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Utah Archers: 2024 Season Preview

2023 Regular Season Record: 8-2, 1st in the PLL

Final Result: Won PLL Championship

Key Additions:

Mason Woodward, D

Beau Pederson, SSDM

Patrick Shoemay, D

Key Departures:

Matt McMahon, D (retired)

Jared Conners, LSM (Traded to Redwoods)

Connor DeSimone (Traded to Chrome)

Reid Bowering, A/M

The defending champion Utah Archers had a quiet offseason. It’s part of the luxury of being the champion. The roster, as built, is one you know can win it all. 

On the offensive end, the team will essentially be built on the same personnel. They drafted Dyson Williams, who spent his college career piling up goals as a prolific offball threat. There were some post draft additions, but nobody who, at least before the season starts, will be expected to play a critical role in the offense. This team will still be built around league MVP Tom Schreiber, along with attackmen Grant Ament, Connor Fields, and Mac O’Keefe. The Archers carved teams up with ball movement last year. Schreiber and Fields can dodge, if a slide doesn’t come they’ll get a great look, otherwise they let the ball do then work from there. There’s no indication things go any differently on that end of the field this year.

The defense is where there will be some changes. Matt McMahon retired, and Latrell Harris will not be activated for the start of the season. They traded Jared Conners to the Redwoods for draft compensation. Graeme Hossack is on the Holdout List. That’s major impact minutes to address. To replace McMahon, the Archers drafted Mason Woodward and Colby Barsz, while also adding Jack DiBenedetto and Nick Cardile. They also added Patrick Shoemay, who has been with the team in the past, from the player pool. Woodward, the team’s first round pick, can replace any of the poles. He can win with physicality and footwork that lets him be successful down low, he can win with agility and speed that can make him successful as an LSM. He’s outstanding off the ground and pushing the ball up the field. The Archers can decide where the most urgent need on defense is, and play him there. With Barsz and Shoemay being better down low and more likely candidates there, Woodward could start the season as the top LSM. Beau Pederson was drafted to fill the spot of Harris. He’ll form a trio with Piper Bond and Connor Maher at SSDM who drew high praise around the league a year ago. Within the first few weeks of the season in 2023, it was clear that the Archers poles trusted their shorties enough to not slide aggressively to them. This is incredibly valuable in the PLL, where keeping matchups, if possible, is massive. 

Brett Dobson returns in net and Mike Sisselberger returns as the faceoff specialist, both are in the conversation for the best at their respective positions in the world. Dobson was the championship MVP, and is very good at creating offense off of saves. Sisselberger handled the prevent faceoff strategy better than any other specialist in the league a year ago, and the 32 second clock didn’t hurt the Archers at all. 


The personnel moves on the defensive end are barely a blip. Woodward comes in as not just a replacement for but an upgrade on defense, dominating matchups down low while showing the versatility to also play wings and go end to end. He fits so naturally that he’s a strong replacement for both Conners and McMahon. Pederson gives the Archers an SSDM trio better than anyone in the league, and Dobson picks up where he left off a year ago. The offense stays an effective, ball sharing machine, and the Archers cruise through the west and back to championship weekend. 


Hossack remains on the holdout list. Coupled with the retirement of McMahon and the trading of Conners, the Archers defense underperforms without the key leaders down low that have been the cornerstone for years. Grant Ament’s injury lingers into the regular season, and the offense misses his spark as a dodger. While the offense still boasts Schreiber and a myriad of other weapons, it’s not enough to keep the team in the form they had last year, and they have an early playoff exit.


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