Photo courtesy of Nick Ierardi

Chrome Fall to Last Headed Into Break

By Nick Zoroya

Jun 19, 2023

The first three weeks of the season have given Chrome LC fans just about everything. Week one included a thrilling last second victory scored by an unheralded rookie from Salisbury, Cross Ferrara. In week two we saw the offense struggle but the defensive identity of the team held strong, as the men lost to a highly skilled Archers team. In week three we again saw a different Chrome team, this time with defensive issues. 

Week 3 Dark Spots

The men have been unable to consistently put together every facet of the game. Each week there has been something to celebrate and something to agonize over. The latest game against the Cannons was an unusual one. Yes, the team was without team captain and defensive starter Jesse Bernhardt, but that alone wasn’t the issue. Without Bernhardt we saw a shuffling of the lineup which brought LSM Nick Grill down to close defense and moved rookie LSM Troy Hettinger into the lineup. Regardless of any changes in skill set, the biggest issue that I noticed was in continuity. There were several goals that I will break down in another article where there was a clear lack of communication or a miscommunication about who was sliding, if there was a switch, or what the matchup would be, leading to uncharacteristic allowed goals.

Sean Sconone is one of the best goalies in the PLL but every goalie has a bad day eventually and Friday was his. Sconone came into the game with a 50% save percentage but was only able to make five saves resulting in a 28% save percentage on the day. Not all of the goals against were his fault, the defensive mishaps allowed shooters to get their hands free or get inside for wide open looks, making a goalie’s life hell. That being said, there were one or two goals that Sconone would probably say he should’ve saved. Chalk this performance up as an outlier.

Week 3 Positives

When looking at the stat sheet Connor Farrell had his best day of the season at 72% facing off and 15 groundballs. These extra possessions led to increased chances on the offensive end and the highest output of the season (13 scores). Weeks one and two relied heavily on Justin Anderson and Jackson Morrill to score, but in week three we finally saw the Logan Wisnauskas we’ve become accustomed to. Wisnauskas was able to score three goals and the noticeable difference was the amount of picks the team sent his way. Ultimately, two of his three goals came directly from the two-man game.

In addition to Wisnauskas we saw our first real glimpse of Mike Messenger getting extended shifts on offense. Messenger was able to score three goals himself and established himself as a bit of a bully. Two of the goals came from downhill bull dodges while a third came from a left to right sweep. As Coach Tim Soudan stated after the game, “when he sweeps he's such a big body, if he gets a step on you he’s going to get an effective shot off."

It’s also certainly worth noting that in his 2023 debut, Dylan Molloy was able to score two goals and add a big body dodging attackman to the mix. I attribute his four turnovers to doing a little bit too much and possibly rust from this being his first game of the season, but it shouldn’t be a concern moving forward.

Which version of the Chrome will we see when the PLL returns in July, only time will tell. They’ve shown that they have all of the pieces and if they can get on the same page for four quarters they won’t be at the bottom of the table for long. 

Catch the Chrome play the Waterdogs Saturday July 8th on ESPN+.

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