The PLL is clearly a league dominated by star power worldwide. With the best pool of players in Lacrosse and the most dominant offensive players in the league, no player stays unnoticed. Well, most don’t.
Enter Joe Nardella. A premier FOGO for the Whipsnakes lacrosse club, he has purely dominated the likes of almost any other faceoff specialist in the league. During the all-star game, he made Connor Farrell look silly, and he was a replacement for Trevor Baptiste!
Nardella isn’t the colossal name we typically see in the Faceoff department. There are two certified league leaders in that department, Baptise and Farrell. However, I believe that Nardella is on par with both of them.
Baptiste, the certified No. 1 FOGO and my personal MVP favorite had his worst game against Nardella. The Whipsnakes haven’t played the Chrome yet, but even in the All-Star game, he edged out Farrell by one faceoff and 2 points scored.
Joe Nardella has been the David to the PLL’s Goliath. His likeliness isn’t as popular in the PLL compared to Baptiste and Farrell, but he namelessly took down the star pegs until his name became known. We need to respect Joe Nardella the overshadowed superstar.
Nardella is the second-best faceoff specialist in the PLL. Some of you may be questioning my bold statement, but I will double down. Not only is he second in the league in faceoff percentage, and he has the same amount of faceoff wins as the guy in 3rd even with 9 fewer attempts.
Looking back to 2020, in 6 games played, he actually had the same faceoff percentage as Baptiste does this year. However, even after winning the faceoff player of the year, he was never in the top of the MVP conversation like Baptiste is now.
Joe Nardella has been a dominant force in the PLL since its conception. The fact that he wasn’t an MVP candidate in 2020 and isn’t an all-star captain now is astonishing. However, let’s look at the reasons why.
Although one cannot knock Baptiste for his performance in the league as one of the most dominant FOGOs ever, Nardella is on his heels. Baptiste in his career as a PLL player is averaging 64% from the X, while Nardella is just a couple marks short with 61%.
Not only is Farrell having a statistically worse year compared to Nardella, but he has for his entire PLL career. His career faceoff percentage is 55%, falling short of the two top players at the position.
Connor Farrell is a great player, has an amazing personality, and brings fans something to look forward to. Although Nardella may not have the same image and likeness as Farrell, his incredible performance should not leave him in the shadows.
Nardella proves week after week that he should be considered as arguably the best at his position. At his best, he’s an MVP caliber player, and at his worst, he is still a consistent winner. Joe Nardella is one of the most dominant PLL players, and is undoubtedly an overshadowed superstar.