How Each Team Can Win the 2022 PLL Championship

Lacrosse fans rejoice, it is playoff season for the 2022 PLL Championship. Last season we saw the sixth seeded Chaos ride momentum all the way through the playoffs to an all-time championship celebration. The previous two years Whipsnakes reigned supreme. Throughout PLL history only three teams have made the title game, Chaos, Redwoods, and Whipsnakes. For the 2022 PLL Championship, will we see the same usual suspects or is another team ready to make the next step? I broke down the championship case for all seven playoff teams below.

1. Whipsnakes

This will be the most useless paragraph in journalism history. The Whipsnakes don’t need a case, they have been to all three title games in league history winning the first two. Team chemistry, elite coaching, and the ability to grind out one goal games has fueled the Whips trio of championship appearances. Sitting atop of the league at 9-1, the Whips look destined for another run. They have a few good players at every position on the field; Rambo, Zed, Brad Smith, Chanenchuk, Ty Warner, Nardella, Ehrhardt, Dunn, and Bernlohr to name a few. It is the Whips title to lose this season, again.

2. Chrome

There isn’t a case for the Chrome, they get bounced this Saturday by the reigning champions Chaos. Outside of my editor’s bias, Chrome’s turnaround has been a main storyline this season. Their roster is built similar to the whipsnakes, really presenting no visible weakness on paper. Led offensively by rookies Brendan Nichtern and Logan Wisnauskas, the defense is what stands out on tape. JT Giles-Harris has been the best defenseman in the league this year, Terry and Haus are lockdown SSDMs, and Sean Sconone has had a solid season in the cage. Veteran coach Tim Soudan has a plethora of playoff experience as well.

3. Archers

The curious case of Archers Lacrosse Club. With all the talent on the roster, how have they not even appeared in a championship game? They hear this every offseason and at this point it has to be fuel for the fire. Faceoff has seemed to be Archers Achilles’ heel, but it doesn’t fully tell the story of Archers playoff woes. The case for the Archers resides in the offense, when clicking it’s the most dangerous in the league. Tom Schreiber is still a top three talent in the lacrosse world. The bigger question becomes will they be able to get possessions?

4. Atlas

Trevor Baptiste, that’s the whole case for why Atlas have a shot at winning this year. On a serious note I struggle with comprehending that Atlas has lost 4 games this year, despite Trev going 70% at the X (granted he was inactive for one). The attack is stellar with Law, Teat, and Gray. They carry reigning SSDM of the year Danny Logan, complemented with an athletic midfield and sound defense. Along with the PLL’s most underrated LSM Craig Chick, it’s hard to find reasons for Atlas losing games. More late game composure and eliminating mental lapses will be two major factors if Atlas wants to win it all.

5. Waterdogs

There isn’t a streakier team in the PLL than the Waterdogs. A three-game losing streak along with a four-game winning streak, the Waterdogs have experienced every emotion possible throughout this season. Sowers and McArdle form one of the leagues top attack duos, the defense is underrated being backstopped by all-world goalie Dillon Ward, and they have Zach Currier. There is a lot to like about the dogs and the added pressure from owners Big Cat and PFT give these guys an extra edge. If the dogs get on one of their hot streaks come this weekend, they can find themselves knocking out three wins straight and standing on the podium when it’s all said and done.

6. Redwoods

Pain, heartbreak, Dan Arestia mentioning they’re the only team to lose by one goal in playoff
history and they’ve done it three times, all make up the Woods case for the 2022 PLL Championship. The
Redwoods have been perennial contenders that just haven’t broken through. An overtime loss in the
2019 title game to the Whips, an overtime semifinals loss in the 2020 bubble to the Whips, and a blown lead in the quarterfinals in 2021 to guess who, the Whipsnakes. This group knows the pressure on their shoulders and what awaits them with another playoff exit. Luckily RP3 looks like RP3, TD is heating up at the X, Epple is still breaking collarbones, and Charlie Bertrand has been unstoppable. The Redwoods have all the right pieces, it is time to see if they can answer the bell.

7. Chaos

The reigning, defending, undisputed champions of the PLL. You can’t kill what is already dead. For the third year in a row the Chaos are being counted out. The fact is they show up when it matters most, in the bubble a defeated start led to an unlikely championship run that ended in heartbreak. If you haven’t heard, in 2021 only 3.2% of fans voted for Chaos to win it all, the 3.2% were correct. As Chaos’s No.1 fan I certainly haven’t lost hope, and the record does not tell the whole story.

Shorthanded to start the season, outside of a slip against the Waterdogs, the Chaos have been in every game they played. Dhane and Byrne continue to heat up, Blaze is pretty decent and is up for his fourth consecutive Goalie of the Year award, and Adler tends to get rolling at the X when it matters most. Don’t forget CJ Costabile has quietly put together an LSM of the year campaign. They need to bring their swagger and arrogance back to shock the world again, but they are more than capable.