Connor Maher and Piper Bond Archers LC Training Camp

Connor Maher and Piper Bond Impressing in Camp for Archers LC

By Zach Carey

May 30, 2023

With the Archers LC’s training camp fully underway, two of the team’s 2023 draft picks have already turned heads. Short-stick defensive midfielders Connor Maher and Piper Bond are off to great starts to their professional lacrosse careers and are immediately pushing for playing time this season. 

“We feel good about the shorties that we drafted,” said Head Coach Chris Bates. “Those guys look like they’re game ready. You never know how people are going to adapt to the next level. But those guys have played in the Ivy and the ACC and the schedule that they played… they look the part. We feel like those guys are ready to compete.”

The Archers have Latrell Harris as the anchor of their short-stick defensive midfield while Mark McNeill provides further support as a veteran presence. But Maher and Bond definitely each have an opportunity to flash enough that they seize the open game day spot that was left by Dominique Alexander’s retirement and maybe even fight McNeill to be the third active SSDM.

When prompted about who’s impressed through the early days of camp, Tom Schreiber noted that “I think it’s everybody, that’s been my main takeaway.” He continued, saying that “I wouldn’t want to be Coach [Bates} where he has to shave this thing down. Everybody has been awesome.” 

Extending from there, Schreiber did specifically point to Bond and Maher as players who’ve caught his eye. “The two rookies at short stick have both been real good,” he added. “I think those guys have passed the early test and short stick is a pretty big jump from college to pro. [But] those guys really haven’t backed down, so they’ve been impressive.” 

There are further tests for Maher and Bond to pass in the coming days and weeks. But the initial indications being positive is notable and important for an Archers roster that needed help at the defensive midfield and gambled on the two of them with the 13th and 21st overall picks in the draft. Should the early signs prove correct, the Archers could be in a truly solid place in their defensive midfield with both an elite player in Harris and substantive depth and versatility with McNeill, Bond, and Maher.

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