For freshmen, being introduced to the November recruiting trail can be daunting at first. It’s their first real exposure to college coaches (despite many watching them in the summer), so the spotlight is on them. Everybody’s watching to see if they thrive or falter, so the first tournament can provide some jitters but also soon bring on a weekly transformation.
With that said, I was extremely impressed with the caliber of Sunday’s event, but came away just as struck by where these 2019’s will go. Many showed what they can bring to the table, however there were a lot of timid dodgers and lack of assertiveness in many instances. I’d imagine that’s something that will change as the weeks go on, and it will be fun to watch how each kid’s confidence evolves as November moves forward.
Catch up on the last week of content:
Commits to Hopkins, PSU, G’town, OSU & more (11/2)
Best Places To Eat During The November Circuit (10/29)
Face-Off Academy National Showcase Rosters (10/28)
10 Who Impressed At The C2C Spotlight (10/26)
*Running tally of 2019 commits
Here’s who stood out in my eyes –
Connor Shellenberger, A, Madlax / St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.)
Having made a verbal to Hopkins in late July, Shellenberger is a downright nasty overhand shooter who a handful of college coaches called the most dominant player at the event. He plays with a noticeable swagger (one that not many kids have at this age) where he seemingly knows that he’s capable of taking a game into his own hands, which is exactly what Shellenberger did to help Madlax to an undefeated day. Love this kid’s carrying ability, range on his shot and overall IQ.
Matt Angelo, F/O, Leading Edge / Lawrenceville (N.J.)
A transfer from Florida’s IMG Academy, Angelo was lights out on Sunday, winning just about everything. In one game I saw, he went 11-of-13 (unofficially) against a recent Maryland commit. When Angelo wasn’t popping the ball forward and dishing it to his teammates, he scrapped to come up with the ball in scrum situations. I would be shocked if he’s uncommitted for another two weeks.
Reilly Gray, M, LI Express / Chaminade (N.Y.)
Gray is a fundamentally sound shooter who looks the part at 6’3 and 170 pounds. Deceptively quick, he’s a horse in the middle of the field who was formidable providing defensive help due to his shear size strength. When the ball was in his stick, Gray was constantly freeing his hands with a left to right split dodge and zipping the rock past goalies.
Liam Powderly, A, Baltimore Crabs / McDonogh (Md.)
There’s a good bit of resemblance between Liam’s game and that of his cousin, Pat, the nation’s No. 29 recruit back in 2010 before his Syracuse career. He’s a bit undersized but has awesome stick work, impressive foot speed and change of direction at X, smoothly making plays with consistency to boost the Crabs. He’s very aware while looking for cutters and worked extremely well in tandem with teammate Troy Barthelme, a slick, tall carrier from St. Paul’s.
Peter Davies, A, Laxachusetts / Dover-Sherborn (Mass.)
The lefty was especially effective within eight or so yards of the cage, using a well built frame to really into defensemen and jostle for position when going to the rack. He looks to be a fearless dodger who can be counted on when his teams needs him, evidenced by his play to help Laxachusetts’ comeback against the Thunder.
Michael Grogan, LSM/D, Madlax / Episcopal (Va.)
‘Impactful’ is the first word that comes to mind when describing Grogan, who was an absolute animal on Sunday. He played outstanding 1-on-1 defense and was all over GB’s, doing a stellar job using his stick when initiating contact with opponents going for a loose ball. Once Grogan had it (which he almost always did), he shined when clearing upfield and pushing transition. High upside defenseman whose phone should blow up this month.
Grant Mitchell, M, Thunder / Buford (Ga.)
Connor Mitchell, M, Thunder / Buford (Ga.)
Nick Myers and the Buckeyes got two pretty important verbals in late September when the Mitchell twins committed. One’s a lefty (Connor, I believe) and the other’s a righty (Grant), though it was apparent just how much they’ve both polished their non-dominant hands. They were big, gritty and well-rounded, making plays on both ends of the fields and getting to the goal at will for hard and accurate shots. Anxious to see where they’re able to take their skills over the next few years.
James Cipolla, M, Big 4 HHH / Parkland (Pa.)
Cipolla caught my eye at the first NLF 2019 event in July and definitely stood out once again, poised for a great fall that will help his college options even more. The left-handed athlete was always making plays, using awesome burst to beat his man and hitting shots while keeping his shoulders square to the goal. His hustle and IQ were also noticeable, as he was working his tail off no matter the situation.
Greg Campisi, LSM, Team 91 / St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
Getting attention from many of D1’s top programs, Campisi jumped off the page at the NLF event with a fantastic motor and athleticism on display all over the field. Reportedly a great football and basketball player as well, the Farmingdale native was huge off the wings and determined when chugging upfield holding the ball. Showed prowess shadowing his man between the lines and wreaking havoc with physicality and precise checks.
Ryan Haigh, A, Edge / PEAC (Ont.)
Josh Dawick, A, Edge / Appleby College (Ont.)
I really enjoyed watching this pair work together on Sunday afternoon. Watching the slide closely to create space for himself, Haigh caught everything thrown his way and deposited it in the back of the net. Though he won’t necessarily run by anyone, he provided energy to his team with his finishing ability. Alongside him, Dawick was wildly impressive. The son of the Toronto Rock’s owner and GM, he scored a beauty of a goal with no angle and buried most of his opportunities with phenomenal wrists that helped a rapid release on his shot.
Weston Carpenter, M, Express North / Ridgefield (Conn.)
This crafty lefty had very little trouble scoring during Sunday’s games. Providing offense from up top with confidence, he’s big, creative and dependable, burying shots from way out with an excellent 3/4 release that goalies had trouble solving. Appearing to be about six feet tall or so, Carpenter is a good looking athlete who exploited shorties and made things happen in transition. Looking forward to watching him throughout the rest of the fall circuit.
Jake Caputo, M, Team 91 / Middle Creek (N.C.)
Jake – son of Duke assistant Ron Caputo – was the most impressive midfielder on a Team 91 team loaded with talent. He’s extraordinarily athletic and polished for his age, whizzing past opposing LSMs with an excellent first step. After that, he’d often hammer a jump shot or a sweeping shot on the run with considerable velocity and accuracy on it. Definitely one to watch as he approaches a commitment.
Tim Marcille, G, Madlax / Gonzaga (D.C.)
Let me start by saying that I’ve never been a fan of schools taking a goalie before they’re rising sophomores. With that said, I can absolutely see what Dave Pietramala is doing when he accepted Marcille’s verbal on September 1st. Standing just 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds, he’s a fiery leader who made a plethora of eyebrow-raising saves on Sunday (including some sweet ones with his body), showing off his ability to explode to the ball. Cleared it impeccably as well.
Robert Almand, M, C2C / Vandegrift (Tex.)
A savvy dodger, Almand showed great poise slinging it from the outside to provide a bright spot for the Texas-based club. He’s got some great height to him, though he’ll need to help his build by adding on a few pounds. Liked how Almand was always moving without the ball to set up shots for himself and was also a key cog in the transition game. Made a handful of great invisible plays as well.
OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT
Henry Mudlaff, M, Baltimore Crabs / Gonzaga (D.C.)
Bryson Shaw, M, Baltimore Crabs / Mt. St. Joe (Md.) – MARYLAND
Shane Osborne, M, Big 4 HHH / La Salle (Pa.)
Drew Ragone, A, Big 4 HHH / St. Augustine (N.J.)
Philip Mazzuca, LSM, Edge / Appleby College (Ont.)
John Schreiber, M, Express North / Iona Prep (N.Y.)
Will Frisoli, LSM/D, Laxachusetts / St. Sebastian’s (Mass.)
Dylan Gardner, LSM/D, Laxachusetts / Xaverian Brothers (Mass.)
Michael Swirbalus, M, Laxachusetts / Westwood (Mass.) – CORNELL
Harrison Berke, D, Leading Edge / Johnson (Tex.) – HOPKINS
Christian Cechini, A, Leading Edge / Apex (N.C.)
Deuce Bernstein, A, LI Express / Scarsdale (N.Y.)
Jonathan Bender, M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
Robert Schain, M, Madlax / Bullis (Md.)
Christian Mule, A, Team 91 / Half Hollow Hills East (N.Y.)
Kenny Brower, D, Team 91 / Kellenberg (N.Y.)
Justin Tiernan, A, Team 91 / John Glenn (N.Y.)
Charlie Higgins, G, Thunder / Lovett (Ga.)
Quinn O’Donnell, A, Thunder / Lovett (Ga.)
Luke Majick, M, True / Forest Hills Central (Mich.)