With the accelerated recruiting timeline, much of my focus during the summer is put on rising sophomores and juniors. However, that doesn’t mean that I forget entirely about the seniors, as the overwhelming majority showcased their skills during Under Armour Underclass weekend as well as other events up and down the East Coast.
This is a list that was done mostly on my own opinions and scouting, as opposed to the younger players’ lists that are done using input from a bevy of high Division I coaches in addition. As always, there’s plenty of room for change once these players wrap up their senior seasons in the spring of 2015.
Here’s a look at players 41-50 in Inside Lacrosse’s Top 50 Young Gun senior list. Stay tuned each morning for analysis in clusters of 10 and in the mean time, follow @RecruitRundown on Twitter.
41. Alex McGovern, M, St. Paul’s (Md.)
Affiliation: Maryland Lacrosse Club
Commitment: North Carolina
When McGovern is healthy, he’s as good of a midfielder as anybody else in the region. The lanky lefty is a smooth and intelligent midfielder who has a dangerous shot on the run as well as the ability to help out his squad from the defensive end. While he missed most of the spring season with a leg injury that also affected him for much of the summer, the 6-foot-2 athlete was back to him normal self at Lake Placid with FCA, dodging the alleys with ease on a loaded team that won the championship. With a big senior year, he could very well put himself back in the top 25 where he was a year ago.
42. Ryan Bray, A/M, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.)
Make sure you have an eye out for #45 in unsettled opportunities, as few players in the nation are as reliable as he is in transition. Lethal off-ball, Bray has been putting up monster numbers on Long Island for what seems like forever – Suffolk County Rookie of the Year (29 goals in 2012) and 2nd team Long Island (42 goals, 19 assists in 2014) are two of his biggest credentials to date. Tough to say what position Bray’s best suited for, though attack may be the move at the next level. A longtime Ohio State commit, he made the switch to Cornell in July and has all of the makings of a future All-Ivy player.
43. Willie Klan, G, Penfield (N.Y.)
Commitment: Ohio State
Energetic in and out of the cage, Klan does a tremendous job not only commanding the defense in front of him but making loads of saves that he has no business stopping. Seldom giving up rebound goals, the greater Rochester native’s clears are always on the money, triggering transition for SweetLax and Penfield, where he transferred into from Webster Schroeder HS. A monstrous summer of 2012 earned him a spot at Ohio State, turning down Syracuse and UNC in the process. Incredibly refined when it comes to technique, Klan has great potential to become a four-year starter for the Buckeyes.
44. Joey Sessa, A, Minisink Valley (N.Y.)
Affiliation: Prime Time
I’ve seen just one player under 5-foot-7 that is as talented and excitable as Sessa is and that’s North Carolina’s Joey Sankey. Racking up a whopping 69 goals and 83 assists in a junior (albeit against very underwhelming teams in Section 9), he’s slick, strong and dynamic, using an absurdly quick first step to blow by defenders on his way to the rack. Also makes some game-changing plays in the riding game, something he’s done a ton over the years with Nick Daniello’s Prime Time program. Don’t be surprised to see Sessa make the switch to midfield at Yale, where he wouldn’t have much trouble dodging against shortsticks.
45. Stephen Chase, A, Maclay (Fla.)
Affiliation: Orange Crush, Team Florida
Commitment: Notre Dame
Chase has made it look easy in the Sunshine State (73g, 34a as a junior), so a postgrad year in 2016 up in New England will be massive for his development and overall confidence. The lefty shooter is downright nasty from long distance and has insane stick work and soft hands inside, helped greatly by a summer of box with the Onondaga Redhawks. Love how he always keeps his feet moving with and without the ball, setting up key scoring opportunities and making the most of them with a super high shooting percentage. Has all of the makings of a big contributor in the ACC.
46. Connor McCroskey, A, Bishop’s School (Calif.)
Affiliation: West Coast Starz, RC Elite
The San Diego area has had some rather impressive attackmen come through the ranks over the years, and McCroskey looks to be next in line. Consistent and reliable under pressure, he was the catalyst for the West squad’s huge comeback on New Jersey at the Under Armour underclass games. Knowing just how to beat his man, he’s an electric dodger with sick vision, tallying 47 goals and 62 helpers as a junior to earn Coastal League Player of the Year honors. If he attacks the weight room, he’ll go into Harvard next fall with even more hype.
47. Decker Curran, M, Greenwich (Conn.)
Affiliation: Prime Time
A state champion with the Cardinals last spring and armed with a hockey background, Curran has a certain swagger and presence that makes him hard to stop. No matter the spot of the field or release point, when he gets his hands free with his 100 mph cannon, the goalie’s only option is to turn and rake the ball out of the back of the net. Uses some ridiculously crafty moves when dodging and is always producing in transition. A former attackman whose athleticism is needed at midfield, it would be wise for Michigan’s John Paul to throw him back there so that he’s always on the field for the Wolverines.
48. Aidan O’Brien, M, Niskayuna (N.Y.)
Affiliation: Albany Power
Commitment: North Carolina
The 5’10, 195-pound midfielder had a superb spring for the Silver Warriors, sending home 33 goals to go with 48 assists, good enough for US All-America honors. It’s impressive how talented he is on both ends of the field, playing shutdown defense with his shortstick and making things happen when dodging the alleys. Part of yet another stellar recruiting class for the Tar Heels, he’ll become even more of a focus from opponents in 2014 with Mike D’Amario now at Virginia. That’ll almost certainly prepare him for the rigors of the college game.
49. Ryan O’Connor, M, Paul VI (Va.)
Commitment: North Carolina
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound midfielder is a super talented athlete who stars at quarterback and free safety in the fall before teaming up with UVA-bound Ryan Lamb (a Top 50 candidate in his own right) for the Panthers during the spring. Smooth and savvy, he has the confidence in his technically sound overhand shot to unleash shots from 12-15 yards and constantly hit the back of the net. Great on both ends and excellent in the middle of the field, where he does a really good job finding the open man. Most likely an instant impact type for UNC once he hits campus.
50. Hunter Sells, G, Landon (Md.)
Commitment: Johns Hopkins
The fact that he started between the pipes for a powerhouse program like Landon speaks volumes about the type of player that Sells is. Saving 64 percent shots and allowing under five goals per game, that year led him to a relatively late (by today’s Hopkins standards, at least) commitment as a rising junior. Possesses the ability to make absurd saves in bunches, get the ball up and out quickly to breaking midfielders and most impressive of all, lead a young defense for the Bears. If he tweaks the mental aspect slightly to forget about the previous goals and become more consistent, he could very well help Rob Bordley’s squad to an IAC title before enjoying a successful career stopping the rock at Homewood Field.