Best of Lax 2022: Vote for Best Comeback


From left to right: Matt Rahill (Chrome LC); Ally Mastroianni (UNC); Hugh Kelleher (Cornell); Jerry Ragonese (Chaos LC)

Welcome to #BestOfLax2022. Help us celebrate the past year of lacrosse by voting in 15 polls spread over 15 weekdays in December. All voting will be conducted on Twitter (@usalacrossemag), and fans will have 24 hours to let their voices be heard.

For more information — including upcoming categories, rules and more — check out our introductory post to #BestOfLax2022.

Comebacks come in all shapes and sizes.

In 2022, we witnessed one of the best team comebacks in recent memory. We also saw a riveting PLL regular-season comeback and a longtime pro make a celebrated return to the field. Heck, a whole league made a comeback in college lacrosse, helping to make the lacrosse world whole again.

Here are the nominees for Best Comeback.


For the game, person or league that triumphantly stole the spotlight.


Down 11-6 with 7:52 remaining, the Chrome staged one of the best comebacks of the PLL season on June 25. The bulk of the Chrome comeback came in the final two minutes. Justin Anderson converted a righthanded runner to cut the deficit to 11-8 with 1:55 left, then Ryan Terefenko capitalized on a turnover by clearing the ball and finding Brendan Nichtern to make it 11-9. Anderson connected with Molloy out of a Chrome timeout to make it 11-10 with 53.8 to go, and then Terefenko leapt off his left foot and tied the score at 11 with an overhand laser. In overtime, Nictern found Mike Messenger off a restart for the game-winner. Don’t call it a Chromeback.


Eleven years after making his pro lacrosse debut with the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse, Chaos LC faceoff specialist Jerry Ragonese scored his first career goal on July 1. He beat Stephen Kelly to the left of the faceoff stripe, getting an opportunity to run largely untouched deep into the Cannons’ zone. Just as he was about to take a stick check from behind, Ragonese took a shot while diving forward that went up top past Nick Marrocco. As Ragonese got off the ground, he walked away using his stick as a cane in reference to being the oldest player on the field. “Sometimes the bumper falls off on a racecar,” Ragonese joked after getting taped up on the sideline. “A little spit and glue and I’ll be right back out there.”


The COVID-19 pandemic canceled 2020 for every lacrosse team in the land. It also largely prevented the Ivy League from suiting up in any meaningful competition in 2021. But men’s and women’s teams in the Ivy League triumphantly returned in 2022. The conference sent six men’s teams to the NCAA tournament and two — Cornell and Princeton — to the NCAA semifinals. Princeton was the lone women’s team to make the NCAA tournament, but a successful season from Yale sets the stage for a thrilling 2023.


The game of the year? Probably. A shock-to-the-system start, a 90-minute lightning delay, redemption for one of the nation’s best goalies, an unlikely heroine and one of the biggest comebacks in NCAA tournament history all happened so North Carolina could erase an 11-3 deficit in the third quarter and top Northwestern in the NCAA semis, leading to UNC’s first NCAA title since 2016. Beth Ann Mayer’s oral history of a comeback for the ages helps encapsulate the action from those who were on the field that day.


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