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PLL: Why Can’t Redwoods Get Over the Hump?

PC: Redwoods PLL Twitter

We got another treat in the PLL playoffs with another matchup of Redwoods and Whipsnakes. However, Redwoods lost again this time in the final minute 14-13. A heartbreaking third playoff loss in a row coming at the hands of the two time defending champions Whipsnakes. This is also puts an end to Kyle Harrison’s career. The Redwoods have one of the best rosters and coaches in the league. Why are they struggling so much in postseason play?

They Always Play Whipsnakes

This is just bad luck. They lost the championship game to Whipsnakes in year one in overtime, lost in the semis to them in year two in overtime, and now this. They always play well against each other and both have incredible rosters with no holes. But somehow, Redwoods is still getting edged out. So you may be wondering, what can you do to improve a lacrosse team? What can the Redwoods do to get over the hump? For one, don’t run into Whipsnakes. Let’s get into some strategies that are more concrete and attainable.

Options

Option one is to keep the core group they have and add to it in the expansion and college draft. They have a lot of experience on the team which is great. However, some of those guys are getting older and that didn’t really help Cannons in the long run. Option two is the Atlas approach, blow up the roster for draft picks. Atlas as a result has done very well this year. Head coach Nat St. Lurent has experience coaching college. Working with young players is nothing new to him. However, young teams in the pros in any sport can sometimes lead to growing pains. Below are some older players the team could trade.

Attacks: Rob Pannell (31) and Matt Kavanagh (28)

Midfielders: Joe Walters (36) and Kevin Unterstein (35)

Defensive Midfielders: Jack Near (28) and Patrick Harbeson (30)

Defensemen: Finn Sullivan (28)

Faceoff: Drew Simoneau (29)

What Could They Get in Return?

Some of these players could very well retire. Pannell and Kavanagh could be trade targets for Chrome because of the lack of scoring they had this season. In return, Redwoods should ideally get a college draft pick and attack Matt Gaudet. Gaudet burst onto the scene his rookie year but has been suspended. If he is able to play again, a fresh start may be in order. Simoneau is not needed because of TD Irelan and Charlie Leonard. Simoneau’s value is a late college draft or expansion draft pick, and a young player.

Cannons is a potential landing spot to be a backup/mentor to a young faceoff player who Cannons needs to add in the draft. Sullivan and Near have Archers written all over it because of their ineffectiveness to stop goals down the stretch. In return, Redwoods need to get at least one young player back and a draft pick either for the upcoming draft, or a future draft pick. There is a path for the Redwoods to get better, but if it doesn’t work out there could be severe consequences and major setbacks for years to come.

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