Connor Farrell will always remember Saturday March 9th for two reasons.
First, LIU Post’s Senior face-off specialist won the opening face-off of overtime that led to the game-winning goal as the Pioneers knocked off the number one team in the country Merrimack 17-16. On that day, Farrell set an NCAA Division Two record by winning 34 out of 37 face-offs.
And in the process helped his team beat what was, at the time, the best in the nation.
“We went out there and we all believed in each other,” said Farrell who played high school lacrosse at Sachem East at home on Long Island. “We knew we were going to beat Merrimack. We had a good game plan by (Head Coach Eric) Wolf. Everyone worked hard.”
And then just hours after that big win, Farrell was taken by the hometown New York Lizards in the 5th round of the Major League Lacrosse Draft.
“It was awesome,” said Farrell. “I couldn’t believe it at first. We were all celebrating the win and I heard my name called and it was pretty exciting.”
Farrell is having a season to remember so far for LIU Post.
The Pioneers are off to a 4-1 start as they get ready to try and knock off another number one team on Wednesday night when they visit Adelphi University on Long Island. Individually, Farrell has been about as dominant as you can be winning face-offs having won 120 of 134 for a winning percentage of .896. This comes after a superb 2018 season when he started all 15 games and had a winning percentage of .701.
So what is the secret to his success?
“It’s all a mind game,” said the Holtsville, New York native. “You have to go in thinking that you’re the best. If you think you’re the best you’re going to do well. That’s how I go into every game and every practice.”
Over the course of the last two seasons, the Lizards have been paying very close attention to Farrell and when they were on the clock at the draft in the 5th round, the grabbed him with the 42nd overall selection. For a franchise that once had arguably the best face-off specialist ever in Greg “The Beast” Gurenlian, they potentially found their new face-off man who plays his college home games not too far from where the Lizards call home at Hofstra University.
“This is a kid that we think is a rising star in the position,” said Lizards General Manager Joe Spallina. “To have a guy that can get the ball right back to your offense and allow your team to go on runs is something that Head Coach B.J. O’Hara and I understand the importance of.”
But before he potentially signs with the Lizards after the college season is done, Farrell still has a lot of work to do at LIU Post as the Pioneers have ascended to the number five spot in the national rankings. He’s certainly thinking about a national title but he also has home on his mind.
Farrell could go from playing high school lacrosse to playing college lacrosse to playing professional lacrosse right at home on Long Island.
“It’s awesome,” said Farrell. “I love staying home. I’m a Mama’s boy so I love things close to home.”
The Lizards are hoping that signing Connor Farrell works out once the season is over. All those family members, friends and teammates would certainly flock to Shuart Stadium and help fill some of the seats at Lizards home games.