Who will be crowned the 2019 MLL Champion?
On the final weekend of pro field lacrosse this year, the culmination of a crazy summer will end with one team remaining that will raise the Stenfield Trophy. In the shadow of the PLL, the MLL has quietly had one of its most exciting seasons and the players have been making highlight reel plays all summer. The MLL will get the full attention of the lacrosse world as the games this weekend will bring lacrosse back to national TV. Several players on all these teams are coming off of playing in the World Indoor Championships and will likely be a bit worn. Expect teams to go hard at players like Zach Currier, Lyle Thompson, Dillon Ward, Randy Staats, Shayne Jackson, and several others early to try and tire them out. Get ready for some amazing lacrosse games as here are the games we cannot wait to watch this MLL Championship weekend.
#1 Chesapeake Bayhawks vs #4 Atlanta Blaze
Watch on ESPNNews at 7 pm ET
Get ready for a wild game between these two rivals. The Bayhawks may have won the regular season series 2-1 over the Blaze, but the Blaze will not be an easy team to beat again. Over the course of the season these teams learned to hate each other with an actual fight breaking out between Atlanta’s Randy Staats and Chesapeake’s Warren Jeffrey way back on July 6th because of the teams taking cheapshots at each other. I’m sure no one on either team has forgotten about that.
The battle at the faceoff X will be crucial as the Blaze’s spectacular rookie Alex Woodall will go against the Bayhawks’ Kenny Massa who actually had a higher winning percentage in the regular season. With the Bayhawks’ deadly offense boasting players like Lyle Thompson, Colin Heacock, and Steele Stanwick and the Blaze offense featuring Randy Staats, Mark Matthews, Shayne Jackson, and Tom Palasek it might just come down to who gets more chances to score.
With a trip to the championship on the line, expect a dramatic finish between these two run and gun teams.
#2 Denver Outlaws vs #3 Boston Cannons
Watch on ESPNNews at 10 pm ET
The Denver Outlaws are the reigning MLL Champions and they have a team capable of winning it again, but they have to get through a tough and talented Boston Cannons team first. The Outlaws and Cannons traded wins in very competitive games before the Outlaws dismantled the Cannons 22-9 in their last meeting on August 31st, but the Cannons were without key players like Challen Rogers and Zed Williams.
This time around the stakes are raised and the Outlaws will have the crowd at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver on their side. The Cannons have gone into Denver and beaten the Outlaws at home already this season so they are definitely capable of pulling it off again. Will Sands, Mark Cockerton, Kyle Jackson, and their crafty midfield core will need to show up big time for the Boston to advance.
The Cannons will have to pressure Denver goalie Dillon Ward early to have any chance of winning because Ward has made a living of coming up big in playoff games. If Ward gets in a groove early he will make it difficult for the Cannons to get anything going offensively. Boston’s Nick Marrocco will have to be steady in net as well for the Cannons to stave off Denver’s offensive juggernaut featuring the likes of John Grant Jr., Zach Currier, Ryan Lee, Chris Aslanian, Mikie Schlosser, and Brendan Kavanaugh.
The Cannons need a big game from their faceoff man Kevin Reisman against the top faceoff guy in the league in Denver’s Max Adler. Especially late in the game the team who gets those possessions will have the best chance to move on to the championship.
Can the Cannons silence the Denver crowd? Or will the Outlaws book their trip to another MLL Championship game?
— Major League Lacrosse (@MLL_Lacrosse) October 3, 2019
TBD vs TBD
Watch on ESPN2 at 1 pm ET
For the second time in the past two weeks pro lacrosse will be on a major TV network. The MLL Championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and hopefully lacrosse fans will take the time to tune in away from NFL sunday games to watch and other sports fans stumble upon what should be a thrilling game. Whichever teams make it to the MLL Championship will surely put on a show at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as they get their chance to etch their names into MLL history and raise the Steinfeld Trophy.
Who do you want to win the MLL Championship?