With underclassmen rankings completed two weeks ago (2016s, 2017s, 2018s), it’s getting to be time to release positional rankings, Top 100 overall and class rankings for the Class of 2015, a group just starting fall ball on their respective college campuses.
Slightly different from the aforementioned lists for underclass standouts, incoming freshmen rankings are meant to reflect how the players project at the college level rather than how talented they are at the moment. Every situation differs: some recruits step into powerhouse programs and have to wait their turn behind more established players on the roster, while others will step into ideal circumstances where significant playing time is easily up for grabs. Those aspects make putting together a Top 100 incoming freshmen list not only such a tedious task but so intriguing to look back on after each class finishes their eligibility.
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1. Hunter Sells / Landon (Md.) / Johns Hopkins
Pledging to the Blue Jays as a rising junior, the three-year starter saved his best for last, helping Landon to a 20-2 championship season with phenomenal shot-stopping skills and leadership qualities. Poised, battle-tested and confident, he has what it takes to contend in a wide open race for the starting job, working with new JHU volunteer assistant Larry Quinn, considered by many to be the greatest keeper of all-time.
2. A.J. Barretto / St. Paul’s (Md.) / Army
Barretto ended as the program’s leader in career saves with a total of 239, earning first team All-Metro honors while allowing 8.4 goals per game on a defense depleted by graduation. His steadiness and ability to change a game with his quick hands and vision pushed the Crusaders to the MIAA playoffs all three years as a starter. Might be considered the favorite to replace former All-American netminder Sam Somers at Army.
3. Jack Corbett / Hotchkiss (Conn.) / Harvard
An acrobatic lefty, Corbett was the master of making stops he had no business making throughout his high school career. Coming out of the lacrosse-crazy Massachusetts town of Duxbury, he explodes to the ball when reading shooters and is excellent out of the cage with full-field athleticism and pinpoint clears. Harvard has high expectations for him, though he’ll likely sit behind All-Ivy senior Bryan Moore in year one.
4. Willie Klan / Penfield (N.Y.) / Ohio State
Playing club for Rochester-based SweetLax, the 6-foot, 170-pound keeper carries superb fundamentals and reaction time, qualities that carried him to a spot on the U.S. U-19 team’s 30-man training roster this summer. Unflappable in between the pipes, his squad rallies around Klan’s saves in key moments and he’s a force in the clearing game. Another kid who will compete for minutes right off the bat.
5. Jacob Stover / McDonogh (Md.) / Loyola
The son of former Ravens kicker Matt Stover, the 2015 Under Armour All-American took a giant leap forward during his senior season, corralling 183 saves with just 7.2 goals against. He was best when it mattered the most, namely 10 massive saves in an upset of then-No. 1 Gonzaga from D.C. Once Stover works on his outlets (pivotal in Loyola’s fast-paced offense), he’ll vie for PT with returning starter Grant Limone.
6. Hoyt Crance / Corona del Mar (Calif.) / Yale
A relatively late commit, Crance and his brother Hugh (a freshman defenseman at Notre Dame) surrendered a smidgeon over three goals per game for two consecutive years, leading a defense that made the Sea Kings one of the very best in the West. Using a wide base, he has a high ceiling considering that he’s gotten better each year as well as athleticism that stands out on the gridiron. Yale will have an open competition and Crance will surely throw his hat into the ring.
7. Tate Boyce / McCallie (Tenn.) / Providence
Yet another lefty, the two-time All-American selection fills up the cage with an intimidating frame around 6-foot and 200 pounds. Often firing his team up with phenomenal point-blank saves, Boyce is a calming force who the Providence staff anticipates coming in and contending for a four-year starting gig. Playing a tough schedule under Troy Kemp the past few years, the North Carolina native is well prepared for those rigors of the Big East.
8. Turner Uppgren / Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) / Duke
Uppgren, who hails from Minnesota and is also a hockey standout, has a great knack for making lights out saves in bunches and is also a stud when clearing the ball upfield. He was consistent and vocal as the Wild Boars’ leader and already looks the part of a Duke netminder, though it remains to be seen how much he’ll compete early on with a great group of goalies.
9. Timmy Troutner / St. Mary’s (Md.) / High Point
Nobody in the country was as hot as Troutner come playoff time, picking up 16 magnificent saves in a MIAA semifinal win (committing to HPU immediately after) and subsequently leading the Saints to the program’s first title since 1996. Possesses a wiry build but has super quick reflexes and pinpoint clearing passes – Jon Torpey’s Panthers might need Troutner from the get go.
10. Tucker Gillman / Shady Side Academy (Pa.) / Georgetown
A native of Pittsburgh, Gillman graduated in 2014 and took his talents up to rural Connecticut with a talented group of postgrads at Avon Old Farms. Athletic and excitable out of the cage, his hand speed and ability to play angles well sets Gillman apart. The Hoyas have their keeper of the future in sophomore Nick Marrocco, however having depth doesn’t hurt.
11. Cyrus Scott / Phillips Andover (Mass.) / Colgate
12. Acie Newton / Loyola Blakefield (Md.) / Brown
13. Colin Reder / Episcopal Academy (Pa.) / North Carolina
14. Nick Testa / Niskayuna (N.Y.) / Villanova
15. Sean McGovern / Central Bucks East (Pa.) / Boston U.