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By the Players: Premier Lacrosse League Season 1 Highlights
We’re just getting started.
The inaugural season of the PLL was one for the books. From day one of training camp, to all the close matches won in overtime, to packed stadiums and record-breaking TV ratings for pro lacrosse, it’s been a season of victory, growth and excitement for the sport.
We asked Team STX to share their season highlights and reflect on what it was like to be a part of this milestone for the sport — here’s what they had to say:
Most Memorable Moment
Joe Nardella, Faceoff, Whipsnakes: The most memorable moment for me was week 4, our match against Atlas. In the fourth quarter, our team went on a seven goal run to secure the victory!
Will Manny, Attack, Archers: My most memorable moment thus far would have to be the game winner in week one and first-ever PLL W for the Archers.
Justin Guterding, Attack, Chrome: The most memorable moment of the season for me was getting our first win together in week six. We worked so hard and were so close all year, and to finally break through and dominate a game for four quarters felt really good.
Marcus Holman, Attack, Archers: Will Manny's OT game winner in week one is definitely my favorite memory so far. Couldn't have asked for a better ending to the first-ever PLL game!
Scott Ratliff, LSM, Archers: The most memorable moment for me was Will Manny's game winner in week one. To be able to win the first-ever game, in such exciting fashion, was really fun.
Favorite Tour Stop
Joe Nardella: Baltimore was amazing! The crowd and atmosphere at Homewood field for a night game — you really can’t ask for a better environment than that.
Marcus Holman: I liked Chicago a lot. It's a city I've never been to and I thought for the fans to stick around in the rain was impressive. It really showed the passion and commitment they have for the sport!
Scott Ratliff: Hands down ATL! My home city is special for me and it was cool to play in Turner Field where I grew up going to games.
Most Iconic Play
Joe Nardella: Our team had quite a few overtime games, so I’d have to say each of those wins were iconic for me.
Justin Guterding: At the All-Star Game when Paul Rabil turned back the clock and threw the most insane around-the-world pass to Will Manny, who was able to get a dunk right on the crease.
Michael Ehrhardt: I’d have to go with Drew Snider intercepting a pass in OT against the Archers. Then he tip-toed the sideline to feed Heningburg who fed Ryan Drenner for the game winner.
Scott Ratliff: The most iconic play for the Archers was probably Holman's reach-around goal in week one. He shot around his defender in a way I've never seen. It was an awesome viral goal!
Biggest “Wow” Moment
Justin Guterding: Being in the presence of Jim Brown at the All-Star game is the stand-out moment for me. It was so cool to have someone so special speak to a bunch of lacrosse players who are looking to grow the game, and having him tell us that he respects us was so amazing. I’m so thankful for the opportunities that the PLL has provided, and being able to meet Mr. Brown and take a picture with him was pretty incredible!
Marcus Holman: Playing in Baltimore on Homewood Field was special for me. I grew up about three miles from the stadium and used to watch Johns Hopkins play every Saturday. To play on that field as a pro felt as if my lacrosse career had come full circle.
Scott Ratliff: Watching the first televised game on NBC was a pretty big wow moment. To see how well it was broadcast and how unique and improved the PLL product is from a broadcast standpoint was really cool.
Best Fan Moment
Will Manny: Every week has been great but I’m going to give the Washington, D.C. crowd props here. Our game versus the Redwoods was PACKED and had a great vibe to it.
Justin Guterding: For me, every time you walk into a stadium and see kids wearing your jersey, that’s something that never gets old to me. It’s such an honor to have that love and support, and I will never take it for granted.
Marcus Holman: Definitely the Washington, D.C. crowd! I had about 15 family members and friends in attendance. I remember seeing a picture of them after the game and it hit me. It really makes you appreciate the people in your corner when they come out and support you like that!
Michael Ehrhardt: Playing at Red Bull Arena in Newark, N.J. was a great weekend. I had a bunch of family members and friends in attendance and the young kids were great to engage with!
Scott Ratliff: Baltimore was the best fan support so far — the stadium was full and super into the game. It was a lot of fun to play in front of so many passionate lacrosse fans!
Greatest Lesson Learned
Joe Nardella: You can't take one second for granted when you get on the field. From preparation to execution, it’s such a process and commitment. Those who work towards being the best every day will be rewarded on game day.
Will Manny: Every game our team has played has been decided by one goal. Every possession counts and you have to respect every opponent. No lead is safe until that last whistle blows. Wins are EARNED in this league.
Justin Guterding: The one lesson I'll never forget is Coach Danowski preaching that every play matters. We’ve had so many close games and we’re unable to put the blame on one play because a play in the first quarter could have impacted the game in a way that the play in the fourth quarter would not have happened if the play in the first quarter was made!
Marcus Holman: I love this game to my core. The feeling I get when I put my helmet and jersey on is like no other in the world. The game of lacrosse truly is medicine to me.
Michael Ehrhardt: Be yourself. Just because there are cameras around and the spotlight is larger, you don’t have to be anyone but yourself. I’m blessed to still have the opportunity play this game and it just keeps getting better.
Scott Ratliff: Biggest lesson for me so far has been the importance of not taking any of this for granted. It’s so hard to play at this level, and this league has been a constant reminder of how lucky I am to have this opportunity and to be around the other players, coaches and staff in this league.
Can’t get enough PLL content in your life? Check out this interview with K18 and our Director of Lacrosse Marketing discussing all things PLL.