Like Grant, because he can be an effective player on both sides of the ball, he will make the Redwoods transition game more fluid. Additionally, he’ll help add depth to the SSDM position, one of the ‘Woods’ biggest needs after Pat Harbeson retired this summer.
Not to mention, he’s already going to have chemistry with three guys on the team. At Yale, he played with TD Ierlan, and in high school, he played with Jules Heningburg and another member of the 2023 draft class, Cole Kirst, at Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey.
Cole Kirst: Questionable Fit, Unquestionable Potential
Speaking of – Cole Kirst, a midfielder from Syracuse, was the Redwoods’ third pick. And the most controversial pick in certain segments of the Redwoods fan base. And there’s some valid reasons for doubt, three Redwoods midfielders were top 50 players (Heningburg, Charlie Bertrand, and Myles Jones) last year. And unlike Tevlin, Kirst doesn’t provide as much on the defensive end, so where does he fit?
“I understand that some of the Redwoods’ fan base didn’t love [the pick],” St. Laurent said, “But there’s a lot that did, including our team. In fact, Rob Pannell was the first person to text me when we picked up Cole.”
In defense of the Kirst pick, he does provide offensive versatility.
He can play both attack and midfield. At 6’2, 210 lbs, he fits the mold of the big offensive midfielders already on the Redwoods roster and has the talent too. His 78 goals over his time at Lehigh and Syracuse prove he has the scoring prowess to provide scoring depth to a team that will lose four offensive players to their respective countries during the World Games (Pannell, Bertrand, Ryan Lee, and Wes Berg). And possibly more important is how he gets his goals.
“We need less ball-dominant guys, and he’s a guy that can dodge from the wings, play off-ball, midfield, attack, and just brings a ton of positive energy with him,” St. Laurent said.
Add all that to his already-established chemistry with his two former high school teammates, and he may fit better than some Redwood fans initially thought.