This past weekend the best club teams in the country headed to the land of crabs to play in the Baltimore Lacrosse Club’s Crab Feast, one of the premiere recruiting events of the summer. College coaches flocked to watch the nation’s top recruits battle.
Coming back from a deficit in their final two playoff games on Sunday, FCA Maryland defeated Laxachusetts in a back and forth 8-7 championship game in the 2020 Division. In the 2019 Division Championship, Madlax bested Leading Edge 6-4 after narrowly surviving the Crabs in a thrilling overtime semi-final. The 2018 bracket was won by a loaded Team 91 squad who narrowly beat the Annapolis Hawks 6-5. The talent was off the charts in every age division and the competition was unbelievable throughout the weekend, providing spectators with a number of one-goal thrillers.
Check back in the coming days for an additional breakdown at the top players in attendance from Ty Xanders, as well as a few more recaps from recent events.
Sean Cameron ’20, M, NH Tomahawks / Bishop Guertin (N.H.) – Maryland
One of the biggest signs of respect in any sport is when a coach decides to face guard an opposing player. Every time he touched the field this weekend, Cameron demanded that kind of respect from opposing defenses who would either attempt to lock him off or slide early whenever he touched the ball. What makes Cameron such a constant threat is his ankle-breaking split dodge and masterful feeding ability. His lightning quick first step and vision make him an easy comparison to a player like former Maryland great Joe Walters from the midfield.
Connor Shellenberger ’19, A, Madlax / St. Annes Belfield (Va.) – Virginia
Down late in an intense semi-final against the Crabs, Shellenberger pinged a corner to send the game into overtime before scoring the sudden death game winner. Then in the championship game against Leading Edge, Shellenberger once again played the role of hero by scoring the game-winning goal with just minutes left in the fourth quarter. Shellenberger’s clutch gene, incredible change of direction and blistering shooting stroke are just a few of the reasons he is considered Recruiting Rundown’s No. 1 recruit in the 2019 class.
Sean Kuttin ’18, M, Team 91 / Chaminade (N.Y.) – Yale
Late this summer, Kuttin decommitted from Hopkins in favor of Yale. Bulldogs head coach Andy Shay has led his Bulldog squad to three consecutive Ivy League titles and made a huge step towards continuing this streak when he secured Kuttin’s verbal commitment. Kuttin’s diverse skill set includes the ability to run both offensive and defensive midfield, take face-off wings and play attack if necessary. In the 2018 Championship, he scored the goal of the tournament, leaving his defender in the dust on a violent split dodge before stepping down and ripping a corner from at least twelve yards out.
Jack Koras ’20, M, FCA Maryland / Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Maryland
Koras was a constant offensive threat the entire weekend either choosing to dodge down an alley, invert his defender, or perfectly time a backdoor cut. Also a talented football player, he led FCA in goals in the title game with a hat trick and was a constant force on defense and between the lines to trigger transition. Part of a phenomenal 2020 recruiting class for the defending national champs, Koras is considered one of the more complete players in the whole age group.
Jonathan Bender ‘19, M, Madlax / Bullis (Md.)
Bender played well all weekend, but he saved his best for last. In the 2019 championship, Bender scored two goals; one on the run and one with time and room to help lead his team to a a title. A quick and shifty player, Bender is a tremendous dodger from the wings and in invert opportunities, going hard to the cage on a number of opportunities.
Michael Boehm ’20, A, Resolute / St. Ignatius (Oh.) – Michigan
Interestingly enough, Ohio native Michael Boehm is committed to the University of Michigan. Regardless, the little lefty was quite impressive throughout the weekend. Boehm possesses exquisite footwork and elite change of direction that he uses to blow by defenders. Once he has his hands free, he is a tremendous feeder and can sling skip passes on a rope in the narrowest of passing lanes.
Billy Spilman ’20, A/M, Crabs / Gilman (Md.)
Spilman is among several 2020 recruits who probably could have made a decision to a top program before the new rules, but will likely benefit from the change as he develops. A confident shooter with a beautiful release, Spilman was most impressive in a quarterfinal OT loss to the Annapolis Hawks, tallying four goals. He’s big, moves extraordinarily well off-ball and does a great job changing planes and release points.
Isaac Tallino ’20, M, Laxachusetts / Natick (Mass.) – Hopkins
In Sunday’s 2020 final, Laxachusetts looked like they might get blown out of water as FCA came rolling out of the gates. But this would not be the case, as the Boston-based club would battle back to make it a close game, primarily thanks to the play of Tallino. The future Blue Jay put on a show in the championship, scoring several goals including an outside rocket on man-up. Throughout the weekend, Tallino made defenders look silly either by throwing neck-tweaking box fakes or splitting double teams with a filthy toe drag.
Loukas Sotiropoulos-Lawrence ’20, G, Annapolis Hawks / Severn (Md.)
Try saying this kids name five times fast. Not fun. What is fun though, is watching him play. Sotiropoulos was a brick wall in the games I watched, making mind bogglingly acrobatic saves and commanding his defense. He was most impressive in a matchup against Long Island Express in which he made consecutive cross-crease diving stops to save his team, keeping the game tied and sending it to overtime. Producing studs like Kip Turner and Brian Phipps over the years, Severn School has been a goalie factory and Sotiropoulos-Lawrence might just be the next in line.
Gable Braun ’20, FO/M, Looney’s / McDonogh (Md.) – UNC
In Saturday’s round robin play, Braun was absolutely dominant, winning seemingly every face-off. The Florida native demonstrated fantastic technique at the X, exiting in a variety of ways to himself, or using his wings as outlets. Braun created countless transition opportunities for his team and proved he is more than just a FOGO, scoring a hat trick in several games. Unfortunately, Braun was forced to miss Sunday’s playoff action due to injury.
Sean Mooney ’18, A, Annapolis Hawks / Kent Island (Md.) – Towson
Mooney was phenomenal in the 2018 Championship game, netting four goals in a variety of fashions. The future Tiger standout demonstrated his ability to dodge from both X and up top, scoring on the run from both spots. In addition to this, he proved himself as a formidable outside shooter with both hands by beating Team 91’s netminder multiple times with step-down rips.