Philadelphia Waterdogs attackman Kieran McArdle

PLL 2024 All-Star snubs: Kieran McArdle headlines biggest omissions

By PLL Beat Writers | Jul 9, 2024

Forty of the PLL’s best are headed to Louisville this weekend to take part in the 2024 All-Star Game. But which deserving players didn't make the All-Star cut?

Here are our beat writers' picks for the biggest snub from each squad:

Philadelphia Waterdogs: Kieran McArdle

What does McArdle have to do to get the respect he deserves? Here are the facts: McArdle ranks third in points per game and goals per game in the Eastern Conference. He’s second in goal rate among players with 150-plus touches and has turned the ball over less than Asher Nolting, Jeff Teat and Marcus Holman

In every respect of the game, McArdle is as good or better than the average All-Star selection in the Eastern Conference. And he still wasn’t chosen. In fact, he’s never been a PLL All-Star, with his three career selections all coming in the MLL (2015, '16 and '18). It isn’t surprising to see McArdle get snubbed once again, but you can bet his teammates and coaches will be noting the continual disrespect toward their captain. 

McArdle ranks eighth all-time in points (470), sixth in goals (293) and 10th in assists (176). You’d be hard-pressed to find a player like that in any other sport who’s never been selected for an All-Star Game.

Plus, the "his team is 1-4" argument is less than irrelevant considering his coaches made the cut, but he didn’t. – Wyatt Miller

California Redwoods: Wes Berg

The fans don’t got love for Bergy?

I think that’s what Snoop Dogg meant to say at the 1993 Source Awards. Berg has been the epitome of efficiency for some time now, and despite the Redwoods’ offense taking its time to find its flow, he hasn't missed a beat.

He scores a goal on 14% of his touches. Among players with more than 25 touches this season, only one other player in the Western Conference boasts a higher goal rate. 

When it comes to raw statistics, Berg ranks well, too.

He’s 16th in the league in one-point goals scored with nine (sixth amongst Western Conference players), and more impressively, he’s doing it while shooting 72.7% — the highest in the league. 

Sure, he doesn’t touch the ball as much as other selected players, and his team’s 1-3 record doesn’t help, so it might not be surprising that Berg didn’t get the nod. 

But whenever you hear his name during a broadcast, it’s usually followed by a “goal” call. And considering lacrosse isn’t fun if no scoring’s getting done, Berg’s contributions should carry more weight with the voters. – Jerome Taylor

Denver Outlaws: Luke Wierman

Wierman is one of the most obvious All-Star snubs in the league. Denver is fairly represented at the All-Star Game, but leaving Wierman off the Western Conference roster is a pretty big miss.

From a pure numbers standpoint, he easily should be there. He’s fourth in the league in faceoff percentage (56.9%), and he’s already proven himself against the best in the world. 

Against Utah’s Mike Sisselberger, who earned the second faceoff spot for the West, Wierman tilted the field by winning 23 of 36 faceoffs (64%). He also won 60% of his draws against Trevor Baptiste and the New York Atlas.

While Wierman struggled against TD Ierlan, so has everyone else. And while the counting stats aren’t all there, Wierman also played fewer games than most other faceoff specialists.

Both Brennan O’Neill and Jake Piseno will represent Denver’s exceptional rookie class in the All-Star Game, but Wierman should be alongside them. – Topher Adams

New York Atlas: Xander Dickson

Dickson has had 145 fewer touches than Teat, 112 fewer than Holman, 88 fewer touches than Michael Sowers, 67 fewer than Nolting and 65 fewer than Connor Shellenberger. Still, Dickson ranks second in points and scoring points in the league, behind only Teat in both.

Dickson is so efficient, also ranking fifth in the league in shot percentage. Perhaps if he had more touches – and thus goals – under his belt we’d see him at All-Star weekend alongside his fellow Atlas attackmen Teat and Shellenberger. But New York’s starting trio is an All-Star line whether Dickson gets that recognition or not. – Lauren Merola

Utah Archers: Brett Dobson should be the West’s starting goalie

Seven Archers players are 2024 All-Stars, including Western Conference captain Tom Schreiber and fellow West starters Connor Fields and Grant Ament. Alongside Dobson, Sisselberger, Piper Bond, Mac O’Keefe, Utah head coach Chris Bates and assistant coach Tony Resch, the club will be well-represented in Louisville. 

If there’s one nit to pick, it’s Dobson’s status as the reserve goalie for the Western Conference behind Blaize Riorden. Riorden’s resume is unquestionable – he’s been the best goalie in the world for at least five years. But in 2024, Dobson has been better.

The Archers goalie leads the league in saves with 77, boasts a 58.3% save rate that is just 0.5% lower than Riorden’s, leads the West’s top club and outdueled Riorden in a goalie battle earlier this season in Philadelphia. Riorden also missed 2 1/2 games due to injury while Dobson hasn’t missed a second of action this season. – Zach Carey

Boston Cannons: Should Asher Nolting be a starter?

For the most part, the Cannons are well-represented at this year’s All-Star Game.

All six selections rank amongst the best of the best in their respective statistical categories not only in the Eastern Conference, but in the league. All six are also no strangers to the honor, as they’ve all been selected as All-Stars at least once before. 

My only grievance, and it’s a relatively minor one, is Nolting being named a reserve attackman rather than a starter. Teat, Shellenberger and Sowers are the East’s starting attackmen. 

Obviously, no one is holding a candle to the duo of Teat and Shellenberger. However, there’s a two-point difference between Nolting and Sowers, with Nolting recording 23 points (5G, 18A) thus far this season, to Sowers' 21 (10G, 11A). 

Granted, the Cannons are 4-2 and the Waterdogs 1-4, but Nolting is just as essential to his squad as Sowers is to his.  

Again, it’s nothing major, but if you’re looking for a reason to complain simply for the sake of complaining as a Cannons fan, Boston’s quarterback not being a starter is your best argument. – Sarah Griffin

Maryland Whipsnakes: None, really

In any other year, attackman TJ Malone would have likely been an All-Star with 17 points, tied for eight-most in the league. 

Unfortunately for Malone, the seven point leaders in front of him are all Eastern Conference attackmen. While Malone has impressed as a rookie, there really isn’t an argument to put him ahead of any of those guys with only five All-Star selections at attack.

Mike Chanenchuk is also having another good year from the midfield with 10 points, including three two-pointers, but again, there are other midfielders who have been more productive, so he can hardly be considered a big-time snub. – Adam Lamberti

Carolina Chaos: None

It hasn’t been the prettiest of years for the Carolina Chaos. but the squad still has five All-Stars. 

If Riorden didn’t return from injury and Austin Kaut stayed between the pipes, Kaut would’ve had a case for making the Western Conference All-Star team with the third-best save percentage (55.2%) in the West and third-best scores against average (12.9).

On the other side of the field, a small case could be made for Jules Heningburg, but his 10 points aren’t enough to warrant an All-Star bid.  

The Chaos will be well-represented with Josh Byrne, Jack Rowlett, Jarrod Neumann, Zach Geddes and Riorden headed to Louisville. – Hayden Lewis