Youth Abound on Chrome LC’s 25 Man Roster

By Nick Zoroya

May 31, 2023

A spot is never guaranteed for a rookie in the PLL. The first step for any first year player is to survive the first round of cuts. During training camp team general managers must move their roster from 30 players down to 25. The Chrome LC entered training camp with five rookie players and all five have made the 25 man roster.

Round 1, Pick 4: Sam Handley, Midfielder, Penn

Round 2, Pick 12: Troy Hettinger, LSM, Jacksonville

Round 3, Pick 20: Jack Myers, Attack, Ohio State

Round 4, Pick 28: Cross Ferrara, Attack, Salisbury

Undrafted Free Agent: John Geppert, LSM, Maryland

Chrome LC Head Coach and General Manager Tim Soudan wanted to get faster and upgrade where he could and it's safe to say that this rookie class has helped him achieve those goals.

While the rookies are currently safe, that same can’t be said for Gibson Smith IV, Joe Post, and Ryan McNulty.

Joe Post, a former division three All-American face-off specialist (FOS) at St.John Fisher was unable to unseat veteran Connor Farrell. If the team chooses to go forward with only one FOS, we could see Mike Messenger take reps in an emergency role.

Ryan McNulty was a reserve pole during 2022 but never cracked the game day roster. Coach Soudan mentioned heading into the draft that LSM was a position where the team could improve and drafted Troy Hettinger (second round) and signed John Geppert (undrafted free agent). Whether or not either rookie ends up on the final roster is unknown, but both seemed to have done enough to unseat McNulty.

Gibson Smith IV is a guy we hate to see let go. A 2022 draft pick, Smith never suited up during a regular season game but played a pivotal role in the Chrome LC’s 2023 Championship Series victory. Clearly a talented and versatile lacrosse player, scoring five goals as a short stick in the Champ Series, Smith has never been able to earn a role at close defense for the Chrome. With veterans Mike Manley and Jesse Bernhardt, along with the youthful JT Giles-Harris and Nick Grill, it appears that Smith was always the odd man out. 

As we move toward the end of training camp and into week one, the midfield is still a place where positions are yet to be earned. I expect rookie Cross Ferrera to push Cole Williams and Kevin Rogers for a final midfield spot.

Jack Myers and Jesse King are both on the physically unable to perform list, neither injury sounds long term but Coach Soudan will have to maneuver the roster when they return to make room.

With game one on Sunday June 4th, there are still plenty of decisions that need to be made. Coach Soudan will only be able to dress 19 players this weekend and the only rookie that seems guaranteed a spot on game day is fourth overall pick Sam Handley. Handley is proving to be everything the lacrosse community thought him to be, a big bruising midfielder with a ton of range.

Tune in Sunday June 4th at 3:30pm on ESPN+ to see which Chrome LC rookies make the 19 man roster as the men take on Whipsnakes LC.

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