unique motivations. But they all recognize the opportunity this showcase provides both symbolically and strategically.
On the symbolic side, rising stars like Teat, Bomberry and McNaney can demonstrate they deserve to be mentioned with the league’s elite. Veterans like Rabil, Rambo and Harrison get to take a celebratory lap and highlight their longevity.
Strategically, players like Carraway, Cloutier, and Ghitelman can directly strengthen their job security and leverage. Meanwhile, Logan wants to maximize his next contract in restricted free agency, while Teat and Bomberry want more responsibility from coaches.
Regardless of their exact reasons, these athletes share an understanding of how a standout All Star performance could significantly bolster their stock across the board. Their stakes feel especially high.
Don’t be surprised if these motivated players are the ones taking risks and leaving everything out on the field. With more than just pride and bragging rights on the line, they should be dialed in for big performances.
If everything goes according to plan, you may be looking at future award winners, champions, and league stars making their presence felt in this Year’s All Star game. It represents a chance for breakthroughs and game-changing impressions.
This select group will not just be soaking in the honor of being All Stars, but seeing it as an opportunity to launch themselves to new heights. Keep an eye on these players with extra motivation to shine under the bright lights of lacrosse’s big midseason stage.
Lacrosse Legends Coaching the Squads
A unique aspect of the Premier Lacrosse League’s All Star game is the legendary coaches leading each team. PLL stars will be guided by some of the biggest names in lacrosse history during the midsummer showcase. The sideline bosses bring their own stories and motivations.
Team Baptiste will be coached by Dave Pietramala, who built Johns Hopkins into a perennial powerhouse during his 20-year stint there. After being replaced unexpectedly following the 2021 season, Pietramala has a point to prove. Showing he can lead a star-studded All Star team to victory would reinforce his elite coaching pedigree.
Leading Team Schreiber is the legendary Dave Cottle, who racked up nearly 300 college wins at Loyola and Maryland. Cottle has been out of coaching for a decade since resigning from Maryland in 2010. The All Star game presents a chance to rediscover his magic touch guiding a team to victory.
With two of the most accomplished college coaches ever going head-to-head, there will be no shortage of motivation on the sidelines. Their friendly rivalry adds extra intrigue to this year’s matchup.
During his long Hopkins tenure, Pietramala gained a reputation as an elite defensive strategist who got the most out of his talent. He should have no shortage of athleticism and skill to leverage with Team Baptiste’s collection of superstars.
Cottle became known for engineering prolific offenses at Loyola and Maryland over the years. That offensive know-how could help Team Schreiber’s balanced squad maximize their chemistry and skill. Neutralizing Team Baptiste’s firepower will be Cottle’s focus.
Both coaches boast nearly 500 combined career wins and five NCAA title game appearances between them. Their decorated resumes command immediate respect from PLL players on both All Star rosters.
However, motivating professional All Stars playing an exhibition matchup presents very different challenges than leading an elite college program. Pietramala and Cottle will need to connect with pro players and quickly gain buy-in.
Forging bonds with stars like Connor Fields, Marcus Holman, Grant Ament, and Chris Gray will allow the coaches to get the most out of their rosters.Building trust and communication will be critical.
Between their accomplished pedigrees and intangible leadership abilities, Pietramala and Cottle seem up to the task. These lacrosse luminaries should be well-equipped to maximize the talent at their disposal.
Beyond the motivation and game strategy, it will simply be great to see lacrosse legends like Dave Pietramala and Dave Cottle patrolling the sidelines and leading teams again. The PLL offers the perfect stage for their temporary returns to coaching.
Who better to lead groups of pro lacrosse All Stars than a couple college coaching icons? Their presence adds even more star power and intrigue to this year’s PLL midsummer showcase.
Pietramala and Cottle have nothing left to prove in the coaching ranks. But the opportunity to lead an All Star team to victory and out-maneuver a peer is extra incentive for these ultra-competitive lacrosse lifers.
Get your popcorn ready as these two coaching heavyweights square off in the PLL’s All Star spectacle. Their faceoff promises to provide great theater alongside the on-field action itself.
Must-See Matchups Between League Rivals
A unique wrinkle of the Premier Lacrosse League’s All Star format is opponents from the regular season ending up as teammates or foes. The shuffle creates some intriguing matchups between familiar rivals.
Near the top of the list is the goalie battle between Chaos starter Blaze Riorden against his backup Logan McNaney. The veteran and rookie split time during the season but will be on opposite teams here. Their friendly competition all year makes this showdown must-see TV.
Another chaotic matchup sees star Chris Cloutier battling his team’s shiny new toy in draftee Josh Byrne. With Byrne eating into his minutes, Cloutier would love to outduel his biggest threat to regain his place atop Chaos’ offense.
Redwoods teammates Marcus Holman and Adam Ghitelman also find themselves on opposite sides. Holman, known for his shooting accuracy, will be eager to try and solve his veteran netminder.
An underrated clash comes in the Redwoods defensive core, featuring close allies Kyle Runyon and Eli Gobrecht. These D partners all season long square off as adversaries here in what should be a rugged matchup of poles.
The Redwoods also offer a battle of faceoff specialists in TD Ierlan against Danny Logan. Ierlan dominated the job all season but now must fend off Logan, who emerged as a force for the Atlas.
Runyon also will have his hands full against teammate and offensive wizard Connor Fields. Fields’ dodging ability against Runyon’s shut-down ability pits strength versus strength.
A final Chaos clash sees rookie pole Carter Humphrey try to contain his veteran mentor Bryan Costabile. The scrappy midfielder will relish trying to lose Humphrey.
These showdowns all season long within team dynamics now become elevated when opponents in the All Star game. Familiarity breeds added motivation and insight into weaknesses. The prior history raises the stakes.
Rivals like Riorden and McNaney will know each other’s shooting tendencies and on-field habits. Close teammates like Runyon and Fields are extra motivated to earn bragging rights in a matchup of pride.
The league’s superstars will be eager to outshine opponents who typically get the better of them. Meanwhile, veterans want to keep young teammates in check and maintain their status.
These built-in storylines based on regular season relationships add extra intrigue to the All Star matchups. Years of partnership or rivalry now intertwine on lacrosse’s biggest stage.
While unexpected individual matchups always emerge in All-Star games, these season-long battles elevate the showdowns. The existing chemistry and emotions make for ideal drama.
Pay special attention when league rivals cross paths in this midsummer classic. Their familiarity raises the competitiveness and stakes, even in an exhibition setting. These head-to-head battles promise playoff-level intensity.
Get Ready for the Most Exciting All Star Game Yet
When the Premier Lacrosse League’s brightest stars take the field for the 2023 All Star game on July 29th, fans should be ready for the most thrilling edition yet of the midsummer showcase. This year’s rosters are loaded with talent and intriguing storylines.
Start with the skills competitions on display before the game even begins. The PLL’s top shooters, dodgers, and goalies will be out to claim bragging rights in the skills challenges. Expect jaw-dropping shots and sublime stickwork on full display.
Then when the whistles blow, the legends on the sidelines add intrigue. Coaching icons Dave Pietramala and Dave Cottle facing off brings NCAA star power to the pro game’s biggest regular season stage.
The team rosters themselves pop off the page. How can a defense contain Goal-scoring phenoms like Chris Gray, Grant Ament, Josh Byrne, and Marcus Holman all sharing one field?
Leading those attacks are generational talents at midfield like Tom Schreiber, Sergio Perkovic, and Bryan Costabile. Their dazzling passing and dodging abilities setup the snipers down low.
FOGO specialists TD Ierlan and Danny Logan battling at the faceoff dot provides a masterclass in technique. Goalies like Blaze Riorden, Adam Ghitelman and Logan McNaney will be tested by the PLL’s most lethal shooting threats.
And seasoned veterans like Kyle Harrison, Paul Rabil, and Matt Rambo add their championship pedigree and star power to the mix. This truly is a collection of the best of the best that pro lacrosse has to offer.
The All Star game also generates unique matchups and storylines thanks to the league’s stars being shuffled up. Teammates square off against each other, while rivals team up for experienced squads.
Most excitingly, the game caps off All Star weekend festivities in Los Angeles. Skills competitions, sponsor events, and celebrations give fans an all-access pass to interact with their favorite players ahead of the big matchup.
Add this all up, and the 2023 PLL All Star Showcase promises to be a must-see event for any lacrosse fan. The concentration of talent and personalities on display is truly remarkable.
Goals will come fast and furious with this much firepower on each roster. Gravity-defying shots and sublime passing sequences are guaranteed as the league’s most skilled offensive weapons unleash their creativity.
With bragging rights and pride on the line, the effort and intensity promise to be ratcheted up despite the exhibition format. The PLL’s ultra-competitive stars treat every contest like a championship.
The collection of rivalries, storylines, icons, and pro stars promises the most exciting All Star game yet. This truly is a celebration of professional lacrosse at its highest level.