PLL: Whipsnakes ram(bo) Redwoods in championship

The Whipsnakes celebrate their PLL championship. (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

The crowd was large. The chants were rowdy. The clouds were absent from the sky. Matt Rambo was venomous on attack.

The Whipsnakes defeated the Redwoods 12-11 to win the first ever Premier Lacrosse League Championship. Matt Rambo, recently named PLL Attackman of the year, also won the MVP award with his three goal and three assist extravaganza including the game tying and game winning overtime goal.

Both teams seemed to start off cautiously with each team netting one goal in the first. The Whipsnakes outscored the Redwoods in the second quarter by three and they appeared unstoppable. They were up 5-2 and showed no signs of letting up.

The Whipsnakes celebrate their PLL championship. (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

Maybe it was the halftime talk. Maybe it was the music from the Mexican festival right next door. Whatever the case, the Redwoods came back and started aggressively finding the back of the net while the Whipsnakes continued their offensive stronghold in the third quarter. Both teams scored four in the third. This set up a dramatic fourth quarter.

The play of the fourth quarter had both sides of the stadium on their seats. The Redwoods outscored the Whipsnakes 5-2. It appeared the Redwoods would win the championship when Joe Walters skillfully hit the back of the net with 1:36 left in the game to put the Redwoods in control of the championship.

Until Matt Rambo.

Matt Rambo at the PLL championship. (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)

Matt Rambo fired himself, his team and the stadium up with an electrifying goal with just 21 seconds left in the game. All tied up, the game went into overtime. Rambo chopped all the hopes of the Redwoods with a samurai like powerful shot that ended the game with 11:32 left in the sudden victory overtime.

For Rambo, you could not have written the story any better. For the Redwoods, there was stunned silence and anger. The Whipsnakes charged the stage and collected their glass trophy with Rambo front and centre leading the celebration, the dances and the party. He was all smiles when he collected his MVP award as well.

On the field, the families and friends of the Redwoods helped them pick up their broken hearts while the friends and families of the Whipsnakes began celebrating. The parties continued in and out of the stadium as the PLL demonstrated a great party had both in person and on television. They ended with the promise of more PLL action next year.

Tim Rotanz cuts a piece of the PLL championship winning net. (Photo credit: Tracey Happold-Brown)