Just four days after the collegiate careers of Penn men’s lacrosse seniors midfielder Sam Handley and short-stick defensive midfielder Piper Bond came to a somber end, their professional careers began with a bang.
On Tuesday evening, Handley and Bond were selected in the 2023 Premier Lacrosse League draft, making them the second and third Quakers selected since the PLL’s formation in 2019. Handley was taken fourth overall by Chrome Lacrosse Club, while Bond went 21st overall to Archers Lacrosse Club.
Both players made the most of their final seasons with the Red and Blue — Handley earned the USILA's Donald J. MacLaughlin, Jr. award as the nation's top midfielder, while Bond was named first-team All-Ivy for the second year in a row. Now, their success pays off with a chance at the professional level.
The pair join Tyler Dunn — who was selected in 2019 — as the only Penn players to be selected in the PLL, though the Quakers also had 12 players selected in the since-defunct Major League Lacrosse from 2001-2019. The Quakers' season came to an end last weekend, when they were not selected to the NCAA Tournament following a 9-8 loss to Princeton in the semifinals of the Ivy League Tournament.
During his career with Penn, Handley was unanimously named first-team All-Ivy three times, and was selected as a first-team All-American by USA Lacrosse Magazine this season. The Portland, Ore. native led the Quakers with 55 points this season and is a semifinalist for the Tewaarton award, which recognizes the best men's lacrosse player.
Bond was a critical anchor for Penn’s defense during his Quaker career. After a senior season in which he finished second on the team with 33 ground balls, Bond was named a second-team All-American by USA Lacrosse Magazine and also received Penn men’s lacrosse‘s Academic All-Ivy distinction.
Since its founding in 2019, the PLL has established itself as a legitimate up-and-comer in professional sports. Lauded for its innovative approach, PLL signed a four-year television contract with ESPN in 2021, and the league's ratings increased 26% from 2021 to 2022. Now, Handley and Bond join their ranks, another exceptional achievement for two of the greatest players in Penn history.