(Photo Courtesy of PLL)
2020 hasn’t been the best year on record so far for many, but for Jay Carlson, it marked one of his best seasons as a pro.
A 2015 Maryland grad, Jay Carlson entered the pro lacrosse world in the summer of 2016 following a strong career with the Terps, where he finished his career as 16th all-time in goals (91) and tied for 40th in points (108). That first season as a pro, Carlson put up 18 points (12G/6A) in six games. Since that first season as a pro, Carlson has never gotten back to that same level, statistically, where he was in college or during his rookie campaign. That is, until this past season.
During the 2020 PLL Championship Series, many pegged Jay Carlson as a “Breakout Star” but if you knew his game, you would know that he has played at this level before and certainly had the ability to get back to that level of play. And this season was the perfect opportunity for Carlson, one of very few true crease attackmen, to redeem himself and shine under the spotlight once again.
Carlson ended the two-week series with a total of 13 points (12G/1A). He was the league’s fifth-leading one-point goal scorer during the series, ranked 17th in overall points, and 12th in shooting percentage (46%).
The Maryland grad scored in every single game for Whipsnakes during the championship series, but his best two games were, undoubtedly, the Whipsnakes group play meeting with Atlas and semifinal contest against Redwoods.
In their meeting with Atlas, the Whipsnakes offense reminded everybody how deep they just are. And Carlson was a huge part of that effort, netting a first-half hat trick and ending the game with four goals off of six shots, shooting at 67%. Carlson repeated the same in their semifinal with over Redwoods, netting a hat trick in the first half and ending with four goals off of eight shots and a 50% shooting percentage.
In both games, and throughout the series, the overwhelming majority of his goals came from inside right on the crease, earning him the nickname “Garbage Man.” He showed off his elite off-ball skills around the crease and as soon as he got hot, images of the Maryland Jay Carlson started flooding back in the minds of many.
— Premier Lacrosse League (@PremierLacrosse) August 7, 2020
Additionally, Carlson was able to make huge impacts during the Whipsnakes championship run that don’t necessarily show up in the stat book. Like this clip below.
— PLL Highlights (@PLLHighlight) August 7, 2020
One other measurable that does show how huge Carlson’s efforts were is ground balls. He finished the series with the 13th most ground balls (17) overall and was first among attackmen in that category. The Maryland grad might also be one of the best riding attackmen in the league, which certainly showed itself over the past few weeks on the field as Carlson soared back to the top of the consciousness of lacrosse fans.
Now let’s see if he can stay at this level and have a similar or better season next summer.