Ronan Jacoby: Utah’s Unlikely Weapon

By Hayden Lewis | Feb 21, 2024

The past couple years for Ronan Jacoby were full of men’s league games and early morning running to stay in shape if a professional lacrosse opportunity ever came for him. 

Finally, the opportunity presented itself, and Jacoby got invited to play with the Utah Archers during the Championship Series. 

“You are here for a reason, go play,” Head Coach Chris Bates said to Jacoby before his first game. 

Jacoby strolled onto the field Wednesday at The St. James and did just that. He played freely and showcased the reasons why he deserved to be out there with some of the world’s best. 

Jacoby will make you pay when you give him time and space from outside. When you play him tight and think you have him stuffed, he does this:

Jacoby had a solid first showing against the Philadelphia Waterdogs, recording five points (4G, 1T). Jacoby didn’t turn the ball over once in his 24 touches in the contest. 

“He is here to be a force offensively,” Coach Bates said after game one. “His confidence developed as the game wore on. That’s what we want, and that’s what we need.”

However, things slowed down for Jacoby in game two. The rookie was only able to score three goals against the Cannons while turning the ball over twice in 25 touches. 

Over the first two games, Jacoby had only 49 touches. In comparison, the other team's top players were well above that. Marcus Holman had 72 touches in the first two games, and Michael Sowers had 68. 

The rook may not have the same accolades as Holman and Sowers, but he’s been lighting it up like the two vets. Which begged the question: when will Ronan Jacoby see an uptick in touches?

The uptick came in game three on Saturday. Jacoby went nuclear against the California Redwoods putting up an astounding nine points (6G, 2T, 1A). In the game, Jacoby had 31 touches, second to Ryan Ambler's 33, proving to be a force when given the opportunity. 

Jacoby ended the Championship Series with 20 points (18 G, 3 T, 2 A), a great showing from the free agent. 

Last year Jake Carraway earned a spot on the Waterdogs roster after showcasing his range and performing well for the Atlas in the 2023 Championship Series. 

A natural attackman, Carraway evolved his game running out of the box and transitioned from attack to midfield for the Waterdogs. Sixes allowed Carraway to dodge at different angles and add layers to his game that weren’t there before. 

There's a surplus of left-handed attackmen in the PLL. Jacoby won’t have a chance of playing attack with the amount of talent there is at the position currently. 

“He’ll get a hard look,” said Bates when talking about Jacoby and if he’ll get signed for the summer PLL season by the Archers and other teams.

The question those looks from GMs around the league need to answer are: Can Jacoby’s game translate from sixes to the field in the PLL? Will Jacoby find success running out of the box?

At Rutgers, Jacoby was able to develop skills running out of the box in Piscataway, so coaches will be able to find film on him at the position. At Rutgers, he wasn’t playing guys like Micahel Ehrhardt game after game, however, he did get to battle against 2023 PLL Rookie of the Year Finalist Ethan Rall at practice. 

Jacoby has been a shining star on a Utah offense that has struggled during the Championship Series. Jacoby’s stock has risen because of plays like this:

The Archers fell short to the Waterdogs once again on Sunday, ending their Championship Series run in the semifinals. 

With the Championship Series completed, all eyes are now shifting to free agency which opens up officially on March 4th. 

Teams can have up to 30 players on their rosters for training camp and have to cut that number down to 25 for the regular season.

On game day, rosters are cut down to 19 players that can dress which lowers the chance to play even more. 

Entering the tournament there were many unknowns about Jacoby. Now the biggest unknown is where Jacoby will sign after this weekend, and if he will sign anywhere at all. 

“Lacrosse has been my entire life since I was a kid. I dreamed of playing in the pros. That opportunity didn’t come right out of college,” Jacoby said. “I kind of kept it in the back of my head that eventually something might break, I might get lucky and get the chance.”