Clutch Genes And The Transition Game; The Keys To Whipsnakes LC’s Success.


Photo Courtesy of PLL                                                                                                                                         

Strike without warning. Whipsnakes LC doesn’t just wear that as a motto to resemble their team identity, they wear it on their sleeves and showcase it in every aspect of their play on the field. From offense to defense, and even in specialty positions, Whipsnakes LC is that motto. They do strike without warning and it can happen at any point of the game in any way shape of form. 

Really taking to this motto and playing like it has helped Whipsnakes LC stay undefeated, winning three overtime wins in a row to take first place in the standings, sitting at 3-0. There is a lot that can be attributed to their success, but it all can relate back to that motto that is supposes to be this teams identity, “Strike without warning.”

The biggest way that this team has connected to that motto and been successful has been making insane clutch play at the end of games and in overtime. In week one they fell behind a bit early in second half, letting Chaos LC come back into the game after being down 10-5 at the half. 

Whipsnakes suddenly woke back up and secured the win in overtime with Drew Snider scoring the game-winner. In week two it was a similar story as they defeated Chrome LC with Ryan Drenner scoring the game winner in overtime. 

During week three of the season Whipsnakes started very hot again, only to go on a scoring drought that lasted about thirty minutes. They finally awoke back up in the fourth, tied things back up, and yet again defeated Archers LC in overtime. It was Ryan Drenner who again scored the game winner in overtime. 

This ability to either subdue a comeback, get back on track after a long scoring drought, or just win in overtime makes Whipsnakes so dangerous. They are the only team in the PLL that has had to do this week in and week out. This experience gives them an edge and over their opponent each week. The fact that they have won three straight overtime games should be a huge confidence booster going forward. 

While being clutch down the stretch is certainly something that not every player or team possess there are parts of the Whipsnakes game that make this a reality more often than not.

Transition play  is a key part of lacrosse at any level and when it is executed right it is can be the most beautiful thing in the world. Whipsnakes is certainly not the only team that has the ability to put together great runs in transition, but they just do it differently. 

Coach Stagnitta and his staff have put in place a system of clearing and pushing the issue that fits with the skill and talent on both ends of the field. It feels very much like watching a whole puzzle come together at once, and goalie Kyle Bernlohr is the first piece laid down while everything else builds out. 

While defense is a big part of their transition game so is riding. Whipsnakes attack ride the heck out of the opposing team, often disrupting the clear. Their midfield unit is also able to disrupt the opposing ride and help get the offense the ball back. 

Whipsnakes use a combination of great defensive play and a grueling ride to win in the middle of the field, thus kick starting their transition offense. 

This is evident when watching how the Whipsnakes offense and how many shots and goals they are able to get very early on in the shot clock. They are deadly at this and can strike any defense very hard. 

This way of play has really benefited their roster of guys like Matt Rambo, Ryan Drenner, Mike Chanenchuk, Jules Henningburg, and the rest of the their offense. Because they play this style, they have a good chance at winning on any given day.

While they aren’t the only team that relies on transition they are one of the best teams at doing it and certainly don’t let it get too messy and hectic, keeping the ship running tight. Even when they run their 6v6 set offense, it all was initiated in transition. 

Whipsnakes currently sit atop the league at 3-0. They are looking very dangerous on both ends of the field and certainly have the ability to go all the way in year one. 


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