Andrew Darby, Close Defense, Michigan
In Ann Arbor, Darby was a five year starter with just 62 career starts in 63 career games played. He’s undoubtedly experienced and has guarded some of the best attackmen in college lacrosse throughout his time playing for Michigan. He’s not a caused turnover fiend (39 total in 63 games), but he’s a smart defender who rarely collects penalties and has the requisite size and speed to compete against a range of offensive players. The 6’2” 200 pound Darien, Connecticut native picked up nearly two ground balls per game in college.
With Jeffrey unavailable for training camp and the Archers’ depth at close defense slightly up in the air, Darby has a shot at legitimately competing for a roster spot. The club typically favors big defenders and Darby fits that mold with the experience that will help him when guarding all-world players like Grant Ament, Matt Moore, and Connor Fields in camp.
Ryan Sharkey, Close Defense, UMass and Canisius
Sharkey’s signing comes just over a week after his UMass teammate Chris Campell joined the roster also as an undrafted rookie from the player pool. Sharkey spent the first four years of his college career at Canisius before transferring to UMass for his final season.
The Yonkers, New York native registered 12 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers in 14 games for the Minutemen in 2023. Over his time with Canisius, he played in 39 games with 26 starts, 70 total ground balls, and 29 caused turnovers. His junior season in 2021 was when he truly came to the fore with starts in all 10 games and a Second Team All-MAAC selection. In 2022, he was again a stalwart on the backend for the Golden Griffins and made the All-MAAC first team.
Similar to Darby, Sharkey will have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot when training camp kicks off this weekend. He’ll play alongside Campbell, which could be beneficial, and will hope to differentiate himself from the rest of the depth at the position to avoid being cut.