Hosted by the folks at Philly club Big 4 HHH on the campus Hill School in Pottstown (Pa.) about 40 minutes north of the city, Champions League welcomed a ton of the North America’s top clubs to perform in front of gobs in college recruiters. The event expanded to host more newcomers this time around, with a bevy of talented club programs beyond just the teams from the NLF.
I made the trip to Pottstown and took in games all day on Saturday and Sunday (there were also a few hours of games on Friday), focusing mostly on 2018’s and 2019’s as well as a handful of 2017’s. Here’s who caught my eye from the teams that I saw, with a lot more coverage to come from a relatively similar group of teams this weekend at Crabfeast in Maryland.
Ricky Miezan ’18, M, Madlax / Episcopal (Va.)
Miezan, the nation’s No. 4 player in the Class of 2018 as of last August, is simply fun to watch and it’s apparent how much he’s polished certain aspects of his game. There were times that opponents would even go as far to shut him off entirely (on man-up and in settled situations), knowing how much he’s capable of. The UNC commit is able to put his shoulder down and run through guys or use his long strides and quick first step to run by them before a shot on the run.
Matt Marino ’18, M, West Coast Starz / Bellevue (Wash.)
Marino is another gem of a non-hotbed recruit for Bill Tierney, pledging to Denver just over two months ago. The Seattle product has a quick first step and a phenomenal outside shot, netting himself a number of head-turning goals while shooting on the run. He has great wrists and control, sending the ball flying out of his stick in a split-second and making it difficult for the goalies to pick up.
Jack Collins ’18, A, 3d New England / Taft (Conn.)
Collins’ ability to create scoring opportunities for 3d in a variety of ways was highly impressive whether it was drawing the slide then dishing it off to a teammate, taking his man from X or blasting one into the back of the net with time and room. The slick Bucknell verbal was poised with the ball in his stick but just as dangerous as a cutter and finisher in close, showcasing soft hands and sneaky off-ball play. The Massachusetts native amassed 60+ points for the Rhinos this past spring.
Max Metalios ’17, D, Eclipse / Brunswick (Conn.)
Committing to Penn in the summer of ’14, Metalios has developed from a rangy kid with upside into an imposing and aggressive defenseman who appears ready for the Division I game even with a year remaining at ‘Wick. He held down Eclipse’s backline at Champions League, keeping his head on a swivel off-ball, intercepting passes in the interior and moving the ball confidently upfield with strong stick skills. Metalios took excellent approaches and was impactful with his stick as well.
Jack Myers ’18, A, Crabs / Gonzaga (D.C.)
This tall, ambidextrous (so much so that I’ve confused him for a lefty a few times) rising sophomore is a stock-rising type, racking up 50 goals for the Eagles this past year. This past weekend, the Ivy League commit showed his all-around game and high lacrosse IQ. Myers was constantly taking smart shots and canning them, displaying great fakes, craftiness around the cage and a knack for drawing the slide then passing it to a teammate.
Anthony Forziati ’19, A, Fighting Clams / Pingree (Mass.)
A creative attackman who plays with swagger and flash, Forziati thrived at Champions League to put his name on a lot of schools’ radars, shortly following his 80-point freshman season. He got topside with ease and was difficult to hinder, bouncing off defensemen inside and keeping both turnovers and low percentage shots to a minimum. Definitely an uncommitted 2019 to watch the next few months.
Chad Cannon ’19, M, Big 4 HHH / Salesianum (Del.)
Uncommitted for the time being, Cannon is another kid playing with confidence after a solid freshman season. He’s dangerous with the ball in his stick as a downhill dodger and shooter, but can make a variety of impressive plays, tossing a pretty spot feed to a cutter on an invert from behind on one particular play. In addition, I liked Cannon’s poise off the re-dodge as well as his ability to initiate contact on his way to the rack.
Jake Caputo ’19, M, Team 91 / Middle Creek (N.C.)
The son of Duke assistant Ron Caputo (and brother of Owen ’18, a verbal to the Blue Devils), the hyper-athletic middie has continued to dazzle. He plays the midfield with speed, energy and bounce, able to run the field all day and sting outside shots on the run at an advanced level. When Caputo is dodging, he’s incredibly elusive and protects his stick on his way to the cage. In general, his play on both ends of the field was pivotal to 91’s championship run.
Jack Anderson ’17, M, Leading Edge / Mendham (N.J.)
Playing for a LE team that many consider the nation’s best for the 2017 age group, college coaches took notice of the talented and athletic uncommitted senior after a breakout weekend. Anderson possesses great restraining line to restraining line speed, allowing him to become an asset in the clearing game and in transition. Had some beautiful cuts to the ball to finish plays and also passed well out of his dodges.
Collin Almeida ’19, M, Laxachusetts / Falmouth (Mass.)
Though he stood out on the fall circuit, it’s apparent that Almeida has taken a step forward, helping pave the way for his team on the way to a championship appearance. Almeida loved to make things happen rolling back to his strong hand and while he’s not particularly big, he’s tough, savvy and skilled. Also made some impressive heads up plays in the middle of the field and triggered transition.
Peter Ilardo ’18, A, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Because of his hulking size and footwork (he reminds me of Garrett Thul in certain ways), there’s rarely a time that Ilardo is at a disadvantage with his matchups. The High Point commit and basketball standout has soft hands due to his hardwood prowess but perhaps most notably, has an absolute cannon when his feet are set. Ilardo was outstanding in the games I evaluated, showing that he’s awfully hard to effectively cover.
OTHERS WHO IMPRESSED
Koby Russell ’17, M, FCA Maryland / Boys’ Latin (Md.) – High Point
Colin Droney ’17, LSM/D, Laxachusetts / Catholic Memorial (Mass.) – Michigan
Tyler Corpora ’17, M, Edge / Emmaus (Pa.) – Hartford
Drew Morris ’17, G, Eclipse / New Canaan (Conn.) – Maryland
Sumner Brumbaugh ’17, A, Mesa Fresh / Holderness (N.H.)
Bobby Goggin ’17, A/M, Prime Time / Choate (Conn.) – Colgate
Thomas Tenney ’17, A, Prime Time / Fox Lane (N.Y.) – Denver
Michael Clark ’17, LSM, Prime Time / New Fairfield (Conn.) – Villanova
Bailey Savio ’17, F/O, Prime Time / Greenwich (Conn.) – Loyola
John Nostrant ’17, M, Mesa Fresh / Haverford (Pa.) – Penn State
Michael Lamon ’17, A, Crabs / Severn (Md.) – Penn
Sam Dwinell ’18, M, 3d New England / Middlesex (Mass.) – Duke
Brian Minicus ’18, A, Eclipse / Darien (Conn.)
Alec Cerasoli ’18, LSM, FCA Maryland / Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Ohio State
Austin Stewart ’18, M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) – Denver
Robbie Olsen ’18, M, Crabs / Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Penn
Justin Cheng ’18, LSM, West Coast Starz / Beckman (Calif.)
Beau Pederson ’18, A, West Coast Starz / Park City (Ut.) – Princeton
Nick Bond ’18, M, Leading Edge / Westfield (N.J.) – Navy
Quinton Abrecht ’18, D, Fighting Clams / Noble & Greenough (Mass.)
Jack Dennehy ’18, A, LB3 / Harrison (Ga.) – Army
Tate Young ’18, M, Texas Mustangs / Westlake (Tex.) – Penn
George Prince ’18, A, Fighting Clams / IMG Academy (Fla.) – Dartmouth
Cade Saustad ’18, D, Texas Mustangs / Highland Park (Tex.) – Virginia
Austin Philie ’19, A, 3d New England / Cardigan Mountain (Vt.)
JJ Levandowski ’19, M, Fighting Clams / St. Mark’s (Mass.) – Ohio State
Finn O’Connor ’19, G, Eclipse / Fairfield Prep (Conn.)
Reagan McNemar ’19, D, Crabs / Boys’ Latin (Md.) – Air Force
Christian Cechini ’19, A, Leading Edge / Apex (N.C.) – Penn State
Sean Derby ’19, D, LI Express / St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
Andrew Tyeryar ’19, F/O, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) – Michigan
Mike Alexander ’19, D, Team 91 / West Islip (N.Y.)
Tommy Bavuso ’19, D, Leading Edge / Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
Jonathan Bender ’19, A/M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
Taylor Musa ’19, A, Madlax / Riverside (Va.)
Zach Lee ’19, D, Big 4 HHH / Penn Charter (Pa.) – Syracuse
Angelo Petrakis ’19, F/O, Team 91 / Massapequa (N.Y.)
Josh Dawick ’19, A, Edge / Appleby College (Ont.) – Denver
Carson Peck ’19, M, Big 4 HHH / Avon Grove (Pa.)
Weston Carpenter ’19, M, Express North / Ridgefield (Conn.)
Peter Garno ’19, M, Mesa Fresh / Haverford (Pa.) – Virginia
Cameron Keough ’19, LSM/D, Laxachusetts / Roxbury Latin (Mass.)
Jacob Snyder ’19, D, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Zac Hanway ’19, G, Mesa Fresh / Avon Grove (Pa.)
Christian Mule ’19, A, Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) / Team 91