Editor’s note: The first of several contributions from freelancers this fall on Recruiting Rundown, new contributor Bill Tharp was on the fields of Radnor HS all day on Sunday taking in the action. Tharp recently finished up his career as a goalie at Alvernia College in PA, where he received his bachelor’s degree in communications. He’ll be helping out RR as he attends grad school at Alvernia.
In addition, we’ll have some photos from William Stewart, who is based in Northern Virginia and caught games on Sunday by Madlax, Big 4 HHH and Duke’s LC. Scroll to the bottom of the page for his gallery and check out his website here.
After you finish this recap, read up on the top 2019’s at Sunday’s NLF Fall Frosh Showcase in Baltimore, seen here. A full list of the events that Recruiting Rundown will be attending in November can be seen on this page.
By Bill Tharp
It was a brisk yet beautiful day (the ultimate fall lacrosse weather) on Sunday and lots of talent gathered at Radnor High School for the annual Quaker Fest, put on by UPenn’s staff. Goalies stole the show as every team had one or two goalies that were extremely talented and made crazy saves that left me shaking my head. Another observation that I noticed throughout the day was the lack of the two-man game that was run. We’ve seen two-man lacrosse become the thing to do in the college game, so I figured that I’d see quite a bit of it. Instead, it was more 1-on-1 play where the offense would try and get the defense moving and find the easy goal.
With all that said, here’s my list of standouts from the weekend:
Connor Morin ’17, A, Leading Edge / Morristown Beard (N.J) – Villanova
Probably the best player I saw all day, Morin was a man amongst boys on Saturday. He ran by poles effortlessly and scored at least four goals in the first half against Mesa Fresh before sitting out in the second half. One of the things that really impressed me about Morin was the fact that he was able to score his goals within the flow of the game and did not dominate the ball. He also had a flare for the dramatic, scooping up a groundball in front of the goal and burying a nifty behind-the-back.
Zach Nelson ’18, A, HHH / Allentown Central Catholic (Pa.) – Air Force
One of the most fun players to watch on the day, Nelson has a flair to his game that drew your eyes to him. Playing from X and the wing, Nelson was able to get under defenders and dodge with courage to get in front of the goal and finish. A pest all day, he showed off a nifty one-handed cradle used similar to Denver’s Zach Miller.
Kyle Dombroski ’17, D, Leading Edge / Westfield (N.J.) – Denver
Simply put, Dombroski already looks the part of a Division I close defenseman. He has good size (maybe 6’1” or 6’2”) and is athletic enough to cover smaller and shiftier attackmen. In addition, the Garden State native possesses fluid hips that allow him to change direction quickly and keep good body position. Dombroski had one of the plays of the game when he yard-saled a Mesa Fresh player and led a fast break down the field.
Jack Pucci ’18, A, SweetLax / St. Dominic’s (N.Y.)
Pucci is a big, thick attackman who dominated against Team 91 to the tune of at least four goals. He showed the ability to bomb it from deep with a strong left handed shot or score in close, often throwing about three or four fakes to easily score on the goalie. Pucci shows potential as either an attackman who plays on the outside (benefitting from a midfielder who is able to draw slides and shoot) or as a crease attackman that teams are afraid to slide from because they know he is going to score every time.
Sean Kuttin ’18, M, Team 91 / Chaminade (N.Y.) – Johns Hopkins
To put it in simple terms, good things happened when Kuttin had the ball. The best midfielder I saw play all day, he looked like he was playing on a different level than everyone else. The future Blue Jay broke down defenses easily and eventually when teams got smart and put a pole on him, he was still able to doge at will. Against SweetLax, he was mainly in feeder-mode with at least three assists, including a sweet no-look pass for an easy goal on EMO. Against Mesa, he was poled and showed his scoring ability. On one play, Kuttin dodged down the alley for a nifty far post goal and later had the highlight of the game when he scored a diving goal while being pushed from behind.
Billy Holmes ’17, D, Mesa Fresh / Haverford (Pa.) – Fairfield
Recently getting on board with the Stags, Holmes is a lefty defenseman with solid body positioning and footwork that allowed him to succeed against Leading Edge. Had an active stick that allowed him to get in passing lanes and impressed by picking one off that would’ve led to an easy goal for Leading Edge.
Teioshontathe McComber ’18, A, SweetLax / Salisbury (Conn.) – Albany
Another player who I loved watching all day, McComber was all over the field. He rode the ball hard, forcing multiple turnovers in the riding game and was able to score from it seemed anywhere on the field. He shot the ball from every angle possible and showed an ability to finish in close. McComber looks like he will fit right in with the upbeat Albany offense.
Brett Funk ’18, D, Big 4 HHH / Shawnee (N.J.) – Penn State
One of the bigger kids on the field, Funk just looked mean out there. He threw hard checks and was physical against opposing attackman. Once he got the ball on the ground he was able to pick it up and get it moving in the other direction.
Logan McNaney ’19, G, SweetLax / Corning (N.Y.) – Maryland
Unassuming in stature, McNaney was a stud in goal. He ate up shots from the outside and even though he was a smaller guy, he smothered the high heat and had NXT flustered at their inability to score. Threw a pretty outlet pass and really controlled the defense.
Cameron Aksu ’19, A, NXT / Hempfield (Pa.)
Aksu was electric with the ball in his stick. When he dodged he looked like he was shot out of a cannon and was hard to defend. One play where he really stood out was on a restart off the end line where he picked up the ball, racing off the wistle raced past his defenseman and bury it in the net before anyone was even ready to slide.
Hunter Jaronski ’19, D, Duke’s LC / Academy of the New Church (Pa.)
Jaronski reminded me of a pitbull out there on the field. He threw hard checks and was willing to stick his nose into groundball scrums, looking to push transition when he got the chance. Jaronski was small in stature but didn’t back down from anyone.
Tanner Hay ’18, D, SweetLax / Victor (N.Y.)
A tall left-handed defenseman, Hay was able to win his matchup all day, even though Team 91 kept trying to dodge against him. Playing against a smaller attackman, Hay was able to use body positioning to keep the player in front of him, using his hips to change direction in a quick and efficient manner. He was also able to contribute in the clearing game, appearing comfortable with the ball in his stick.
Jeffrey Conner ’18, M, Mesa Fresh / Strath Haven (Pa.)
Playing against a talented group from 91, Conner demonstrated a strong right hand as well as the ability to break down a defense. He used a slick split dodge to get to his dominant hand and bury a shot. Looked to be a tough guy to defend in the midfield.
William Ceccarelli ’18, M, Mesa Fresh / Unionville (Pa.)
Another big midfielder from the Mesa squad, he demonstrated an excellent left hand to combine with the aforementioned Conner in the midfield. One of Ciccarelli’s strengths was shooting through traffic, as he wasn’t afraid to shoot through a check. On one particular goal, he was able to catch, plant and unleash a lefty rocket offside low, one of the more impressive shots all game.
Danny Maltz ’19, A, SweetLax / Riverside (Va.) – Maryland
Isaiah Skidders ’19, A, SweetLax / Salmon River (N.Y.)
Jack Brennan ’19, A, SweetLax / Irondequoit (N.Y.)
I feel like I need to group all three of these attackman together because they were all studs. First, the main thing that stood out to me was how hard they rode the ball. They reminded me of Joey Sankey and Billy Bitter out there, tiny guys who wanted the ball back. Maltz – the younger brother of Derek and Dylan Maltz – was probably the most polished of the three showing off a strong stick and an ability to snap his wrists to get any shot he wanted. Skidders, rocking the familiar braid that natives sport, played similar to a Thompson brother. He worked hard to create his own shot, using creative means to do it. He was a fearless dodger to the front of the net and once he got there, he finished. Brennan was the best off-ball player of the three, scoring at least three goals against NXT. He was crafty without the ball, back cutting his defenseman and simply found ways to put the ball in the back of the net. It will be fun to see these three grow and play together.
Jordan Ginder ’18, M, Team 91 / Deerfield (Mass.) – Duke
As the face-off man for Team 91, Ginder was an absolute menace. He won probably 75% of the faceoffs and against Mesa Fresh, waved the LSM off the field and told the coaches to put two short sticks on the face-off just because he knew he was going to win it. He was skilled at either taking it front door and becoming a one-man fast break, also popping it out the back door to teammates for an easy win.
Jake Drennen ’18, G, SweetLax / Geneva (N.Y.)
Goalies stole the show all day Saturday and Drennen was one of the best. As a bigger kid, he showed that he moves well and often made saves he had no chance making. A vocal presence to lead the SweetLax D, he also threw some solid outlet passes.
Sam Keyser ’19, LSM, Duke’s LC / Penn Charter (Pa.)
Keyser thrived in the midfield, forcing turnovers and leading transition back to the offensive end. He had good footwork and solid speed, allowing him to extend out to his matchup and make it hard for the offense to work.
Mitchell Moyer ’19, A, NXT / Archmere Academy (Del.)
Moyer was one of the bigger kids on the field and carried himself like he wanted the ball in his stick and worked hard for shots. He was able to easily run through stick checks and finish when given the opportunity.
Anthony Palma ’18, G, Team 91 / East Islip (N.Y.)
Palma was the star of the game against SweetLax. The lefty goalie made several sprawling saves and really stood out to me as a game-changer. He was solid clearing the ball and impressive all-around.
OTHERS THAT IMPRESSED
Shane Dougherty ’17, M, Leading Edge – Rutgers commit
Dinio Cijuste ’17, D, Leading Edge
Billy Coyle ’17, A, Mesa Fresh – Cornell commit
Luke McCallion ’17, A/M, Mesa Fresh
Michael Ott ’18, M, Big 4 HHH
Austin Stewart ’18, M, MadLax – Denver commit
Spencer Alston ’18, D, MadLax
Jason Rose ’18, G, Mesa Fresh – Air Force commit
Sam Lambert ’18, A, SweetLax
Tommy Rooney ’18, A, Team 91 – Air Force commit
Joseph Neuman ’18, FOGO, SweetLax – Hopkins commit
Quinn Towne ’18, D, SweetLax – UMass commit
Connor Cassidy ’18, M, Team 91
Timmy Lischer ’19, M, SweetLax