NLF Class of 2021 Top 50 Rankings

Team 91 midfielder Andrew McAdorey is the No. 1 player in the inaugural NLF Class of 2021 rankings. Photo via Matt Chandik.

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Andrew McAdorey got the ball, took one step, faked one way and dashed the other with nothing but turf in front of him, leaving behind an attackman on the ground wondering what had just happened as McAdorey’s Team 91 Crush teammate, defenseman Nick LiCalzi (South Side, N.Y./Navy), started laughing at the sight of it all.

Crush was en route to its second straight NLF Class of 2020 national championship at UMass’ Garber Field, and it was one play that showed a lot of what made McAdorey into an elite prospect. You could make the argument that he was the best clearing midfielder in high school lacrosse last year as a sophomore, but he was also a dynamic offensive threat, one that racked up 26 goals and 21 assists as St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) won the state title as part of a 15-1 campaign. Even on a loaded team, McAdorey stood out as one of its very best players all over the field, and he was widely considered the Friars’ top defensive midfielder.

It’s that gamebreaking ability all over the field that made McAdorey the unanimous No. 1 prospect in the class of 2021 in the inaugural National Lacrosse Federation player rankings. He’s played up with the 2020 Crush team forever, helping the country’s top 2020 team to tournament title after tournament title. There’s little doubt that his phone will be working overtime at midnight on Sept. 1, and he’ll be able to go to any school of his choosing.

“It’s humbling, and it’s an honor to be considered No. 1,” McAdorey said. “I definitely have to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me get here, as well as my parents, Mike and Cindy. Playing the best talent around brings out the best in you every time you step on the field, and being surrounded with such great talent like (St. Anthony’s and Crush teammates and Duke commits) Brennan (O’Neill) and Aidan (Danenza)(Shoreham-Wading River, N.Y./North Carolina) Xavier (Arline), (’22 standout) Joey (Spallina) and all of those guys really adds a lot to my game. They’ve helped me a lot, and Coach Joe (Spallina) always said that in order to be the best, you have to play against the best.”

McAdorey isn’t the tallest midfielder, but he’s solidly put together and has that incredible agility, speed and quickness, which means that defending him with a short stick is out of the question. He has an extensive box lacrosse background, too, which shows up in his ability to get his hands free in traffic, which means that he’s a scoring threat from all over the field. His Crush career is over, but the Team 91 dynamo isn’t done making life miserable for goalies or anyone who tries to slow him down on the clear.

“Andrew is a world-class talent and whoever is lucky enough to get him is getting an incredible player with an unparalleled work ethic, and he thinks like a coach,” Spallina said. “To me, that’s a very rare combination. When you combine his athleticism, high IQ and skill, there’s not a doubt that he’s the best player in the 2021 class, and he’ll be an instant-impact type of player in college.”

Welcome to the first National Lacrosse Federation player rankings. We’re kicking things off with the top 50 players in the class of 2021, but there will soon be a top 50 for the class of 2020 and a top 15 for the class of 2022. Players must play for an NLF club or have played at the NLF Opening Weekend or NLF National Championships to be considered for the rankings, which was chosen in consultation with club coaches and college coaches, as well as in-person evaluations. It’s a deep class that’s particularly talented on the defensive end, which is reflected in the 18 defensemen or LSMs that dot the list. More than 100 players were considered for the top 50, and a list of some of the honorable mention names will be published soon. The NLF draws the best players and teams in the country to its events, and many of the players on the rankings will be college lacrosse’s stars of tomorrow.

The NLF hosts a pair of events during the November recruiting period. Click here to apply for this fall’s NLF 2021 Uncommitted Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 16 and click here to apply for the team Fall Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 17, both at Farmingdale State College.

  1. Andrew McAdorey, midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Team 91 Crush / Duke – Highlights
  2. Keith Boyer, defense, Yorktown (N.Y.) / Prime Time / Duke – Highlights
  3. Griffin Schutz, attack, Deerfield (Mass.) / 3d New England / Virginia – Highlights 
  4. Leo Johnson, attack, Avon Old Farms (Conn.) / Eclipse / Yale – Highlights
  5. Dante Trader, midfield, McDonogh (Md.) / MadLax Capital / Maryland Highlights
  6. Chris Kavanagh, attack, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express / Notre Dame Highlights
  7. Chase Mullins, faceoff midfield, St. Christopher’s (Va.) / DC Express / Maryland Highlights
  8. Jack Fracyon, goalie, Bullis (Md.) / DC Express / Penn State
  9. Jake Brownley, defense, Malvern Prep (Pa.) / Mesa / Harvard
  10. Tyler Schwarz, LSM, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Team 91 Blaze – Highlights
  11. Johnny Schwarz, midfield, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Team 91 Blaze – Highlights
  12. Tommy McNeal, LSM, Central Catholic (Mass.) / New Hampshire Tomahawks / Virginia

    Eclipse goalie Andy Demopoulos is a big goalie with plenty of big-game experience, and he’ll be a three-year starter at Connecticut power Darien. Photo via Matt Chandik.

  13. Andy Demopoulos, goalie, Darien (Conn.) / Eclipse / Johns Hopkins – Highlights 
  14. Matt Nunes, goalie, The Woodlands (Texas) / West Coast Starz / Virginia – Highlights
  15. Michael Bath, LSM, Gonzaga (D.C.) / MadLax Capital / Princeton – Highlights
  16. AJ Hernandez, LSM/defense, Boys’ Latin (Md.) / Crabs / Ohio State
  17. Ethan Till, defense, Bullis (Md.) / DC Express / Penn – Highlights
  18. Evan Bullotta, defense, Central Bucks East (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH / North Carolina – Highlights
  19. Grant Litchfield, defense, Belmont Hill (Mass.) / Laxachusetts / Johns Hopkins
  20. Ronan Doherty, LSM, Groton (Mass.) / Laxachusetts / Notre Dame – Highlights

    Long Island Express faceoff man Will Lynch’s athleticism and versatility make him a major threat all over the field. Photo via Matt Chandik.

  21. Will Lynch, faceoff midfield, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Long Island Express / Notre Dame – Highlights
  22. Dewey Egan, attack, Torrey Pines (Calif.) / West Coast Starz / North Carolina
  23. Mason Lazasz, midfield, La Salle (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH / High Point – Highlights
  24. Colin Mulshine, defense, Brunswick (Conn.) / Prime Time / Princeton – Highlights
  25. Jake Wilson, defense, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Team 91 Blaze – Highlights
  26. Jake Cohen, defense, Landon (Md.) / DC Express / Johns Hopkins Highlights
  27. Tyler Kuehl, defense, Bullis (Md.) / DC Express – Highlights
  28. Matt Lazzaro, attack, Franklin (Mass.) / Laxachusetts – Highlights
  29. Ty English, midfield, Culver (Ind.) / Edge
  30. Cody Hart, midfield, Lakeridge (Ore.) / West Coast Starz / Virginia – Highlights
  31. Will Angrick, midfield, Georgetown Prep (Md.) / DC Express – Highlights
  32. Jeffery Ricciardelli, attack, Taft (Conn.) / Eclipse / Penn – Highlights
  33. Antonio Topouzis, midfield, LaSalle (R.I.) / Laxachusetts / Boston University – Highlights

    The Crabs’ Ethan Long was a major contributor to Calvert Hall’s nationally-ranked top 5 team this year. Photo via Matt Chandik.

  34. Ethan Long, midfield, Calvert Hall (Md.) / Crabs / Johns Hopkins
  35. Cade Caggiano, attack, Ardrey Kell (N.C.) / Carolina 24/7 / Georgetown – Highlights
  36. Stephen Bou, midfield, Landon (Md.) / DC Express / Penn
  37. Chris Canet, midfield, New Canaan (Conn.) / Eclipse – Highlights
  38. Graham Hertzberg, attack, Landon (Md.) / DC Express – Highlights
  39. Garrett Glatz, midfield, Boys’ Latin (Md.) / Crabs / Navy
  40. Kevin Parnham, defense, Pingry (N.J.) /Leading Edge / Penn State

    Luke Walstrum has been a consistent force as Big 4 HHH’s top attackman. Photo via Matt Chandik.

  41. Luke Walstrum, attack, Council Rock North (Pa.) / Big 4 HHH / Penn State – Highlights
  42. Fisher Finley, midfield, Milton (Ga.) / Thunder LB3 / Notre Dame – Highlights
  43. Mac Rodriguez, faceoff midfield, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Team 91 Blaze / Yale
  44. Owen Gaffney, midfield, Loyola (Calif.) / West Coast Starz / Harvard – Highlights
  45. Danny Caddigan, attack, Smithtown West (N.Y.) / Team 91 Blaze
  46. Ben Smith, attack, Boys’ Latin (Md.) / Crabs / Penn
  47. PJ McGoldrick, defense, West Islip (N.Y.) / Long Island Express – Highlights
  48. Paul Barton, defense, Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) / West Coast Starz / North Carolina
  49. Tucker Mullen, attack, Taft (Conn.) / SweetLax Florida / Virginia – Highlights
  50. Michael Frechette, defense, Berkshire (Conn.) / Eclipse / Michigan – Highlights

There aren’t many 2021 LSMs better at taking the ball away than Laxachusetts’ Ronan Doherty. Photo via Matt Chandik.