PLL: Not even Thor can beat Team Baptiste at 2022 All-Star Game

2022 Premier Lacrosse League All-Star Game. (Photo credit: Premier Lacrosse League/PLL)

The Premier Lacrosse League All-Star game and skills competition festivities came to you live from Foxborough, MA this past Saturday. These weekends are always great from an entertainment standpoint and of course giving players and coaches a much needed break.

As for the All-Star game itself, it was Team Farrell taking on Team Baptiste. Team Baptiste scored the victory, and big, downing Team Farrell 33-13. Yes, you read that correctly. Thirty-three for Team Baptiste. This may have been with some help of some new rules voted in for this year’s All-Star game.

Some of the new rules included: a normal clock with 12 minute quarters, a bonus ball that made goals 2x their worth under two minutes in each quarter (1pt = 2, 2pt = 4), and the 2-point arc was moved to 13 yards as opposed to 15. Oh, and your halftime entertainment? The fastest shot competition.

Team captains Trevor Baptiste (who actually did not play due to injury) and Connor Farrell chose their teams in an old-school recess type selection process.

They both spoke before the game about how they chose their teams and what the fans were to expect in this one: “To be honest, it was really tough”, said Baptiste. “There’s so much talent across the whole league, obviously I had to shade towards my Atlas boys.”

Farrell commented on what the fans could expect: “I think they can expect a lot of creativity. We have some of the best players in the world in this stadium.”

The scoring started just after the opening draw. Logan Wisnauskas snuck one past Blaze Riorden to give Team Farrell an early lead. On the ensuing faceoff, Danny Logan tied the game up with a worm burner. We had to have known there would be scoring in bunches, right? Here we go. Two consecutive 2-point bombs from Myles Jones and Bryan Costabile made it 5-1 Team Baptiste, in a hurry. Ryan Terefenko stopped the bleeding for a moment for Team Farrell. Cue another crazy run at the end of the quarter. A disgusting, spinning, underhand one-pointer from Matt Rambo, and then two 2x bonus goals from Chris Gray and Joe Nardella. 10-2 Team Baptiste after one.

The start of the second was a continuation of the end of the first. The Team Baptiste train just kept on rolling. On the opening possession, Marcus Holman ripped a two-pointer. Next, Michael Sowers buried a one-pointer, and was followed by a power-play one-pointer by Jeff Teat. 14-2 Team Baptiste with 8:57 to play in the frame. Team Farrell finally got back on the board with a goal from Asher Nolting. But here comes Team Baptiste again. A one-pointer from Scott Ratliff and another two-point bomb from Jones made it 17-3. Brendan Nichtern for Team Farrell notched his first and Logan cashed in on a two-point bomb for Team Baptiste. The final goal of the frame was a bonus goal by Wisnauskas to make it 19-6 going into the half.

Before we get to the second half, we have to crown a fastest shot champion. Rules are simple: two shots from 10 yards out, ball must go in the net, and the fastest of the two shots will be counted. The top two seeds advance to the final round.

CJ Costabile of Chaos was up first. 108mph and 110mph for Costabile.
Next up was Mike Manley of the Chrome. 111mph and 116mph for Manley.
Up third was Justin Anderson of the Chrome. 106mph and 107mph for Anderson.
Next was Myles Jones of the Redwoods. 111mph and 113 mph for Jone.
Lastly was Jarrod Neumann of the Chaos. 100mph and 118mph for Neumann.

Your final round is Neumann vs Manley. Manley went first and recorded 113mph twice. Next was Neumann. He recorded 116mph on his first attempt and became the 2022 fastest shot champion.

Connor Farrell opened the scoring in the third for his own team and was followed up by another by Wisnuskas. Sowers got his second, Will Manny and Rob Pannell each got their first. 20-10 Team Baptiste with 6:55 to play in the quarter. Right when Team Farrell started chipping away, Team Baptiste had an answer. One-pointers from Jules Heningburg and Sowers, and a two-pointer from Matt Moore, stifled the Team Farrell comeback efforts. To end the quarter, Pannell and Costabile each got their second, and Holman got his third point with a one-point goal. 26-11 Team Baptiste going into the fourth.

Team Baptiste popped off with another huge run to start the fourth. Two straight two-pointers from Cade van Raaphorst and Troy Reh, and a one-pointer from Logan, pretty much sealed the deal. Nolting got his second and Zach Currier notched his first, only to be answered by a bonus goal by Heningburg. Your final from Foxborough, 33-13 Team Baptiste.

Marcus Holman was named All-Star game MVP. Holman had a one-pointer, a two-pointer, and four assists on the day.

“It’s always a fun atmosphere to be here at All-Star weekend,” he commented as he was drenched in Gatorade by his teammates. “I thought any of our teammates on the gold squad could have won this award.”

Now to the All-Star skills challenge. The challenges were Fastest Player, Freestyle Challenge, Goalie Competition, and Accuracy Challenge.

First up was the Fastest Player. The first heat’s top three were Jack Rowlett of Chaos, Bryan Costabile of Atlas, and Justin Anderson of Chrome. We’ll come back to the results of that.

While they were giving the top three a breather, let’s move on to the Freestyle Challenge. Each athlete had 30 seconds to score a goal in the most creative way possible. The shot must go into the net and five judges will score it on a scale of 1-10. The top two athletes with the highest combined score advance to the final.

Asher Nolting of the Cannons went first. His first shot was a miss and resulted in a 26. Michael Sowers of the Waterdogs was next. His first shot was a 40. Next was Chris Gray of Atlas. His first attempt was a miss and scored low. Rowlett was next; he tried a textbook freestyle jump over his long pole and missed the shot, resulting in a 26. Lastly, Connor Farrell, dressed as Thor, stepped up. Thor did the jumping between the legs and scored a 43.

Farrell and Sowers in the final. First up was Sowers. He went from behind the net and jumped and shot between the legs, scoring a 47. Next was Farrell. He came in while chugging a gallon of milk and shooting between his legs, scoring a 47. Onto the tiebreaker. Sowers came up and dunked from behind the net with two sticks, scoring a 41. Farrell came up and attempted a faceoff clamp between his legs and missed. Michael Sowers wins the Freestyle Challenge.

Back to the Fastest Player. Rowlett, Costabile, and Anderson lined up and took off. Rowlett got a decent lead and rode it out to victory. Jack Rowlett is your Fastest Player winner.

The next challenge was for the goalies. Each goalie would face 12 shots from 15 yards out. Shots would come from four different shooters and the goalie with the most saves would be the winner. First up was Sean Sconone of Chrome, who recorded six saves. Next up was Jack Concannon of Atlas, who recorded seven saves. Next up was Kyle Bernlohr of the Whipsnakes, who recorded an impressive nine saves. Last up was Blaze Riorden of the Chaos, but he only managed six saves. Kyle Bernlohr is your back-to-back Goalie Challenge winner.

Last challenge was the Accuracy Challenge. Each shooter would shoot on a goal with five targets. They would shoot from 10 yards and have up to 30 seconds to hit as many targets as they could. The shooter that hit the most targets in the shortest amount of time would be the winner. First up was Will Manny of the Archers. Manny hit only three targets in 30 seconds. Next up was Jules Heningburg of the Redwoods. Heningburg hit only two in 30 seconds. Next was Logan Wisnauskas of the Chrome. Wisnauskas hit two in 30 seconds. Going fourth was Jeff Teat of the Atlas. Teat hit two in 30 seconds.

Last up was Marcus Holman of the Archers. Holman hit all five in only 25 seconds. Marcus Holman is your back-to-back Accuracy Challenge champion. Holman is now bringing two separate trophies home; we’ll see if the Archers can make a push in the second half of the season.

Speaking of the second half of the season, ready or not, here it comes. The season resumes July 23-24 from Rafferty Stadium in Fairfield, CT. On the 23rd, Redwoods take on Atlas at 5pm, and the Whipsnakes take on the Chaos at 7:45pm. As for the 24th, the Cannons take on the Archers at 2pm, and the Chrome face the Waterdogs at 4:30pm. It’ll be a race to the finish, buckle up.