Archers' Will Manny (4) looks to get around Cannons' Zach...

Archers' Will Manny (4) looks to get around Cannons' Zach Goodricl (14) in the fourth quarter during the Premier Lacrosse League game between the Archers and Cannons on Saturday June 18 2022 at Hofstra. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Will Manny worked the sideline rail above him after putting in his Premier Lacrosse League work on the Shuart Stadium turf. He was signing autographs and posing for selfies with the kids looking down at him, but really looking up to him.

“I can say this firmly: There’s no other league that you have this fan interaction with the players,” Manny said. “So it’s really special. I don’t leave here until I sign every kid’s autograph that wants it.” 

He used to be a lacrosse-playing kid on Long Island. Now the 30-year-old Massapequa native and former St. Anthony’s standout was back playing here professionally again at Hofstra. 

The traveling Premier League is in its fourth season. This was the PLL’s second straight year stopping in Hempstead. It staged a doubleheader Friday night and another Saturday.

The eight teams have 10 regular-season games. There are 35 players from the Island. They enjoy competing as pros in front of their old home audience. 

Manny is one of six L.I. guys on his Archers team. The attackman, now a Utah resident, had five goals and two assists in a 20-9 win over former Hofstra great Ryan Tierney and his Cannons team in Saturday’s opener.

“It’s my 10th year playing; I’ve come back here almost every year,” said Manny, an eight-time All-Star and a former first-team All-American and Tewaaraton finalist at UMass. 

“I played for the (Long Island) Lizards for a while and (Major League Lacrosse). Sad my parents weren’t here today for this game. My dad had COVID. But I had the rest of my family here, and it’s always special.”

Tierney scored twice, a familiar feeling for him in this stadium. The 23-year-old attackman from Massapequa played at Hofstra for his dad, Seth Tierney, who’s also a PLL official, and scored 164 goals and posted 251 points — more than anyone in the history of the program and the CAA.

This is his second season in the league. It was special for him to be playing again at Hofstra and on Long Island.

“Oh, it’s so surreal,” Tierney said. “Where the career really started and where you get to play and continue to play, especially at that next level, is the coolest feeling in the world.”

He’s living at his family’s home.

“Saving money,” Tierney said.

Lacrosse isn’t his only source of income. He works in investment banking in New York City.

“So I am at my 9 to 5 job Monday through Thursday,” Tierney said. “Friday, I’m traveling. And then Saturday, I play. Sunday, I fly home.”

“I’m still getting used to it,” he said, “traveling all the time, having quick turnarounds and no standard practices throughout the week.”

Redwoods led Chaos by a goal in the second game. The clock approached a minute left in the third quarter.

Myles Jones unleashed a shot from up top, beyond the 15-yard, two-point goal arc. He scored to make it 8-5 after delivering a one-point goal earlier in the quarter. Redwoods went on to win, 11-7.

The 29-year-old midfielder lives in Florida, but he’s originally from Huntington. He played for Whitman and was a three-time All-American at Duke. He’s also a two-time PLL All-Star after being a three-time MLL All-Star.

“A lot of kids, they kind of hear about the myths of the Myles Joneses and the Rob Pannells and all the other greats that come from Long Island,” Jones said. “I think being able to perform in front of them is huge.”

Mac O’Keefe’s performance for Chaos included his lone goal with 18.9 seconds left. He had given out about 30 tickets to family and friends.

The 24-year-old attackman from Syosset is a second-year pro. He’s also the greatest goal scorer in D-I men’s history, with 221 for Penn State.

“Coming from college, you think you’re playing the best of the best and you get here, it’s just another level,” O’Keefe said. “So (I’m) just acclimating to the offense, finding my groove and just playing off those guys that are really talented. It’s been awesome.”

More lacrosse