It started with a Texas rodeo that has continued in and out of the Mile High City of Colorado. The next stop is Seattle for Brendan Krebs’ budding Premier Lacrosse League career. That’s par for the course in a traveling league where there are no home teams.
Krebs was a stalwart in net for the Manhattan College men’s lacrosse team for four seasons, culminating in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in 2022. His success went beyond the conference level, with Krebs posting high national marks in saves per game, save percentage and goals against average throughout his career.
Krebs broke camp as the Whipsnakes’ third-string goalie and was not guaranteed to suit up for games. However, starting goalie Kyle Bernlohr suffered a dislocated elbow in the weekend series held in Fairfield, Connecticut, and it presented an opportunity for Whipsnakes head coach Jim Stagnitta to get creative with his other two netminders including Krebs.
Since a trip to Dallas during the last weekend of July, Krebs has been the man for the Whipsnakes until further notice.
In his debut performance, Krebs had 11 saves in a nail-biting 17-16 win over the Chaos.
He followed that up with 13 and 17 saves, respectively, in wins in Baltimore and Denver. Krebs has the Chaos’ number as he improved to 2-0 against them. In the 12-5 win over Chrome in Baltimore, Krebs saved a resounding 72 percent of shots on goal.
Krebs’ career went from preferred walk-on at Manhattan in 2017 to one of the hottest names in the sport. He wears zero to signify the number of scholarship offers he had coming out of lacrosse powerhouse Chaminade High School on Long Island where he never played a varsity game.
“He was a guy that would attend all the prospect days becuase he wanted to go there so badly,” said former Manhattan assistant coach Jack Runkel, who was on the staff with former head coaches Drew Kelleher and John Odierna.
“He peppered them so often that I think former Manhattan head coaches Drew and John were like ‘let’s take a shot.’”
In Krebs, the Jaspers got an uncanny style and with long reach. According to Runkel, the more unconventional style of goalkeeping by Krebs seems to be the growing trend in PLL. Just look at where the goalies around the league have come from, Runkel says.
“The league is trending toward getting guys from non traditional powerhouses,” Runkel said, referring to the likes of Krebs from Manhattan and Chaos goalie Blaze Riorden from University of Albany.
There are the natural abilities Krebs has that stands out in a big way. With his team down 7-6, Krebs exploded off his line and laid out a Chaos player to break up a play.
Those tools are innate, Runkel says.
“Nothing is ever too far away from him,” Runkel said.
The former Loyola University Maryland goalie who set an all-time record of giving up only three goals in an NCAA Tournament Championship game in 2012 runs his own training program these days. Runkel’s program is called The Goalie Workshop and helps mold the next generation of lacrosse goalies.
Runkel has even plucked Krebs’ services for his sessions and loves having his pupil around to help teach.
“He’s really good at communicating his thought process and obviously it comes from someone who is unique from a size and physicality standpoint,” Runkel said.
Krebs’ contract with the Whipsnakes runs through the end of the 2023 PLL season. Krebs and the Whipsnakes are building toward the playoffs, which begins on Sept. 4 in Boston.