Formerly a lacrosse star at Maryland and now an attackman for the Premier Lacrosse League’s Whipsnakes LC, Matt Rambo is going for his third championship in three years in the PLL. He is ecstatic about how his career has gone so far and wants the success to continue.
The 26-year-old Rambo was drafted third overall out of Maryland by Major League Lacrosse’s Charlotte Hounds in 2017. He played for the Hounds for two years before transitioning to the PLL in 2019. He also plays indoor lacrosse for the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League.
Between the PLL and MLL, Rambo has totaled 145 points (71 goals, 74 assists) in 41 games entering play July 4. He was named MVP of the PLL in 2019, when he posted 19 goals and 23 assists for the Whipsnakes. He has achieved so much in such a short career, and he wants to continue to achieve more success and become a three-time champion in the PLL this summer.
“Our goal every year is to win a championship,” Rambo said on Glenn Clark Radio June 25. “We haven’t really talked too much about the championship. We just talk about who we’re playing next. Obviously, we have goals in the beginning of the year, and our end goal is obviously to win a championship. That should be every team’s goal.”
Pro lacrosse has gotten a lot more media attention since the PLL’s first year in 2019. Rambo has noticed how much the sport has changed since the inception of the league. He mentioned that the league’s barnstorming-style schedule gives the sport more exposure than it’s had in the past, as do the league’s TV and social media platforms.
“I think the PLL’s been doing a great job growing the game and I think it starts with the social media aspect because social media is such a great tool and that’s what everyone uses these days,” Rambo said.
But there’s one tried-and-true way to build one’s starpower, according to Rambo — winning.
“When I got asked to switch leagues from the MLL to the PLL, just the way that they could put my face and brand out there, it’s all on me to do well and make sure I’m in shape and make sure my game is up,” Rambo said. “But I think what made me such a big star in this league was not just myself playing well but I think my team playing well.”
Rambo and his team played at Homewood Field June 11 and 13, splitting the decisions. The Whipsnakes are now 3-1 this season. Rambo played at Homewood Field during his college career, too, but nothing can compare to his excitement from playing at Maryland Stadium.
“Hopkins is obviously our rival at Maryland so obviously these games were packed house, full of fans, sold out, so they were awesome,” Rambo said, “but College Park, Maryland Stadium … is better than Homewood, but that’s me being biased.”
However, Rambo has fond memories of playing at Homewood Field, too.
“Everyone’s on top of you. It’s very historical. There are a million games I’ve watched there on TV or in-person, so it’s awesome,” Rambo said. “I played there in high school. … It’s an awesome stadium. It brings good memories.”
Before the 2021 PLL season started, Virginia defeated Maryland, 17-16, in the men’s college lacrosse national championship on Memorial Day. Rambo, who won the national championship and Tewaaraton Award with the Terps in 2017, recalled some of the emotions he had after Virginia’s last-second save to win the title this year.
“I didn’t even say anything. My heart just dropped,” Rambo said. “You can’t blame the faceoff guy for missing that shot. It shouldn’t have even been down to the final seconds, and it’s a team game. Virginia played a good game. The Terps played a good game. I was just sad for Coach Tillman because I know how hard he worked and how hard of a season it was with COVID and all the protocols.”
For more from Rambo, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the PLL