Cross Ferrars Game Winner Chrome vs Whipsnakes
Cross Ferrara celebrates his game-winning goal versus the Whipsnakes (Photo Courtesy of Kait Devir).

Cross Ferrara Lifts Chrome Past Whipsnakes

By Nick Zoroya

Jun 5, 2023

The Premier Lacrosse League opened season five with the most competitive weekend of lacrosse in league history. Across four games the score differential was only six goals, with two games going to overtime. The Chrome Lacrosse Club was also staring down an overtime appearance when rookie Cross Ferrara netted the game winner with four seconds left in the game. A game winning goal is a normal occurrence, but the timing, the frenetic pace, and the announcer are what made this goal particularly special.

With 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Connor Farrell won a crucial faceoff and the ensuing groundball, allowing Coach Soudan to call a timeout and scheme up a final possession. The original play didn't work as Ferrara took a shot wide, leading to a Sam Handley dodge and shot, which also went wide. Repeatedly we heard analyst Ryan Boyle suggest calling a timeout, but Coach Soudan let his guys play. With 10 seconds remaining Ferrara picked the ball up off of the endline and analyst Paul Carcaterra stated “you don’t want Cross Ferrara making this last play.” In true story book fashion Ferrara called his own number, made a gutsy dodge through the middle of the defense and scored a beatiful on the run goal to capture the teams first victory of the season. The rookie from (D3) Salisbury ended the game doing what he did 274 times in college, putting the ball in the back of the net

While the game winning goal may have been the most important story of the day, there are plenty of things to make note of for Chrome LC fans. 

The Positives

The offense may have seemed ineffective at times, but there were eight goal scorers throughout the game. As we wait to see who other than Justin Anderson (4 goals) steps up, we know that we have legitimate threats all over the field. Behind the cage Jackson Morrill looked right at home, producing four assists and scoring a goal. The rookies dominated as Ferrara scored four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and Handley scored two points (1 goal, 1 assist). While Handley’s two points don't pop off of the screen, his ability to dominate his short stick forced the Whipsnakes to immediately pole him the rest of the game. Even with a pole he was able to draw a lot of attention and force the off ball defenders to cheat his way. As the season progresses we should see the attention on Handley result in open looks for his teammates.

Defensively the Chrome are stacked and Coach Soudans choice to run what are essentially four defensive midfielders paid off. The team was able to constantly push transition with little worry about subbing or getting back on defense. Mike Manley held former MVP Matt Rambo scoreless and even found himself on the stat sheet scoring the opening goal of the game. Sean Sconone was solid in net at a 56% save percentage and even he would admit that there were a few more saves he felt he should have made. His ability to quickly outlet the ball to streaking players created a lot of transition and ultimately took the Whipsnakes defense out of their game plan. 

Where the Chrome can Improve

Connor Farrell was 12/24 at the stripe and while 50% isn’t a bad day by any means, there was room for improvement from the faceoff unit as a whole. There were several contested groundballs off of the faceoff that the Whipsnakes were able to capture. At attack Logan Wisnauskas struggled to capitalize on his looks, scoring one goal on six shots while also committing four turnovers. He didn’t have his best day but we know what he’s capable of, no need to sound the alarm.

As a whole Coach Soudan was discouraged by the “uncharacteristic behavior and decision making,” in the second half. Week one usually consists of sloppy play and mistakes across the league, but we’re sure that Soudan will have the men ready for week two.

Tune in Friday June 9th at 6pm as the Chrome LC takes on the Archers LC on ESPN+.

Share This With Friends