During week one of the PLL, only one team dressed two faceoff men on the active roster. That decision made by Chrome LC head coach Dom Starsia didn’t win them the game but made the veteran coach look very wise.
That second faceoff man that Coach Starsia dressed was rookie Connor Farrell. Chrome drafted Farrell in the fourth round (22nd overall pick) out of LIU Post, making Farrell the first and only DII player to be drafted into the PLL.
While Farrell did play at the DII level he still had a lot of hype coming into the PLL. As a senior at LIU Post Farrell led the nation in faceoff win percentage, agnostic of division. Farrell went 320-73 and had a winning percentage of .814 as a senior, helping to lead LIU Post to an ECC championship game appearance.
He also has a football background, playing linebacker at LIU Post as well. Farrell is able to bring a lot of football principles on to the lacrosse field and use them to his advantage. He has certainly made that known very early on in his PLL career, juts like he did in college.
During training camp with Chrome Farrell grew to be one of the favorites around the locker room. He also won over fans with his long hair, deep Long Island accent, and personality that was shown across the PLL’s social media platforms. He also performed very well at training camp, so well that head coach Dom Starisa just couldn’t do without him on the active roster.
Many say that the hardest position for rookies and young players in pro lacrosse is at the faceoff position. The speed, skill, and style of your opponents is a big step up from what you faced in college. Many of the best faceoff men in the game struggled early in their pro career, including guys like Trevor Baptiste.
While that is usually true, and most prevalent in a player’s first ever pro game that didn’t seem to be the case for Farrell. The Chrome faceoff man came in during the first quarter and continued to rotate with Drew Simoneau.
In Chrome’s season-opening overtime loss to Archers Farrell went 11-for-17 at the faceoff dot with a win percentage of .647. Farrell’s dominance at the faceoff dot really aided Chrome’s comeback in the second half, and really got their offense going.
Farrell’s performance at the faceoff dot against Archers faceoff man Stephen Kelly was impressive, especially for a rookie playing in his first game. While that aspect of his game did most of the talking, Farrell also had one of the highlight plays of the weekend, laying the boom on Archers defenseman Jackson Place in a ground ball scrum after the faceoff.
That hit Farrell laid on Place sent the lacrosse world into a fan frenzy, drooling over the sheer size, physicality, and toughness that the rookie brought to the field. If Farrell didn’t have an X on his back already he does now.
His performance this past weekend was one of the best that we have seen from a rookie, especially at the faceoff dot. Farrell is looking like he could be a star in this league for quite some time, and his stock has certainly risen for sure.