Virginia’s Cormier and Yager claimed by PLL teams on post-draft waivers

Two more Virginia men’s lacrosse players are headed to the professional ranks of the Premier Lacrosse League, as forward Payton Cormier and defensive midfielder Chase Yager were claimed by PLL teams on post-draft waivers last week.

The most important offseason move for the New York Atlas may not have been one of their two first-round draft picks, which they spent on a pair of Tewaaraton finalists in Connor Shellenberger and Liam Entenmann, but rather a free agency waiver claim. days after the draft when they picked up the most prolific scorer in the history of college lacrosse in Payton Cormier.

Perhaps motivated by the entire league deciding to pass on him in last week’s PLL College Draft, Cormier had the game of his life on Saturday against St. Joe’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He scored eight goals and led Virginia to a 17-11 victory. Cormier’s performance set the UVA program record for goals in a single NCAA tournament game and was one goal away from tying the NCAA record for most goals in a tournament game. He surpassed Xander Dickson’s single-season scoring record at Virginia with 63 goals and most impressively, he broke Mac O’Keefe’s all-time NCAA scoring record with 222 career goals.

Speaking of Xander Dickson and Connor Shellenberger, the New York Atlas have reunited Virginia’s electrifying offensive line from the 2023 season by signing Payton Cormier. Not only will the Atlas be able to reap the benefits of pairing Shellenberger with two of his favorite passing targets at UVA, but the three Cavaliers will also play alongside two established professional forwards in Jeff Teat and Eric Law.

Look out for the New York Atlas this summer. The other seven PLL teams might regret taking Cormier in free agency.

Another Cavalier who showed up at a number of mock drafts but ultimately didn’t hear his name called during last week’s PLL College Draft was defensive midfielder Chase Yager. After establishing himself as a top-level SSDM during his time at Harvard, Yager transferred to UVA for his final year of eligibility. In 16 games as a Cavalier, Yager has tallied 31 ground balls and caused 23 turnovers, while also being a key part of Virginia’s transition game, clearing the ball effectively and accounting for one goal and two assists. Alongside Noah Chizmar, Yager has been one of the best defensive midfielders in the country this season, and the California Redwoods recognized that by claiming Yager off waivers last week.

The Redwoods also drafted UVA defenseman Cole Kastner with the 32nd and final pick of the PLL College Draft. However, Kastner will not play in the PLL this summer as he transfers to Stanford to play basketball for the 2024-2025 season. The Palo Alto native will next join the Redwoods for the 2025 season.

Another former Virginia lacrosse star Ricky Miezan, a former Stanford linebacker who transferred to UVA to play lacrosse in 2023, is also on the watch list for the Redwoods in 2024 for undisclosed reasons.

But even with Miezan and Kastner not set to play this summer, there are still three former Wahoos on the California Redwoods’ roster, as Chase Yager joins midfielder Charlie Bertrand and short-stick defensive midfielder Chris Merle, who are both on Virginia’s 2021 National stood. Championship team.