You may not know it, but lacrosse has a professional league called the Premier Lacrosse League, which merged with Major League Lacrosse late last year. The PLL has been active since 2019 and quite a few Syracuse players feature in the league. Sergio Salcido, Randy Staats, Joel White, John Galloway, and Matt Abbott are the former Orange players who are currently on a PLL roster.
Three more Syracuse players joined them on Sunday night, marking the first time that the Orange had players selected in the PLL Draft. Peter Dearth, Stephen Rehfuss, and Jamie Trimboli all heard their names called to join the highest level of lacrosse.
With the #17 Pick, we want to welcome Peter Dearth to the Bulls pic.twitter.com/mLWiFAIMNX— Atlas Lacrosse Club (@PLLAtlas) April 27, 2021
Dearth was the first pick in the third round to the Atlas. He was the second short-stick defensive midfielder taken by the Atlas in the draft, a position that the team desperately needs depth and quality at. With only two SSDMs on the roster before the draft, Dearth has a great chance to crack the starting rotation and earn a lot of playing time for Atlas. His strength and bulldozing style of play made him a very attractive option in the PLL.
Dearth’s past as an offensive middie will also help his game translate well to the PLL. Because the league uses a 52-second shot clock, unlike the 80-second shot clock in college, there isn’t a lot of time for teams to make substitutions in transition. As such, two-way midfielders are at a premium in the PLL, and Dearth’s goal-scoring ability as a defensive midfielder will help him stick around in the league.
Rehfuss’ breakout senior season earned him his draft status as the first pick in the fourth round. His status as Syracuse’s best offensive player deserves a spot in the league. Unfortunately, the team fit isn’t the best as the Cannons are loaded with attacking talent. They already have PLL veterans Ryan Drenner and Clarke Petterson, along with MLL MVP Bryce Wasserman and two-time Tewaarton Award winner Lyle Thompson.
It’s rare in the PLL that teams venture away from their starting three attackmen, and with such established names at attack, it’ll be hard for Rehfuss to break into the regular rotation. Rehfuss is one of the better passing attackmen, so with a team that is full of scorers that needs someone to give them the rock, there might be an avenue for him to get playing time.
Trimboli’s consistency as a goal-scorer in his four years at Syracuse made him a solid draft choice. The Redwoods took him with the fifth pick in the fourth round, and there is a chance that Trimboli might be able to crack their rotation. The Redwoods are pretty set with Sergio Perkovic and Myles Jones, but there aren’t many reliable options behind them. They do have Joe Walters and Kyle Harrison, but those veterans aren’t getting younger.
Trimboli has developed a good inside game in his senior season with the Orange, but he is most known for his outside shot. With a two-point line in the PLL, some of Trimboli’s long range efforts will tie in nicely with a Redwoods team that has some powerful outside shooters in the midfield. There is a clearer path for Trimboli to crack the rotation for the Redwoods.
Interestingly enough, no goalkeepers were taken in the PLL Draft. That means that Syracuse goalie Drake Porter was not selected by a team. Porter was widely regarded as one of the top two goalies available. He still can be picked up, but it’s clear that the teams decided to fill other needs.
Congratulations to the three newest Syracuse professional lacrosse players! As a quick rundown of the PLL, the league is a traveling league and will visit 11 cities this summer. Two of the stadiums the PLL will visit are Tom and Mary Casey Stadium at SUNY Albany and Shuart Stadium at Hofstra. There are eight teams in the league and they are about to start their third season on June 4.
I’m sure you guys might have some questions about the PLL and about some of the other Cuse guys in the league. Leave your questions or comments below and John Orsenigo and I will be happy to respond.