Chrome

Chrome Lacrosse Club: 2021 Premier Lacrosse League Preview

Chrome went 3-2 in the 2020 tournament and lost to Chaos LC in the first elimination game despite being the number two overall seed. Chrome did not make any huge off-season moves but they did add depth at the attack and midfield positions and bolstered their defense with rookie JT Giles Harris. Randy Staats, Colin Heacock, and Justin Anderson should make immediate impacts on this Chrome team as well. They returned several key starters like Jordan Wolf, Ned Crotty, and Jesse Bernhardt as well as the number two FOGO in the league in Connor Farrell. Chrome has a healthy mix of cagey veterans and young rising stars, and this team has all the tools to make a run at the championship.

Additions

Entry Draft: Randy Staats (A), Sean Sconone (G), Colin Heacock (A/M)

College Draft: JT Giles-Harris (D), Ryan Terefenko (M), Justin Anderson (M), Jackson Morrill (A)

Player Pool: Tate Boyce (G), CJ Costabile (LSM), Greg Weyl (D), Jeremy Thompson (M), Ryan Beville (SSDM), Michael Brown (SSDM)

Offense

Projected Attack Starters: Jordan Wolf, Justin Guterding, Matt Gaudet. This is a very potent attack unit, as Guterding and Wolf were top-ten scorers last year and Gaudet is automatic from the inside. Jordan Wolf has the fastest first step in lacrosse and can get to the cage anytime he wants. Other than rookie Michael Sowers, I have not seen a faster player than Wolf from the attack position. Guterding, Gaudet, and Brett Kavanagh should get a lot of scoring opportunities while Wolf operates from X. Chrome also picked up two attackmen in the entry draft in Randy Staats and Colin Heacock and drafted Jackson Morrill with their final pick in the rookie draft. Staats may get some run with Wolf and Guterding but Heacock and Morrill are most likely getting bumped up to the midfield where they can attack from up top. Heacock and Morrill could get short-stick matchups coming out of the box where they can create scoring a plethora of scoring opportunities for Chrome.

Projected Midfield Starters: Ned Crotty, Jordan MacIntosh, John Ranagan. Unfortunately, Jesse King, Chrome’s top scorer midfielder will start the season on the “unavailable to travel list” which is a huge blow for Chrome, but have some good depth at the midfield position, especially with their top unit, as Crotty, MacIntosh, and Ranagan combined for 25 points last year during the tournament. Crotty is the leader of this unit and the top point scorer of the three, scoring three goals and adding seven assists in 2020. This midfield unit is going to benefit greatly from all the attention going to the attack, and drafting UNC’s Justin Anderson was a good move as well. Anderson is a 25-year-old rookie who spent two years on a Mormon mission to Chile before going to UNC. He showed up as a 21-year-old freshman and was a leader from day one. Anderson is a gritty player and has underrated offense skills and he will likely see the field from week one. Chrome also returns top short-stick defensive midfielder John Haus and added Ryan Terkenko in the draft, both of whom are more than capable of guarding premier offensive players.

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Defense/ Goaltending

Projected Defensive Starters: Mike Manley, Jesse Bernhardt, JT Giles-Harris. I know that Giles-Harris is a rookie and close defenseman James Barclay returned, but he will start nevertheless. Giles-Harris just finished his career at Duke as one of the best defenders in school history. He took home the Schmeisser award this year, which is given to the nation’s top defender, and the 2021 season marked the third season in a row in which Giles-Harris was named a first-team All-American.

Goalie: John Galloway. Last year Galloway was the starter and with Brett Queener’s departure, the job is Galloway’s to lose. He had a save percentage of 54% and made 68 total saves on the season. Other than Archers’ Drew Adams and Waterdogs’ Charlie Cipriano, Galloway had the lowest save percentage in the league. Chrome surrendered the most scores out of any team last year at 12.8 per game and while the blame cannot entirely be placed on Galloway he was not very good in net last year. The staggering part was that Chrome’s penalty kill was the best in the league with a 75% PK. This demonstrates that Chrome was getting exposed in six on six sets and when you get beat constantly beat in settled offense, winning games will be difficult.

Face-Off

Connor Farrell is as dominant of a FOGO you will see in lacrosse. He has extremely quick hands and is the size of an NFL defensive end. Farrell was second in the league in face-off win percentage with 62% behind only Joe Nardella of the Whipsnakes. Farrell has been a consistent piece for Chrome, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a good FOGO. Chrome’s defense and goaltending were very suspect last year and a large part of them being competitive in games was because of Farrell. While the defense was giving up goals left and right, Farrell was instrumental in giving the offense extra scoring opportunities.

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