Denver Outlaws goalie Owen McElroy

Outlaws goalie Owen McElroy is seizing his moment

By Topher Adams | Jul 4, 2024

Only eight goalies start on any given weekend in the PLL. Only 16 are even rostered. All-Americans and All-Stars have been on the outside looking in over the years. When an opportunity comes to make an impact between the pipes, players need to capitalize.

Third-year netminder Owen McElroy is seizing his opportunity for the Denver Outlaws this season.

McElroy was a college standout stuck on the sideline. After two first-team All-American seasons at Georgetown, he landed with the Chrome. But he couldn’t get on the field.

Sean Sconone started each of the last two seasons for the Chrome. He made over 100 saves each season and saved over 50% of his shots. The two-time MLL Goalie of the Year cemented himself as a starter in the league.

Despite the illustrious college resume, McElroy had to wait his turn. But he never took his spot on the roster for granted

“There’s only 16 goalies who dress every weekend,” McElroy said. “I was lucky to be one of those 16 every game.”

After serving as Sconone’s backup for two seasons, McElroy made his first career start in last year’s season finale against the Chaos. He made 13 saves at 50% and got a proper taste of PLL action.

But a lame-duck season finale isn’t the same as the heat of the regular season. 

McElroy and Sconone competed for the starting job in training camp this spring. Once again, Sconone earned the starting spot, and McElroy would keep waiting for his opportunity.

That opportunity came from the unfortunate reality of sports. Sconone suffered an injury after Denver’s season opener, and the Outlaws turned to McElroy in the cage.

“When I found out Sean got injured, he shot me a text,” McElroy said. “The nerves were higher than ever before.”

The Archers game in Week 2 was a frenetic welcome to the league for McElroy. Utah peppered the net with 31 shots on net, but Denver won in overtime, 18-17.

McElroy was under siege most of the night, but he still made 15 saves at just under 50% (48.4%). He was happy with the performance and grew into the starting role.

“Once you get that first save, or even let in that first goal, and you're like, ‘All right, you know, this is why we're here, we're playing,’” McElroy said. “Then you kind of just play free and let yourself trust your abilities.”

With Sconone still sidelined, McElroy came out of Denver’s bye week knowing he’d start his second game in a row. Playing two games in a row allowed him to build on what he learned against Utah.

He played his best game as a pro against the California Redwoods. He made 11 saves at 64.7%, helping the Outlaws to a 13-8 win last Saturday. Playing behind a formidable and experienced defense helped McElroy get comfortable in the cage.

“They were unbelievable,” McElroy said. “Definitely letting me see shots that I wanted to see.”

Sconone could return to the starting role when he’s back from injury. Or, McElroy could remain the starter for the rest of the season. But regardless of who suits up, the team will rally around its netminder.

“One thing that I think the Outlaws really pride themselves on is being a brotherhood and supporting each other whenever they can, whoever’s turn it is in net,” McElroy said.