Atlas, Chrome Embrace “Backyard-Style” Lacrosse in Championship Series Final


The Atlas beat the Chrome in the round-robin portion of the Championship Series.

The Atlas and Chrome will face off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET in the PLL Championship Series final, a culmination of a week of games with players and coaches all adjusting to the unique Sixes format. For many of them, it felt like the version of lacrosse they all grew up playing in the backyard.

“When I first saw this game, I knew it was going to be just like backyard lacrosse,” Atlas interim head coach Steven Brooks said.

Brooks credits his team’s ability to embrace this format for their success, which culminated on Saturday with a 30-21 victory over the Whipsnakes and a trip the final.

“I call it a ‘sandlot’ mentality, Brooks said. “Back in the day, you’d get a bunch of kids together in the neighborhood and play wiffleball or baseball and you’d have the time of your life imagining yourself in the World Series, bottom of the ninth. I just want them to smile and understand where they came from and what got them to where they are. When you get guys to understand that, it takes the pressure of them.”

Comparisons to other sports like basketball and hockey were also made to encapsulate the feeling of playing Sixes.

“I’d say this format is way more one-on-one matchups and backside cuts,” Bryan Costabile said. “It’s more like playing basketball than field lacrosse.”

“It’s a fun game. It’s up and down … this is what you like to watch,” acting Chrome head coach Jacques Monte said. “I come from a hockey family. It’s kind of like hockey. You go up and down the ice. It’s physical, it’s fast-paced.”

His physical and fast-paced Chrome team earned their trip to the final by fending off a late surge by the Archers en route to a 21-18 victory.

“The {format] was definitely novel the first three days, but just like anything, you start to learn the little nuances. Our guys have done that,” Monte said. “Our guys are dialed in right now. They’re excited. I think they’ve embraced this whole thing, and tomorrow we’ll see what happens.”

Both teams were grateful for another chance to play, but for Atlas, the chance to play in the final was extra special. This week was the first time Atlas competed for  Brooks during his tenure as interim head coach, and that fact was not lost on Atlas players. Jack Concannon, who’s spent his entire career playing with and now for Brooks, spoke about how impactful it’s been to have him in charge.

“It’s been cool to see him evolve from a teammate and player to an assistant coach and now an interim head coach,” Concannon said. “I think he’s done a great job, especially with how new this is and learning on the fly.”

“We wanted to rally around him and Spencer [Ford],” Costabile said. “We know right now that we have two great guys leading us, and hopefully they can continue to lead us to a championship.”

Brooks spoke about the team’s focus on the ultimate goal of winning the PLL Championship Series.

“It’s about us sticking together. We can bend but never break,” Brooks said. “I told these guys we have to climb the mountain. It’s going to be a tough mountain, but we have to continue to keep our eyes on the top.”


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