Considered the closest thing to the college lacrosse level of play, yet another year of the Under Armour All-American Underclass Tournament is in the books. Philadelphia, who knocked off New Jersey in the championship game 9-7, came away from the weekend as victors, riding the talents of tournament MVP Michael Sowers.
This event has always been critical for my note-gathering process as I get closer to beginning this year’s player rankings, so I attended the event for 90% of its three days (Friday’s report can be seen here). Here’s who caught my eye:
*Denotes All-Tournament selection
*Michael Sowers ’16, A, Philly / Upper Dublin (Pa.)
Between making the U-19 training team roster, winning an underclass title and being named tournament MVP, it was a huge week for the Princeton pledge. In seven games, Sowers put up a whopping 28 goals and 15 assists, including the OT winner to top Washington D.C. in the semis. He’s an excitable, slashing dodger with absurd change of direction and quickness, pinballing off of defenders on his way to the rack. What I enjoy most about Sowers’ game is that his vision and intelligence are second to none, he’s gritty on the ride and played best when it mattered the most, evidenced by his 10 goals and five assists in three playoff games.
*Austin Staats ’16, A, Upstate NY / Assumption (Ont.)
The younger brother of former Syracuse star Randy Staats, Austin has many of the same qualities and is just scratching the surface when it comes to his prowess in field lacrosse. He has some bad habits that can be touched up but the lefty seemingly improved as the weekend went on, looking more and more comfortable with his teammates despite minimal experience playing outdoors. His ability to finish in tight quarters was highly impressive, earning him All-Tournament honors with 13 total goals. He’s undecided, however predicting an Onondaga CC to ‘Cuse path seems about right.
*Ryan McNulty ’16, LSM/D, Philly / Bishop Shanahan (Pa.)
I’m really looking forward to seeing this kid suit up as a Loyola Greyhound and take on Division I. He’s reminiscent of Brian Farrell, acting as an offensively-minded LSM who is unstoppable when the ball is in his stick in transition. Standing 6’2 and 205 pounds, McNulty has an endless motor and roams the field with reckless abandon, using his longpole impeccably to hunt down the ball and push it forward. Gobbled up 126 groundballs this spring to go with 25 points.
Philip Goss ’16, G, West / Deerfield Academy (Mass.)
Goss was arguably as important to his team’s success as any goalie at the event. The San Francisco native and Brown commit backstopped a phenomenal defense and made a terrific 46 saves in six games, which was a dozen more than any other keeper. He did an excellent job communicating to his D, made some lights out saves in close and was the catalyst for the West’s transition game. With skills like that, he may be in line to be a 4-year starter as soon as he moves to Providence.
*Avery Myers ’16, M, Washington DC / Gonzaga (D.C.)
A confident and athletic player at 6’2, 185 pounds, Myers has upped his game considerably in the last year, registering 26 goals and 14 assists for the WCAC champion Eagles this past spring. Running by his man with ease, he’s a powerful overhand shooter from 10-15 yards, scoring a number of key goals for the DC squad this weekend. In addition, Myers has developed his off-hand to become even more of a threat and likes to roll back to his right to create room for his shot. After another year at Gonzaga, he’ll be an important player for Michigan to lean on.
Kevin Mollihan ’16, A, New Jersey / Ridgewood (N.J.)
The left-hander turned his game up on playoff Sunday (with a hat trick in each of NJ’s final two wins) after previously struggling to find the net. He’s a very skilled shooter who does a great job of finding seams off-ball then demonstrating a super quick release to beat goalies. Still looking for a home, Mollihan is great complementary piece who pumped in 51 goals as a junior.
*Jack Kielty ’16, LSM, New Jersey / Delbarton (N.J.)
This was the first time that I was able to watch Kielty extensively in a while and I came away impressed with the kind of game that the Notre Dame-bound rising senior brings to the table. His size is imposing and he was always collapsing on ball carriers with his athleticism and toughness, positioning his body well to give trouble to opposing midfielders in the middle of the field. Loved how Kielty was able to get the ball off the ground and move it up field to Jersey’s scorers. Fits in well in terms of the kind of LSMs that Gerry Byrne’s Fighting Irish defense uses.
*Josh Kirson ’16, G, New England / Hill Academy (Ont.)
A recent graduate of the Rivers School (Mass.), Kirson raised his stock during Under Armour weekend, corralling a total of 34 saves. 21 of those stops came in a rainy Saturday morning contest, playing a complete game and making some insane low saves to frustrate Baltimore’s shooters. He’s a big boy who takes up a lot of the cage, plays angles wells and gets to just about everything, also tossing outlets to breaking midfields with great poise. Looking forward to seeing what he does for Brodie Merrill before heading off to be a Buckeye.
*Isaiah Dawson ’18, M, West / Bishop’s School (Calif.)
Dawson, a member of the ‘Freshman Fifteen’, has shown me what he’s able to do in flashes playing with the West Coast Starz, however he took his game forward considerably with the West squad. Bound for the Ivy League, Dawson is an incredibly smooth athlete able to kick it into high gear when dodging the alleys, surveying the field well and making the right play. He’s most dangerous in the open field and if he’s able to add pounds to his tall and lanky frame, his upside will be even better. Spring highlight reel is worth a look.
Griffin Brown ’16, M, Washington D.C. / Landon (Md.)
This Colgate-bound recruit was one of the more dominant midfielders in attendance, putting in 12 goals on the weekend. Brown was best in a 12-4 route of Baltimore, where he buried four shots to lead DC’s offense. He’s money from the outside, finishing stepdown shots from long range and getting the ball out of his crosse in a hurry. He’ll be an important piece of the puzzle for next year’s Landon squad and is an absolute steal for the Colgate program, who will also receive DC attackman Nicky Petkevich of Bullis.
*Jared Conners ’16, LSM, Upstate / Pittsford (N.Y.)
Another rising senior selected to the U-19 team’s 50-man training team, Conners is a flatout beast both on-ball and with the ball in his stick. The future Virginia Cavalier is rangy and moves exceptionally for a big man, handling his pole well and creating turnovers for his team. There were several occasions where he’d use his long arms and active stick to intercept passes and dash up the field before dumping it off to a teammate. UVA likes to play fast and dominate the middle portion of the field and Conners’ skill set will allow them to do so once he arrives in Charlottesville.
Mick Upchurch ’17, D, South / McCallie (Tenn.)
Headed to Princeton in a few years, Upchurch has taken leaps even since I last evaluated him in the fall. He looks the part of a D1 defenseman already and has great footwork, using his stick effectively around GLE to hinder and shut down the attackmen he was guarding. Upchurch is agile with the ball in his stick, allowing him to be an asset in the clearing game. With a few more years of development, the Jacksonville product is capable of becoming one of the better 1-on-1 cover man in the class of 2017.
Blake Leischow ’16, M, Midwest / Orono (Minn.)
While he didn’t light up the stat sheet (recorded three goals and one assist), I liked the complete game that Leischow has to offer. The 5’9, 170-pound Duke commit seldom left the field, playing hard-nosed lockdown defense with his shortstick, performing one-man clears and taking wings at times. Against the South to start the playoffs on Sunday, Leischow scored the game-winner in OT. At the very least, Leischow should compete for a SSDM spot early in his career as a Blue Devil.
Cole Williams ’16, A, Baltimore / Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
A longtime verbal to Dave Pietramala’s Blue Jays, Williams was one of the few returners for the Baltimore squad and therefore helped quarterback the offense. A big and athletic lefty, Williams did most of his damage from the wings, frequently backing down his man and making things happen. He’ll need to learn how to be more assertive and develop more burst, but definitely an attackman that could be a force after another year with the Dons.
Sam Duggan ’16, M, Upstate / Skaneateles (N.Y.)
I love the skill set of Duggan – who verballed to Cornell last October – after watching him live for the first time this weekend. He’s an impressive athlete who put up 41 goals and 18 assists in the spring and can do a plethora things well. Duggan racked up seven goals throughout the weekend, showing off range on his shot, darting up the field as a clearing middie and often sticking his nose into the dirt to come up with tough groundballs. Nice pickup for the Big Red.
Others Who Impressed
Drew Harrison ’16, M, Baltimore / Mt. St. Joe (Md.) – Maryland
Jackson Morrill ’16, A, Baltimore / McDonogh (Md.) – Yale
Jacob Kelly ’18, A, Baltimore / Calvert Hall (Md.) – UNC
Joe McSorley ’16, G, Baltimore / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Connor DeSimone ’17, M, Long Island / Smithtown East (N.Y.) – Hopkins
Blake Carrara ’16, LSM, Long Island / Riverhead (N.Y.) – Maryland
Frankie Tangredi ’17, D, Long Island / Chaminade (N.Y.) – Harvard
Kevin Mack ’17, A, Long Island / Manhasset (N.Y.) – Michigan
Dami Oladunmoye ’17, M, Midwest / Grayslake North (Ill.) – Syracuse
Jake Burmeister ’16, D, Midwest / MICDS (Mo.) – Lehigh
Winn Medlock ’16, A, Midwest / Memphis University School (Tenn.) – Furman
Matt Schmidt ’17, G, Midwest / Culver Military (Ind.) – Notre Dame
Conor Gaffney ’16, F/O, New Jersey / Lenape (N.J.) – Lehigh
Kevin Quigley ’16, M, New Jersey / Ridge (N.J.) – Duke
Jeremy Magno ’16, A, New Jersey / Bergen Catholic (N.J.) – Harvard
Owen McElroy ’17, G, New Jersey / Avon Old Farms (Conn.) – Georgetown
Reilly Walsh ’16, M, New England / Brunswick (Conn.) – Duke
Will Bowen ’18, D, New England / BC High (Mass.) – UNC
Justin Meichner ’16, A, New England / Taft (Conn.) – Georgetown
Michael Guerin ’16, A, New England / Westminster (Conn.) – UNC
Brett Baskin ’17, A, Philadelphia / La Salle (Pa.) – Hopkins
Jack Rapine ’16, D, Philadelphia / Upper Dublin (Pa.) – Hopkins
Matt Moore ’17, M, Philadelphia / Garnet Valley (Pa.) – Virginia
Christian Feliziani ’16, F/O, Philadelphia / Episcopal Academy (Pa.) – Ohio St.
Peyton Bogard ’17, LSM/D, South / Lovett (Ga.) – Maryland
Stephen Chase ’16, A, South / Choate (Conn.) – Notre Dame
Jared Bernhardt ’16, A, South / Lake Brantley (Fla.) – Maryland
Raines Shamburger ’16, D, South / Westminster (Ga.) – Duke
T.D. Ierlan ’16, F/O, Upstate / Victor (N.Y.) – Albany
Colby Barker ’17, M, Upstate / Pittsford (N.Y.) – Ohio St.
Ross Pridemore ’18, A, Upstate / Taft (Conn.) – Virginia
Jamie Trimboli ’16, M, Upstate / Victor (N.Y.) – Syracuse
Andrew Fowler ’17, D, D.C. / Landon (Md.) – Cornell
Christian Daniel ’16, M, D.C. / Northern (Md.) – Navy
Steven Shollenberger ’16, A, D.C. / Bullis (Md.) – Drexel
John Railey ’16, D, D.C. / Georgetown Prep (Md.) – Loyola
Sam Harnisch ’16, A, West / St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) – Denver
JoJo Biddle ’16, A, West / Pacific Ridge (Calif.) – Penn
Mo Mirer ’17, M, West / Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) – Notre Dame
Beau Botkiss ’16, D, West / Torrey Pines (Calif.) – Harvard