Breaking Down Chaos Lacrosse Club’s Week One Roster
After a long week at training camp filled with lots of positional battles and a hyper-competitive environment, the Chaos came out with their 19-man roster for week one.
It boasts a defense with many familiar faces, but with a substantial portion of last year’s team on the holdout or unavailable to travel list, there are six new names on the offense and a brand-new face-off specialist.
Although there is a blend of the new with the old, one thing remains consistent, the Chaos are a selfless team that plays with a chip on their shoulder.
Chaos Lacrosse Club's Defense
Will Bowen, the Chaos’ first round selection (7th overall) will come in and start week one in the absence of Johnny Surdick who will be away the first two weeks due to military commitments. When Bowen was drafted just under a month ago, Andy Towers had this day in mind hoping that Bowen would come in and challenge for a starting role. He put in a strong body of work at camp and has earned the role. He has brought his ability to cover players all over the field and will be a big asset in shutting down a high-scoring Waterdogs attack who returns the majority of their offense that finished last season tied as the highest scoring offense in the league (13 goals per game).
Zach Geddes, a second-year player with the Chaos who played in six games last season, has emerged as the team’s top SSDM at camp, according to Towers. He came back bigger, faster, and stronger which has given the coaching staff confidence in his ability to be an effective cover SSDM. He will take on a lot of responsibility along with both Patrick Resch and Mark Glicini in covering an athletic Waterdogs midfield.
The Chaos brings back a core of great long poles in Troy Reh, CJ Costabile, Jack Rowlett, and Jarod Neumann. In what was described as a sloppy performance in the Tuesday scrimmage against the Whipsnakes, the defense will fall back on their identity and will have to be the driving force that leads the team to victory this weekend.
When speaking to Jarod Neumann about the identity of the defense and what they do that leads to success he had three words, “loud, mean, and fast.” Especially with a new offense that has only two returners at the moment, it will be important to push the pace in transition and create chances to take pressure off them. In 2019, Neumann had a career best 5 two-point goals (10 points), which he will hopefully bring alongside physical, stellar defensive play.
When mentioning transition threats, I’d be a fool not to mention CJ Costabile, who has been a reliable transition threat during his 11-year pro career. He scored in the scrimmage against the Whipsnakes and will be a big part of what the Chaos tried to do in transition all game long.
Furthermore, it is a homecoming for both Blaze Riorden and Troy Reh who had stellar careers at the University at Albany. I would expect that these players will be easy to notice on the weekend as they will bring their best foot forward in front of the home crowd.
In a conversation with them last week on what it means to go back to Albany annually with the PLL, both mentioned that there is something special about coming back and that there’s a little more juice in the tank. Expect these two to be all over the stat sheet, but more importantly impact the game because of their passion and determination.
Chaos Lacrosse Club's Offense
The Chaos will be without four key players from last year’s roster - Dhane Smith, Chris Cloutier, Chase Fraser, and Josh Byrne - who are all listed on the unavailable to travel list, along with rookie Tye Kurtz.
They also lost both Challen Rogers and Mac O’Keefe in free agency to the Archers, who combined for 28 points last season. There’s a lot of holes to fill which the six new faces will look to do in order to maintain a spot in the lineup as those core players come back in the coming weeks.
Kyle Jackson and Ryan Smith are the only two offensive returners listed on the Chaos’ week one gameday roster. Speaking to Coach Towers about the leadership that they bring to the unit he said, “he couldn’t ask for two more humble, less entitled, and more team first guys.” The Chaos will lean on their experience and after watching what they have done at practice this week, expect lots of offense to be created off of their stick. They have a knack for the back of the net and their selfless leadership will hopefully bring the unit together in order to get a win this weekend.
The challenge that this unit has dealt with at camp is just that, unfamiliarity. The biggest focus over the next few days prior to the game will be getting the offense connected.
Each player brings something special to the group, and in order to be successful they must be confident in their abilities and buy into working together. Towers mentions, “it’s a ball movement league,” combined with definitive off ball movement will result in the whole unit flourishing.
Brian Minicus has showcased his ability to be a two-handed dodging threat at training camp and has impressed due to his poise and decision making. The team will stay to their identity with a prevalent box style, but players like Minicus who can feed with two hands will add another layer to open up the finishers like Smith, Jackson, Bradley Voigt, and Jakob Patterson.
I’ve been extremely impressed with Will Perry’s speed, shot, and ability to dodge from up top, which will add another two-handed dodging threat that will add versatility to the unit.
The trio of Minicus, Perry, and Jack Jasinki will be a strong group of initiators, who each bring their own flair, that the offense will rely on to draw slides all game long.
Chaos Lacrosse Club's Face-off Specialists
Going into week one, Nick Rowlett won the starting job at camp and has exceeded expectations according to Towers. He scored a goal in the scrimmage against the Whipsnakes, and he stood out for his extreme grittiness and strong competitive nature. Both qualities of a successful face-off man whose job is much more than winning the initial clamp. How hard he battled in scrums, for ensuing loose balls, improved hand speed, and overall compete level impressed many at camp and has led to being the only face-off man listed on the game day roster.